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Interview with SATO Service Manager

Interview with SATO Service Manager

Every day, our team works to make your life in SATO apartments comfortable and convenient. We want to introduce you closer to our employees, share experiences and talk about how our company works from the inside. Today, for example, we talked with SATO service manager Anastasia Ashina about the essence of the service manager profession, how it solves your problems and why you should remember the phone number of the SATO manager.

Anastasia, tell us who is SATO service manager? And what issues you are resolving?

— I solve the issues and problems that arise among residents during the residence and operation of the apartment. The most basic are questions on equipment and furniture that are in the apartment and which belong to SATO: breakdowns, questions about use, questions about replacement, about the possibility of some improvements. This is the most basic and main function. Plus informational support, and also, when the tenant’s contract ends and the apartment back, the service manager is engaged in the process of accepting the apartment, signing documents, checking the apartment. I meet directly with the tenants in the apartment and make an acceptance.

How did you join Sato and what did you face in your new profession?

— I have been working here since April 2015. It’s  almost 5 years. Initially, I was interested in the hotel business, I worked in several hotels. The hospitality industry has attracted me always: receiving guests, talking with people who come from somewhere, with foreigners.

The most difficult thing in work is the constant solution of non-standard tasks. They arise everyday, and each time you need to look for a new solution. We have a lot of different technical and general equipment at buildings. Each item has its own nuances and details. It happens that the device works for a long time, does not fail, and we do not have problems with it. And one time something can gone wrong with it, and we are looking for a solution to the problem, and this takes time, because we have different buildings, different developers and different management companies. Each building is built in a certain way, has its own characteristics, and there are tasks that require the involvement of other specialists, and they need to be controlled.

It seems to me that the most interesting part of the work of a service manager is communicating with residents and finding interesting solutions for any task. Another pleasant moment is the work in our team. We have a small team where everyone supports each other. Together we are looking for new ideas and solving such an important life situation for people - we create a feeling of home, coziness and comfort for residents. This is important for all of us, for the company. We get feedback from tenants and are getting better and better.

— How many apartments are under the control of the service manager at the same time?

— We have 534 apartments in St. Petersburg, and they are roughly divided in half between two service managers. Technically, we are familiar with all of our tenants, but we only meet with many of them when they are leaving apartment, because not everyone contacts us with questions or for help.

— Which of the clients is the majority: foreigners, Russians or Petersburgers?

— According to our statistics, this is about 20% of foreigners, there are few Petersburgers, but mostly these are people who came from other cities of Russia.

— What questions do tenants ask you most often?

— Most often, tenants have questions about household appliances when something goes wrong: a washing machine, a refrigerator. In general, those things without which it is difficult to imagine modern life. They often turn to plumbing: something is shaken, leaking. We have technical staff who deal with such issues. All questions on the apartment and on the internal equipment are decided precisely by these specialists. An application arrives, we coordinate the day and time with the client, but, unfortunately, we are not very flexible here - we have a work schedule and we carry out all repairs only at this time. If a question arises that does not fall within the competence of a technical specialist, then we engage third-party specialists - for example, for adjusting window glazing or for air conditioners.

— How often does the interior of the apartments is change?

— It depends on various factors, but we regularly update the details. After each eviction, the service manager inspects the apartment from a technical point of view and from the point of view of the condition of the furniture, as well as the general condition. If something is out of date or there is a feeling that it is uncomfortable, boring or something is missing, then we add accents and details. When we work on new facilities or are completely updated, we certainly do this with interior designers. But when these are small changes, then this is a creative component of the work of the service manager. I really enjoy doing this. component of the work of a service manager. I really enjoy it.

— Can tenants make rearrangements in furnished apartments on their own?

