This week, we sat down with our Property Manager, Helen, to get insight into her life and her role in the business!

1. How long have you been working with Triton?

I started at Triton Hearing three years ago, in May 2018. It all started with a hiss and a roar. I was thrown into my first clinic refurbishment on my third day with the company. I was tasked with packing up the Warkworth clinic to get it ready for its makeover. 
It was hard work, but great fun, really rewarding and a first week I will never forget!

Behind the scenes Helen from property 1

2. How many clinics have you opened since you started?

I would think it has been about 13-14 new clinics. The past three years have been a pivotal period in Triton’s development. We have worked hard to expand our nationwide presence and make our services more accessible to clients around the country! On top of that, we have had relocations and clinic refurbishments. Throw a new Call Centre and Support Office into the mix, and it has kept me on my toes!

Triton Hearing Anglesea, clinic refurbishment


Triton Hearing Anglesea, Hamilton Audiology Clinic

3. How did you end up getting into property management?

I started working for a competitor at 19 in the general role of reception/accounts. Being in a small team required me to work across many different aspects of the company. Working in this way allowed me to develop and grow my skill set and find what I enjoyed doing. I love organising and streamlining functions to make a space suitable for staff and clients to have an enjoyable experience! Over my time, I helped this business grow from 12 sites to over 70.
After taking time off to have my children, I got the call from Triton Hearing. The timing was right, and I was excited at the prospect of working with a company with a client-centric business model. Building a clinic is not just about the practical side of audiology. The moment a client walks through the door, their experience starts. Being a part of a journey that makes them feel comfortable and welcome is infinitely rewarding and makes my job incredibly worthwhile. 

4. What is the best part of your job?

The part I enjoy the most is handing over a new site to our team. Whether that be a new site, relocation or refurbishment, seeing the team enjoy their workspace makes all of the hard work worth it. Our staff spend more time in their work environment than they do at home, so I do my best to create a space they feel comfortable in. 
On top of that, seeing these clinics develop after the handover and go from strength to strength in staff morale and clinic revenue is really satisfying. 

5. What is the most challenging part of your job?

The waiting. When you find the perfect location, you want to move fast as you can see the potential to develop brand awareness and help our clients. Often sites are owned by more than one landlord, and each needs to approve things! Sometimes you can sign a place up in two weeks; others can take 3-5 months of negotiations. 

6. What does a day in your life look like?

Property is incredibly varied, and no two days are the same. I tend to break my days into three categories:

Location Scouting Days:
I leave home at 5 to get to their airport. There is usually lots of walking up and down the streets identifying the ideal area for our new or relocating clinics. I typically go into shops to see if the existing tenants are interested in moving or ask the staff what they think of the area and get a local feel. When I have days like these, I like to make sure I have time to visit any of our current clinics in the surrounding area to make sure we are on top of anything they require.
New Clinic Set-Up Days:
The clinic setups are a very physical aspect of the role. We are on our feet for usually a 10-hour day (which is excellent to get our step count up!) and spend a lot of time lifting, moving and unpacking boxes. These days involve me focusing on managing contractors, cleaning, organising, and taking many phone calls!
Office Day:
I like to get into the office when I can to stay connected with the rest of the Support Office team. When I'm in the office, I will have several meetings, spend time replying to emails. I will also review plans and last-minute details, work on ways to improve each new site and work through lease terms. 

7. Can you give us an insight into what goes into opening a new clinic?

Sure! Once we have decided on the area we want to open a new clinic in, we need to establish the site criteria. The demographics, population and competitors are all factors taken into account when we decide on the size of our new clinics. We also need to think about whether the area can grow in capacity to have more than one full-time clinician or if our clinic will only ever need to have one room.
I then deal with agents and our lease consultants to find a site. Sometimes it is really hard, so getting feet on the ground and walking the streets is a great way to find the best sites. I typically like to scout out areas near pharmacies and post offices.
When I find a site, it's essential to check to see if it is accessible to clients and make sure they will easily get in and out of the building. I also like to check whether there is car parking available and access to accessible parking. Making sure a clinic will have enough street presence for clients to find us is important too!
Then I work with an amazing lease consultant  who plays an integral role in negotiating the lease. We go into our deals as long term tenants and spend a significant amount of Capex on these premises. These negotiations ensure that we are using these funds in the correct places and get support from landlords, as our fitout significantly improves their property. Whilst doing these negotiations, I work with our designer and give her a brief of what we want to establish in this site. She will draw up a concept plan to ensure a seamless client experience and make sure we can fit all of our requirements into the space.  We then have two  fantastic builders for North & South Island who ensure our fitouts are completed to a high standard and meet our brand guidelines.  We have a core team of contractors who are an integral part of this process, some who have worked with us since 2016 and are as much a part of Triton Hearing as our staff and clients.
Once the deal is signed, our designer does the full drawings; as with any house build, our fit-outs require building consents from local councils. The drawings and council approval process is approximately 8-10 weeks, with many calls and emails back and forward. 
Finally, I'll work with our Operations Team to roll out the new site! It's a long process, perhaps longer than most people realise. Ultimately it is all worth it once I do the handover and get to see the smiles on clients faces as they walk into their new clinic.

8. Lastly, How many teams do you usually collaborate with?

For every location, there are many teams internally and externally. Externally, before any physical building happening, I work with lease consultants, the landlord, our designer, builders, local councils, signage contractors, furniture suppliers and many more!
Internally it's a massive team effort. Every department in the company plays an integral role in getting these clinics open. Management, operations, finance, marketing, contact centre, HR, Area Managers, Clinic managers and Hearing Care Specialists all play a part! I feel lucky to work for a company that employs so many hard-working people, all motivated by fantastic outcomes for our clients. 
A massive thank you to Helen for giving us an insight into her role at Triton and how the property world works.  We are very fortunate to have Helen’s depth of experience so we can continue to deliver top end purpose built hearing clinics, that are a pleasure to visit and work in.

Triton Hearing Nelson, clinic refurbishment


Triton Hearing Nelson, Audiology Clinic