Celebrating 40 years of Kirkwood Homes: A conversation with Julian Henderson, Maintenance Manager
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Celebrating 40 years of Kirkwood Homes: A conversation with Julian Henderson, Maintenance Manager

11th Jun, 2024

Quality is embedded in everything we do at Kirkwood Homes. Not only is this apparent throughout our developments and luxury homes, but also in the way we care for our customers before and after they become part of the Kirkwood community.

After working as a joiner for a number of years, Julian Henderson joined the Kirkwood Homes team in 2013. Starting as a finishing joiner, Julian soon progressed to Site Manager, before moving into his current role of Maintenance Manager; where he heads up our customer care team.

We caught up with Julian to find out more about his career at Kirkwood Homes, how his role as Maintenance Manager has contributed to the company’s success and what he loves most about being part of the Kirkwood team…

Julian Henderson

What has kept you at Kirkwood Homes after all this time?

“Throughout the 11 years of my career at Kirkwood, I have always enjoyed a good rapport with my team, and all the staff at head office. They’re like an extended family, and I truly enjoy coming into work every day."

“When challenges arise, everyone is happy to help each other out and provide support, which makes us effective at solving issues and creates a nice, welcoming team dynamic.”

What’s your favourite Kirkwood memory so far?

“For me personally, a few customers have actually become friends - and this has definitely been a highlight for me."

“A large part of my role centres around visiting customers’ homes after they’ve moved in, to help resolve any issues they may be experiencing, and ensure any snagging is completed to a high standard. I love chatting to clients, and have a real passion for helping - ensuring that quality we all strive for flows right through into the after-sales period."

“One customer in particular stands out, as I went to their house for a small snagging issue and noticed a picture of a fish hanging up in the hallway. I’m a keen angler myself, so I commented on the lovely painting and it led to a conversation about fishing. He was so pleased with the work that we had completed and ended up inviting me for a day of fishing which was really nice of him. We didn’t catch any fish I have to say, but we’ve been friends ever since!”

Maintenance Manager

How do you feel you have contributed to the success of Kirkwood Homes?

“I feel that my background in joinery, coupled with my site experience, has given me a real understanding of how to deal with clients, as I can empathise or resolve any concerns they may have, which I hope, in turn, has been extremely useful to the business. I am also in the fortunate position of developing and continually enhancing our customer care procedures, to ensure that any issues clients encounter can be addressed as soon as possible."

“I also believe it’s important to share customer feedback with the wider Kirkwood Homes team, such as our technical staff, so we have a continual feedback loop which can influence change and help us to continually optimise our portfolio of housetypes. This will contribute to Kirkwood’s overall success, as we’re consistently creating more desirable homes.”

Which development has been your favourite during your time working at Kirkwood Homes and why?

Inchmarlo in Banchory and Forgan Grange in Drumoig are my favourites - they’re both absolutely beautiful sites! In terms of a specific housetype, ‘The Gullane’ would be my ideal home - the design, the layout, the style, the kitchen, the family room… it ticks all the boxes.”

Julian Henderson

What are the biggest challenges we face in the industry today? Do you think they will change in the next 40 years?

“Following Brexit and the pandemic, there have been numerous challenges, including rising costs overall, a shortage of materials and a decline in skills and labour. We do employ apprentices, although many more are needed to fulfil the needs of the construction industry."

“There are significant technical advances within the sector that have helped us become more efficient, and I believe these developments will keep evolving over the next 40 years. For customer care specifically, we have embraced digital technology for clients so they can easily advise on snagging, which makes reporting simpler, more accurate, and enables us to plan and action maintenance as quickly as possible.”

As we celebrate Kirkwood Homes' 40th anniversary, what legacy do you hope the company leaves behind?

“Looking forward, I hope Kirkwood Homes continues to undertake similar projects like the apartments at Royal Dornoch. Projects like this showcase our dedication to superior craftsmanship and the high standards and quality we aim to maintain."

“Over the next 40 years, I’d like Kirkwood to embrace further ambitious projects and continue striving to be bigger and better, which will, in turn, leave a positive and lasting impact on the communities we serve - and the broader industry."

Celebrating 40 years of bringing quality to life

Read more stories from the Kirkwood Homes team, and discover incentives launched as part of our 40th birthday celebrations

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Celebrating 40 years of Kirkwood Homes: A conversation with Julian Henderson, Maintenance Manager