A new booking system, new properties and a secret (or not so secret) soft spot for SilverDoor’s new recruit, Jimmy Wilson. Samantha McKnight and Kim Ashmore from Go Native reveal all in this week’s Inside Scoop.
You’re quite well known within SilverDoor for doing fun property launches and FAM trips, how do these evenings benefit you?
Samantha: I’m a firm believer that if you’ve walked to the apartment from the station, sat on the bed, opened all the cupboards and had a nose around, you’re more comfortable offering the apartments to your clients, having seen it and experienced it for yourself.
What do you think sets Go Native apart from other property partners?
Samantha: I’ve answered this question quite a lot actually, and to be frank, I think it’s the people. It’s a fun environment. We actually enjoy going to work and we’re always having a giggle. You can hear down the phone whether someone wants to be there. They always say in customer service training “smile down the phone” because it can be heard, most of the time we actually have to stop laughing to pick up the phone. If you enjoy your job and you like speaking to the people at the end of the phone it makes a big difference. Our clients will always get a positive vibe from us, that is just the way we are.
Kim: Our offices have a very supportive environment and I think that undoubtedly translates and turns outwards towards the clients.
Do you have any big plans for 2013 or any new properties in the pipeline?
Kim: World domination wasn’t it?
Samantha: Something like that! We have some serious growth plans between now and 2015. The thing with property in general is you kind of have to take it when it comes. You can’t say we’re only going to take on new properties from September this year, if a good opportunity comes along, we’re going to take it, because the reality is that if we don’t, one of the other top 10 service providers will. We will definitely fight for every great opportunity out there, especially when it’s the right property in the right area, because undoubtedly people will book it.
Aside from property, we have our new booking system that’s going live at the beginning of Q2 along with our updated website and GDS. We’ve also taken all the aspects SilverDoor requested into consideration, such as nightly rates that are whole numbers. Having something that’s quick, efficient and does the job properly without drama is going to make things so much better, we’re all very excited.
To put you on the spot, who’s your favourite member of the SilverDoor team (and you can’t say Alice or Stuart!)?
Samantha: Toby. On the basis that (and you’ve got to tell him I said this), he now has to turn up to more of our events!
Kim: It’s too difficult, this isn’t a fair question! I don’t have favourites, but I think your recent recruit Jimmy has huge potential. He’s very cute and very interested in everything. He seems to be like a sponge that just soaks everything up. And of course I love Patrick, I’ve always loved Patrick. Patrick and I go way back. [Me: I can’t put Patrick down; his ego will get way too big!]
Samantha: I’ve seen Jimmy about 4 times in the past couple of weeks at various events and he can always talk to you about what you chatted about the time before, I’m always so shocked he remembers! And he was so excited to give us his business card, he said it’s the first one he’s ever had!
Now for the quick fire round…
White wine or red wine: red
Love Actually or Bridget Jones: Love Actually
Rough and ready or prim and proper: rough and ready
Book or kindle: Oh, I thought I was going to have the same questions! [Me: then you’d be able to prepare the answer, that’s not quick fire!] Ok, kindle.
Harry Potter or Twilight: Harry Potter:
Shoes or handbags: shoes