Though it’s only been a month, there have been many memorable moments that I got to experience here. Did you know that our local taxis no longer accept credit cards as a payment method? I had met a new member at the carpark of the home, only to find the taxi driver in a panicky state as she could not accept the member’s form of payment (i.e. credit card). I can completely understand the worry that our new member had, being so far away from home and not having cash on you just yet, so I offered to pay first. With local payment methods like Paynow or using the NETS machine, it was easier for me to cover it without hassle.
Coming from a hospitality background (I had spent 3 years in the hotel industry), I have a passion for helping people and get a great sense of satisfaction when an issue has been resolved. Especially for many of our members who are away from home, I make it a point to offer a “home away from home” experience and to also share as many things about Singapore as I possibly can. It is a very exciting moment when you set foot in a different country, so I always ensure that our members (especially during their move-ins when they are new) feel welcomed and have all the help that they need adjusting to life here.
In my free time, I love spending time with my dog (if you’re unlucky enough to start on the topic of dogs with me, I will get distracted and will not stop talking about her all day), attempting to keep my plants alive (seriously, I have killed so many over the past 2 years), and exploring new foods and cuisines.
So, let's get into it!
I (try to) wake up at 7am every morning so I can spend at least 5 - 10 minutes lounging in bed with my furry cuddle buddy before getting up to take a shower. On days when I’m not feeling lazy, I’ll throw together a quick breakfast before getting changed and heading out to make my way to the office. Though we can work from home due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, I personally prefer heading to the office so I’m not distracted by my bed.
I usually reach the office around this time so that I am able to join in on our daily calls. This would be the time where we share our updates on our tasks and if there are any issues to attend to.
I send out the schedule for the day to our handyman and go through what job has to be done at each home. After that, I spend a quick 15 minutes reading through the emails for the day and prioritise them according to the urgency level.
Around 10am I will jump on a call with my reporting manager to run through any issues that I’m unsure of and to also share with him my plans for our handyman for the day. This would also be the time where I ask questions and share with him my happenings the day before and what issues have been solved. Following this, I'll start going through all outstanding issues in a more in-depth manner that have been raised and start reaching out to contractors or vendors who are in charge to set up an appointment date for them to come by the home. Whenever there are new emails that come in, I ensure that they are addressed as soon as possible so that members know their issues have been recognised by our team and that they will be sorted.
Lunchtime! A favourite of mine would be the chicken rice located in the food court downstairs. Chicken rice is one of Singapore’s most iconic dishes and can be found island-wide. Hailing from Hainanese roots, this delicious and simple dish is made of poached chicken and seasoned rice. A must-try if you’re here in Singapore!
I start following up with our handyman on the jobs that he has completed and check in to see if any follow-up action is required. On days where there are move-ins, I will start making my way to the home to welcome the new members of Casa Mia :) Should there be members moving out, I make sure to plan a day (it’s usually the very day itself if it’s a morning move-out or the next day for an evening move-out) to head over for a home inspection to check that the room is all in order. This is so that we can refund the deposit in a timely manner.
Once I’m back in the office, I start checking the emails to ensure that all our members’ enquiries/issues are attended to. This would also be the time where I start planning the schedule for the next day and would start sending out emails to inform our members of any maintenance works that are going to take place. We try and make it our mission to fix any issues that may arise quickly but we also want to make sure that we aren't disturbing the members. So making sure everyone is aware beforehand is key!
We usually have another daily call at this time to catch up on the issues that happened in the day - our handyman would tell us what he had completed and what could not be done so that I would be able to plan another trip for him down to the home to finish the job (this usually happens if he needs some time for certain materials to dry overnight/a few days, or if he needs to source for certain parts).
My day has officially ended! Though this is the official time where we start packing up to head home, I still monitor the emails for any urgent issues such as power outages or if members get accidentally locked out of their rooms/homes (there’s absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about, I can’t count the number of times I’ve accidentally locked myself out of the house and had to seek help!) and email in for help. As our team is not in the office and not on duty, we do have the contact numbers of 24-hour locksmiths on hand that our members can reach out to. With digital locks being the new must-have these days, who even remembers to bring along a physical key?
On most days when I do not have dinner plans after work, I can be seen combing the aisles of the supermarket downstairs our office; not because I have something to buy, but because going grocery window shopping helps me to unwind after a day’s work. The supermarket downstairs, Cold Storage, offers a wide range of brands (local and international) and the quality is top-notch as well. There’s even a Japanese supermarket that is dedicated to groceries from the Land of the Rising Sun!
I get home, shower, and have my dinner. I would usually cook my meals (eating out/ordering in can be so expensive, (check out our blog on how you can be smart with your spendings in Singapore!) and experiment with different recipes that I find online. I love pasta and would usually attempt to cook it in various styles like baked, cream, or tomato-based and have even tried the viral TikTok feta cheese pasta!
I crawl into bed and start mindlessly scrolling through my socials. Once I’m done, I would usually pick up my book of the moment (I’m currently reading “It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover) then watch some Netflix after. I also make sure to check the emails every now and then to make sure nothing urgent pops up. I try to go to bed before midnight, but the next episode of Inventing Anna just can’t wait till the next day.