— You can rearrange the furniture, but when you leave you will have to return everything back. Our contract states that the apartment is returned in the same form as it was at first. Holes, the integrity of furniture and interior are also regulated by contract. However, when transferring the apartment, we are discussing everything. But before making changes, it is better to call the service manager and discuss. For example, if this is a shelf that you want to hang in a logical place and will be ready to leave it when leaving the apartment, then we do not apply any sanctions. But we must be sure that all innovations will fit into our concept and standards. There is the concept of natural wear and tear, there are places in the apartment that get dirty faster - we consider all this in the contract. That is, we hold the deposit only for specific mechanical damage. In terms of functionality, of course, it is difficult to foresee everything, but all of our apartments are made universal, which most people will like.

— What is the easiest way to clean the apartment?

— We work with a reliable cleaning partner who has been tried and tested. They carry out cleaning according to your orders and general cleaning after the tenants leave. In general, this is very convenient, because you do not have to be at home or meet service employees. If you do not mind, then we can arrange access for employees, you can be at work and not worry - a person will come to you and do the cleaning. Importantly, he will also bring all the necessary detergents with him. It is only desirable that there is a vacuum cleaner. In our apartments with furniture it is already there, but in apartments with basic equipment - no.

The costs of cleaning when leaving the apartment are fully paid by our company. A very important thing: everything that tenants leave in the apartment upon departure is considered abandoned. That is, all cleaning items, including kitchen utensils and furniture that do not belong to us, are disposed of by the cleaning service. Because we have standards, and apartments must comply 100% with it. In general, this is rare, because when we accept the apartment, we, along with the residents, inspect everything.

How to make friends with neighbors?

— Most of our residents communicate very actively with each other, because many have children and they go for walks together and help each other. We welcome and encourage our tenants to have such friendly, relaxed relationships. And if they have any questions, misunderstandings or the neighbors interfere with each other with something, we help them figure it out and explain that they don’t need to be shy and afraid to contact in person, establish contact with each other, just like human explain and find a common language. This applies not only to some conflict situations, but also everyday. We held an event in several of our buildings when our company  in St. Petersburg turned 10: we invited all our tenants to get to know each other, talked and shared their impressions and experiences, told who furnished the apartment, what kindergarten or the school is led by children and so on.

But do not forget that this is an ordinary residential building, like any other, and it happens that the neighbors interfere with each other - make noise, for example. You can also contact me with this question. But here I always recommend at the first stage, if the situation happened for the first time, try to solve it with each other in a peaceful way and at that time. If it is some serious situations, or the same problem is repeated, or people for some reason do not want to communicate, then, of course, people turn to us and we help them for our part. We can attract a management company, because if we talk about violation of the silence regime, then the management company should also monitor this, and the guard has this function: if he is approached for noise, he must check this and fix it. Because it happens that it is difficult to determine the source of noise - it seems that they are making noise downstairs, but in fact no one lives in this apartment. Therefore, it is important to fix such things.

3 steps to a good neighborly relationship from a professional:

To begin with, say hello and pay attention to those who live nearby. Secondly, to communicate, do not be shy to get to know your neighbors and offer help to them. Well, in the end, be ready to be able to accept help from your neighbors.

— What should tenants do if the keys remain in the apartment and the door is slammed?

— Call the service manager. All our apartments are locked with an electronic lock, the key is a specially programmed chip, but it can be reprogrammed, locked remotely. That is, if someone lost the key and announced this, we block it, and when a person tries to open the door, he will not succeed. Therefore, if the key is forgotten, then residents can drive to our office during working hours and pick up a duplicate for free, and then return it. If this happens after working hours, on weekends or on holidays, then our employee who is on duty at the moment arrives and opens the door. This service is already paid.

— What is your favorite SATO apartment?

— It is very difficult to answer, because we have so many beautiful apartments! Probably the most interesting is the apartment with a terrace on the Obvodny Canal. There is, of course, a very beautiful view, especially in the summer, there is a lot of space, and a high floor. But in terms of cosiness and interior design, I like our apartments on Graftio street the most. This is one of our first objects, and each interior was thought out individually there.
Date: 02.03.2020Author: SATO team
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