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Lee O’Neill carrying a ladder on-site


The face of property maintenance 
Lee O’Neill, Gateway Facilities Management

Supervising Gateway’s own facilities management team is Lee O’Neill’s day job. Problem-solving and ensuring any property issues are fixed quickly are two aspects of the role he enjoys most. Outside of Gateway, former Army soldier Lee is often found training for a physical challenge. Trekking for three weeks to reach Everest’s base camp is next up, all for a charity supporting a Gateway colleague.

Lee has been with Gateway Facilities Management since its beginnings. The sister company was set up in 2013 as a way for Gateway Property Management to deliver proactive property maintenance. “Having everything under one roof streamlines property management for our customers,” explains Lee. Before joining the group, Lee worked in commercial facilities management. His experience across building engineering equipment, property maintenance and cleaning covers a range of sites and clients, from high street banks and retail units through to a well-known supermarket retailer.

At Gateway, Lee concentrates on residential properties, overseeing an extensive team of professionals who take care of sites in Gateway’s portfolio. “The resources required very much depend on the type of property. Each one is unique. We have caretakers who are based at larger sites full time, right through to dedicated teams that visit a property twice a week or so for four- to five-hour shifts.” Lee spends three days of the week at sites in the East and South East, from Norwich to Canterbury and everywhere in between. “I check in on the caretakers and facilities teams and make sure that everything is up to the Gateway standard. In that respect, I’m very much the eyes of the company.”

Every day is different, adds Lee. “I particularly enjoy problem-solving on the spot and making sure any property issues are fixed quickly. I’ve also really liked learning about gardening. There’s a lot to discover.” Lee emphasises the important role his team plays. “Delivering outstanding facilities management is an integral part of what we do as a business. It has an immediate, positive impact on people’s daily lives. Living in a well-kept property, with freshly cut grass in the communal areas, makes a big difference.”

For the remaining two days of the week, Lee is based at Gateway’s HQ. “I work alongside the wider Gateway team, which includes our experienced Property Managers, as well as colleagues in the accounts department when calculating budgets. Everyone is really supportive. We all believe in the power of teamwork and good communication. It feels like being part of a large family.” Lee also works closely with the new business team. “We often have to put together a facilities plan for a new site, off plan, that hasn’t been built yet. That’s another interesting challenge, especially interpreting areas of landscaped grounds from initial plans.”

Outside of work, Lee also likes a challenge, and it seems the more physically demanding the better. “I get that from my Army days,” says Lee. Walking from London to Brighton for charity is run of the mill now, so the next endeavor is a three-week trek to Everest’s base camp. Another charity is behind Lee’s Nepal trip; this time to help support a Gateway colleague. Today, Canterbury. Tomorrow, Kathmandu and beyond. Lee is only looking up, as Khumbu Valley (5,273m above sea level) beckons.

We wish Lee all the best on his trek to view the top of the world. We’ll update you on how he gets on.

Female Gateway employee holding folder

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