We are not just a family business, we are superbly assisted by many talented individuals that encapsulate the spirit of the business and help us provide the level of service that we do.
Each week, we will be shining the spotlight on the whole team that supports our business, from maintenance and cleaning to digital marketing and design services, we bring you the People Behind Property Assistant.
Scott Cairns, Content Writer
We started working with Scott in February 2017 in order to focus our attention on the way we communicate with our clients. His first job was to start publishing regular content for our website with weekly articles on property related advice, information and news. Both myself and Julie were immediately taken with his ability to grasp exactly the right tone for our business and were impressed with how readily he saw our vision for what makes Property Assistant different.
Of course, this piece could have been entirely written by Scott himself, so he would say that…..!
Since then, Scott has been helping us with most of our written material including individual websites for prestige properties, regular newsletters and ebooks. He also manages the content that goes out on our various social media channels.
With a background in business himself, he has a professional manner but is a likeable, warm and charismatic communicator. We find the work he does to be of enormous value to help build our online brand and gain that all-important visibility in a competitive marketplace.
Scott is self-employed, works from home and provides regular content for a varied portfolio of clients including some niche international websites. Fuelled entirely by coffee, he lives in the Evendons area with his daughter, two Labradors and a murderous cat; Dudley.
We handcuffed Scott to a chair and forced him to answer his own prepared questions as part of the series and here is what we found. (He was later released- honest)
Tell us a little about what your job entails.
I’m a freelance digital content writer which basically means that I provide the text that goes on client’s websites and online advertising. I also get involved in creating traditional print media marketing such as leaflets, promotional guides and other sales documents that need some words to go along with the images. On average, I write more than 25,000 words a week on a range of subjects from the history of the Roman Catholic Church and the legislation on gambling in Australia to European city guides and how to save money on your home insurance.
What did you do yesterday?
I was really proud of myself yesterday as I’d set myself an ambitious goal for a couple of pieces I’d been planning to write. I work up early at 4.00am and finished work at about 7.00pm. In total I wrote over 7,000 words and managed to walk the dogs, collect my daughter from school and make a cracking vegetarian lasagne!
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
My job can get quite lonely as I don’t often talk to many people during the course of a day as 99% of the communications I have with my clients is over email. This means that when I do get company, I can either talk excessively or get a bit flustered with getting my words out. Working like this doesn’t suit everybody but I wouldn’t change it for the world and could never imagine going back to office working.
What kind of problems do you face on a day-to-day basis?
Finding a fresh approach to a subject is quite tricky as the internet is a crowded place and, if you want to produce content that stands a good chance of being read , the work has to be informative but with a point of difference. Some days, finding the right ‘key’ into a brief I am working on can be difficult and I can let myself fall prey to procrastination as a way to avoid starting tricky pieces. When writing a longer piece you can find yourself repeating the same word over and over which is annoying for the reader so finding synonyms that people understand can be a problem.
What’s it like to work for Property Assistant?
I’m exceptionally lucky that the work I do is in high demand and I get a lot of choice over who I do business with. Dan Julie and Daryl are all great people and I enjoy the vision they have for the company and the way they develop relationships with their clients. The work I complete for them is also informative and I enjoy sitting down each week to produce content for them. I’ve also learned a lot about the local area during my research.
If you weren’t working in your current job, what would be your dream career?
I’d be a writer, or more specifically, I’d be a novelist. I’ve had a modicum of success with my own fiction works and plenty in the pipeline to complete but, after a long day writing, it’s not easy to make a start on your own.
What would be your ideal home and where would this be?
I’ve been fascinated with Scandinavia for ages and have become obsessed with Iceland; Reykjavik in particular. I’ve been four times now and can easily see myself living in the city and enjoying their creative culture whilst sipping hot coffee from a chic Nordic cafetière and maybe relaxing in a hot pot.
If you won the lottery jackpot, after a house, what would be your first big purchase?
Having had to move home several times over the last six years, I’ve grown very bored of having ‘stuff’ and ‘things’, so I am not that big on possessions. However, if I’m to be living in Iceland then I am sure as heck going to need a big 4×4 for the winter to make sure I can still get out and about in the interior. I know it’s not eco-friendly but, in Iceland, it’s essential unless you plan to stay in the city for the whole of the winter.
What’s your guilty pleasure in life?
I don’t, as a rule, watch that much TV but I do go a bit mad for Masterchef, Come Dine With Me and some Scandi Noir. When I’ve had a productive day, I’ll kick back for an hour and watch some catch up or throw on some Netflix.
What do you do to unwind after a stressful day?
There is little in this world that can’t be made better by having a long soak in a bath with a good book and a cup of tea. Reading is the ultimate form of escapism and I can easily divert my attention with some well-written fiction.
What five words would your best friend use to describe you?
Energetic, creative, loyal, hardworking and peculiar.
What is the most important thing in life?
Gosh, that’s a hard question and I chose it! I think that health is the most important thing as you cant enjoy life if you aren’t well. Taking care of others and ‘things’ comes quite naturally to most people but taking care of yourself is quite hard to make time for. I’ve had some experience of how poor health can have a significant and detrimental impact on the lives of people around you so I’ve made big steps to improving my own health over the last few years. I’ve given up smoking, switched to a mainly pescatarian diet and even cut my alcohol intake to half that of recommended weekly levels. I do feel the benefit and have seen just how quickly small changes can make a big improvement.
Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
Maybe in Iceland, relaxing in an outdoor hot pot and planning a follow up to my best-selling debut ….