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Month: January 2021

LEAVE IT TO ME I’LL TAKE CARE OF IT!

Amr Fadl 50, is Gallowglass Security’s Service Delivery Manager. His input has been crucial in establishing the very high levels of Customer Service throughout the Company with a particular emphasis on front of house for both Commercial and Residential properties.

Born in Cairo from a family established in the Egyptian Film industry, Amr gained a degree in Accountancy from Cairo University, before performing a years National Service in the Egyptian Army’s Pay Corps.

Married with two sons, Amr moved to London in 1994. He entered the Hotel Industry, swiftly ascending the ranks from casual waiter at functions, to joining the Concierge Department of the Royal Garden Hotel in 2003. Simultaneously to working full time, he pursued his childhood passion for Art and Photography by gaining a BA (hons) degree in Art at Surrey University in 2001.

Prior to joining Gallowglass, Amr also worked as a Concierge at the Montcom, Ritz and Brown’s Hotels. His mature, calm and professional demeanour made an immediate impact on both colleagues and clients. His remit swiftly expanded to bringing five star hotel concierge levels of service, to all Gallowglass front of house assignments. Engendering trust and confidence, he applies the Concierge motto of “Leave it to me, I’ll take care of it”. Whatever the need or request, like a swan, he carries out his tasks in an apparently effortless manner.

Asked about the key elements in delivering peerless customer service, Amr said: “All too often training for customer service roles within the security industry entail a box ticking exercise which fail to address the most important aspect, which is the human element.

Time must be given to each individual deployed. It is essential to get to know them, engage with them and help them be the best they can be. staff must not only fully understand the technical and process elements of the task, but go so much further. The key to customer service lies in the attitude of the staff. I am looking for people with the right attitude, above all I am looking for genuine empathy. With this bedrock of character, front of house personnel can be taught and developed to manage clients and visitors. Be approachable, friendly and helpful, but never cross the line into familiarity. All people are individuals and front of house staff must understand this, and should be capable of a nuanced approach to customer service.”  

As part of the continuous development plan of all Gallowglass security personnel, along with more specific subjects such as fire-marshall, Covid training and diversity training, customer service is one of the pillars of Gallowglass Security’s offering.

Besides his sterling contribution to Gallowglass Security, Amr still finds the time for his art and photography. Over the years he has exhibited in many private galleries as well as Olympia and Chelsea Town Hall. Below are some of his works and much more can be seen on his website www.amrfadl.art.

Vacant Property Inspections (VPIs) in the time of Covid

As a result of the national lockdowns, offices have closed, retail properties are vacant and homeowners have deserted their city properties. Consequently, restaurants have closed their doors, retailers have moved online and the once busy city is empty, creating an unprecedented demand for VPIs.

What does VPI mean?

The term VPI stands for Vacant Property Inspections and in the last year it has become necessary for a far broader range of properties than it did pre-COVID-19.

Many of you may not be familiar with the term VPI, or the practical benefits of a regular vacant property inspection, but it may well effect you. A VPI is critical to property insurance providers, property managers, retail property owners and managers, office managers, building supervisors and even homeowners.

When a property is left unoccupied it may suffer damage, be vandalised even become occupied by squatters, leading you to call on your insurance provider to help resolve the issue. Issues such as fire caused by arson, damp caused by a leaking pipe, burglary due to a weak lock or broken window, squatters or even theft of the contents of the building are worryingly common side-effects of leaving a property empty.

Do I need to inspect my vacant property?

Unfortunately for many, in the event that you do not undertake a regular VPI, your insurance provider can reject any claim you make on the above issues, even if you feel it is covered by your agreement.

A large number of insurance providers expect a property to be inspected a minimum of once a week, checking for a range of issues and providing evidence that such an inspection has taken place. In some cases, without proof, insurance providers do not have to honour a repayment to the customer in the case of damage or theft.

Gallowglass Security’s Property team have seen an unprecedented rise in demand for VPIs. Pre-COVID-19, VPIs were ordinarily for properties that have just been sold or were pre-development. Typically, these properties were vacant for three months and generally considered low risk property. However, since March 2020, Gallowglass Security is now undertaking over 1000 vacant property inspections every month for private property owners through to large corporates.

Every client and every insurance provider has different demands as to how they want the empty property inspected and the VPI to take place. As a result, Gallowglass Security’s Property team provide clients with a tailored made experience based off our extensive knowledge, and the demands of the insurer’s contract.

How often should a vacant property be inspected?

We provide clients with a daily or weekly, fully digitalised, time-stamped report, featuring photography of all key areas of the building. Alongside this, we also provide our clients with bespoke services, whether this be forwarding mail, bleeding radiators, checking fridges or running the taps and ensuring that no pipes have frozen during these colder months and reducing chances of legionella. Clients have individual demands and our SIA licensed staff always look to accommodate these and ensure their inclusion in our reports.

For those that feel that this is not a concern, there are several horror stories that should act as a warning. One example of which is an empty warehouse that didn’t invest in a professional VPI service. It was reported to contain over 800 tonnes of rubbish, which had been illegally dumped there in 7 days. Due to a lack of reporting, this individual’s insurance provider was not obliged to pay-out and clear the mess left, leaving the owner with a bill over £100,000 to clear the rubbish from the vacant property. As you can imagine the financial cost of a regular VPI is significantly less, let alone the emotional cost.

For those who own a vacant property, whether this be an empty office, empty home or empty warehouse, Vacant Property Inspection Services should be top of your agenda. The effects of COVID are due to have an unprecedented effect on the economy, let alone the personal impacts. Don’t let damage to your vacant property become another burden on you.