Joining the family business was always Tim Ruocco’s intention but the pandemic focused his mind, as he explains.
“Completing my MA in Surveying and Property Maintenance last October made me realise it was the perfect moment to join Home Minders. Not only have I been able to put my knowledge and skills into practice but with the help of the team I have also been able to get some great experience across all the different facets of the business.
Initially when I left university with a history degree, I went into journalism working on several contracts including for The Daily Telegraph, but I soon realised that the days of print media are numbered so moved into recruitment, focusing on international marketing and PR roles. The financial rewards in that industry are high but at a cost and it just wasn’t for me. Having experienced a culture which was all about making money, it is so refreshing to work for a business where honesty, common courtesy and teamwork are key.
I had all the theory, and I knew how the business operated. I just had to work out how to put the two together and that’s been my biggest challenge. Learning how to juggle all the different parts of the business. Working for a small business means that you must get your hands dirty. Every circumstance needs a different approach and that’s where experience pays off and someone like me must get that experience and insight – you can’t learn it sitting at a desk.
When the business successfully acquired Alan Goldin Estates in April, I was given overall responsibility for day-to-day management.
It’s been a baptism of fire in many ways but four months down the line everything is working out well. To date we haven’t lost any business since Alan Goldin changed hands and we look forward to maintaining that record. Getting to grips with the business here in Temple Fortune has been a real learning curve but one I’ve enjoyed.
My first challenge was to help recruit new members of the team and thanks to the excellent reputation of the business locally, that wasn’t a problem. We now have a first-rate office manager in place, Rene Sarkis and we were thrilled to take on David Cooper as our lettings and sales negotiator. David is well known in the industry and brings with him 18 years’ experience, which is a great asset. The team is also well supported with additional specialist help as and when it’s needed.
We have a portfolio of just under 200 properties, with roughly a third on a fully managed basis and the remainder as retained lettings. Making sure that we continue to offer our clients a first-class personal service is paramount, and we are all working hard to get to know our clients and develop a personal relationship with them.
For me moving into the lettings world and dealing with different types of property has been a real eye opener. Understanding the impact of the House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence and the changes to shared accommodation, which vary from borough to borough, is just one example. There are of course many others!
Having the support of the team, facilities and resources at Home Minders will help us to expand the business and this is high on our agenda for the new year. Personally, I enjoy every aspect of developing new business and of gaining the respect and trust of new customers. I believe that listening to what customers want and putting people first are things we have always done and will continue to do both at Home Minders and at Alan Goldin. In my view this is where a small company can succeed. Larger companies can’t offer the same personal touch and level of trust that creates strong relationships.”
Father and Managing Director Paul has all the right credentials and an impressive track record in property management, and it seems that Tim is a chip off the old block!