DAY IN A LIFE … Heather Staff
What does a day in the life mean?
Definition (expr.) a typical day; a normal day. Examples I wonder what a day in the life of a Rock star is like?
We continue this series of daily insights with: –
Heather Staff, Co-Founder of newly launched Estate Agency CRM street.co.uk and prospecting tool, Spectre.
Heather and her brother Tom, have co-founded Street Group – home to two industry leading proptech products: Street.co.uk and Spectre. Heather tells us they are “building the software estate agents have been waiting for – a truly modern estate agency platform which revolutionises the customer experience.”
That all sounds great but what we really want to know is what does being a co-founder of a tech company in the property space look like on a normal day? Is it better than being a Rock Star?
A Day In The Life Of A Proptech Co-founder
6.30am-7am – Wake up ‘I stopped setting an alarm during the first lockdown last year and found that I wake up naturally at around 6.30am-ish every morning. I used to have a terrible habit of browsing my phone for a while before getting up, but I’ve recently banned my phone from the bedroom and have got so much time back!’
7.30am – Coffee ‘I love my first coffee of the day. I recently bought a bean to cup coffee machine so I’m now classing it as a hobby rather than an addiction.’
8.00am – At my desk ‘This first hour of the day is by far my most productive time. I’ve tried every productivity hack going, but the one I’ve found that consistently works for me is the Ivy Lee method. Each evening, I write out the 6 most important things I want to get done the following day, starting with the most important first. I know I’m most productive in the morning, and I use the hour before 9am (before the emails and the calls start) to tick off that most important task.’
9.00am – Daily briefing ‘We have had a daily team call in the diary at 9am every day since the first lockdown. We take turns to lead the call and without fail I come off it more motivated and energised each time. I feel incredibly lucky to work with such creative and uplifting people every day. ’
9.30-10.30 – Spectre Taskforce ‘I love this meeting. Led by the Product Owner on Spectre, it brings together the Head of Engineering, the Lead Dev for Spectre, our Head of Data, Head of Customer Success, Head of Sales and Head of Marketing. It’s always a focused hour on listening to the feedback from Spectre clients, including product and feature suggestions (to any Spectre clients reading – thank you for your ongoing feedback, it’s incredibly valued and we take it very seriously). We then decide priorities for the development team for future sprints based on the feedback.’
11-12am – Word on the Street ‘Every week myself, Tom, the Street Product Owner and Street commercial team get together on a call to update each other about onboarding progress, feedback from Street beta clients and to discuss the product roadmap. We have the most forward-thinking agents in the UK either on the Street platform or on the waitlist, so we work closely with them to help shape the direction of the product.’
12-12.30pm Donut chat ‘We use slack as a communication tool across the business. In March, when we moved to working 100% remotely, we found a slack integration called Donut, that randomly pairs you with someone else in the business for a 30min non-work chat each day. We’ve had 19 people join the team since March and I’ve found this a really useful way of getting to know people that I wouldn’t normally be having meetings with on a day-to-day basis.’
1pm-2pm Recruitment update ‘Our Head of Talent Laura has been tasked with doubling the size of the team this year as we’re investing heavily to cope with the demand for both Street and Spectre. Laura, Tom and I regularly catch up to discuss the talent pipeline and how we can continue to find people who love this industry as much as we do.’
2pm-3pm Emails, calls & admin ‘Usually plenty of these to fill more than a couple of hours!’
3pm Proptech supplier calls ‘I’m talking a lot to other proptech suppliers around integrations with Street at the moment. There is huge momentum within the proptech space to build integrations with each other and reduce duplicate data entry for agents.’
5pm – End of Day call ‘Wrap up with the team, we all share anything of note from the day’.
5.30pm – 6pm – Co-founder debrief/catchup In reality Tom and I often speak to each other throughout the day. Truthfully, I lean on Tom a lot, even if it’s just to vent, laugh or debate something with him, it’s very useful to have a sibling who you get along with as a co-founder!
6pm – Indoor cycle whilst listening to a podcast (can’t claim to do this everyday… although the recently established Street Group Strava team competition has helped!)
7pm – Hope that my husband has cooked dinner, do my best to attempt to cook (poorly) if not
8pm – Relax – Usually involves a bit of Netflix and whatever book I’m reading at the time. I used to read a lot on holiday, but since holidays are off the cards at the moment, I’m trying to fit it more into my daily routine.
Do you work at weekends, if so, how many hours? ‘Not usually. The lead up to the launch of Street necessitated it a few times but generally not (although can’t help but check slack).’
And typically how many hours a week do you work on average? ‘Probably around 50 hours a week in terms of ‘at my desk’ but I think one of the hardest things about being a founder is that you never really switch off.’
Do you work from home yes/no if so what % ‘Currently, yes 100%. I really enjoy being in the office normally, but post-covid we will be continuing with the option for the team to choose to work from home up to 2 or 3 days a week, so I expect I probably won’t go back to being 100% in the office.’
How did you get your job? My brother Tom had the idea for Spectre, and we were discussing it one Christmas. I was a consultant in London at the time, but having two estate agents as parents meant that I understood the industry very well and immediately thought it was a fantastic idea. So essentially, I jumped on the bandwagon and haven’t looked back since!
Rock Star Rating 1 to 10 – How much do you like your job
10 – ‘I genuinely feel extremely lucky to be doing what I’m doing and to work with such an incredible bunch of people on a day-to-day basis. There are always ups and downs with running a business, but the highs definitely outnumber the lows!’
If you would like to share your ‘day in the life’ with the Estate Agent Networking community – scaling to over 100,000 now – just drop me a line – whether you are an EPC assessor, surveyor, corporate CEO, COO, CTO, Lettings manager, Inventory Clerk, Solicitor, in fact any vertical in the industry, what is your day like?
LIVE LINK [email protected]