For someone whose name is Holliday, there’s a lot of hard work behind the scenes to ensure that people enjoys theirs.
Bruce Holliday is property manager at Mosaic in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley and, as the name of the building suggests, this is not your average apartment complex.
The development is home to residential apartments, a hotel, retail space and offices – a veritable mosaic of different needs – and Bruce looks after them all.
Prior to taking the keys at Mosaic which opened in 2014, Bruce managed the Alpha Canberra hotel and launched the Alpha Hotel brand. His background as a hotelier – from food and beverage service right through to franchising and hotel development – is key to understanding why Mosaic works so well as a community.
“Fortitude Valley is the cool part of town and living here makes me feel youthful,” he says. “All the creative glamorous people live in our part of the Valley and Mosaic is in the centre of everything. In particular Mosaic has a community feel which other large apartment complexes don’t.
“This community feel is easier to build at Mosaic because of the Alpha Hotels connection to the Alpha Apartment Management business. It becomes the “cheers” equivalent for residents of the building and helps us provide concierge services to residents who rent through us, which other agents cannot offer their tenants.”
Value-added services are becoming a normal expectation for today’s busy and sophisticated residents – after hours lockout services, after hours mail pickups, discounts on food and beverage services as well as an Alpha Hotel’s loyalty card program gives the Mosaic an edge over others in the market.
Bruce’s typical day begins by checking the overnight reports before a building walk – then it’s tackling the in-tray.
Every day is different and centres on making sure residents are comfortable, as well as being on top of maintenance programs, ensuring the property rental and hotel teams have what they need to keep vacancies to a minimum and rents are maximised, in addition to staying on top of actions Mosaic’s bodies corporate requires.
“Communication is the biggest part of my role,” says Bruce, “and it is critical to ensure all stakeholders are being listened to – the body corporate, landlords, tenants, team members in the business, and the businesses shareholders.”
“We have always tried to bring a hospitality ethic to all of our businesses and relationships. We are here to serve others and the better we serve, the better we will be remunerated. This applies whether the relationship is with the body corporate committee, the landlords, the tenants, hotel customers, and our general community.”
That ethos is the reason how Bruce has created a harmonious relationship among different stakeholders.
“It can’t be overstated how important this relationship is,” he says.
“It is the key to a successful business for us and a successful investment for the members of the body corporate (which are all the owners). It is not always an easy relationship and difficult topics sometimes need to be broached, but so long as there is trust and respect from all parties then the best outcomes always eventuate and there is a collective win-win.”
Bruce’s philosophy of outstanding client service is one of the reasons why he enjoys working with SSKB.
“This working relationship needs to be a close one because both are providing a service to the same client – the body corporate and both rely heavily on each other to deliver their respective services,” he says. “Close and concise communication is critical.”
“The community managers are familiar with the building and the layout so they understand the various workflows and divisions of services. I would ask them for advice from similar buildings in the Valley.”
To anyone who is considering becoming a resident unit manager like Bruce, he offers some great advice: “Regard it as a lifestyle not a job. You need to be fair and honest and transparent at all times. You need to be detail orientated and have systems that support this.”
And the final word:
“I live onsite so I am also a client of my own business,” says Bruce.
“I have an intimate understanding of what our tenants are enjoying and wish to see improved. When communicating with our clients (the bodies corporate and landlords of the apartments), I can genuinely speak with an intimate understanding of the challenges we face and I have a privileged position as the business owner on how to deal with the issues.”
“Because I live onsite with my young family I am always available to them in their formative years which is something money can’t buy, the commute is wonderful (one elevator), and everyone who works in the business becomes an extension of family to me and my family.”