Why I Work In… is a monthly feature, sponsored by Huddersfield-based Scriba PR where we ask people about their jobs and the industry they work in. Julia Ford, marketing manager at Towngate PLC, answers our questions.
Tell us a little bit about Towngate
Towngate PLC remains one of the North’s leading commercial and industrial property experts, providing high-quality spaces which allow occupants to grow and thrive. The team — along with its network of qualified contractors — is also well versed in taking secondary properties and giving them a new lease of life, transforming them into vibrant, modern spaces.
And what’s your role there – how would you describe your job to an alien?
I’m Towngate’s marketing manager, which means I am responsible for the promotional activity on all our available properties. I also oversee the smooth administration for the property department, working alongside our professional surveying team to guarantee our customers an exemplary service.
How long have you worked in this sector?
I have worked within the Towngate team for almost 21 years now — wow!
What skills make someone a good marketing manager?
I would say strong organisational and administrative skills, a good helping of creativity, and the ability to ‘think outside the box.’ We’re extremely proud of Towngate’s reputation within the industrial and commercial property sector and across the region — which has developed through hard work, creative thinking, and keeping a clear focus on the organisation’s key business objectives at all times.
What’s your advice for people looking to get into commercial and industrial property?
It would depend on the route they wish to take within the broad property industry. However, knowledge of the sector is paramount. Firstly, study the region, and within that, the best performing businesses. Secondly, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and speak to people. As landlords, I have no doubt that our tenants prefer to build trusting relationships with individuals, rather than interacting with a faceless organisation.
If you could describe your job in only three words, which would you choose?
Varied, busy, rewarding.
What do you most love about it?
Being part of a fun, talented team.
What word would your colleagues use to describe you?
That’s a difficult one – maybe ‘creative’ or ‘imaginative.’
Where do you hope your career may take you?
I’m pretty happy where I am to be honest. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, and grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given, and the wonderful mentor I had in the early years of my career. To continue to progress the organisation and maybe even guide a colleague would be a wonderful legacy to leave behind when I retire — many years to go yet, but it’s good to focus on the future!
If someone is reading this and thinks, I’d love to work at Towngate what should they do?
Unfortunately, we don’t have any vacancies at the moment — we’re such a tight-knit team and love working together so it’s rare for anyone to leave and a position to become available.
However, an aspiring candidate could write to me in the first instance, and we would keep in touch in case a suitable role should arise.