Lorraine North, Lettings Manager at Sodexo talks about how the BookingsGuru lettings service is helping them to manage an effective lettings programme across five schools in Exeter.
“Kajima Community first started working with us at Sodexo in 2016 and today, we manage the lettings of five sites and one primary school together – a huge undertaking managed by myself and Kajima Community Account Manager, Jill Carrington.
The Kajima Community team provides a remote, administration and marketing service through BookingsGuru, the lettings service that allows its clients to sit back and relax while it takes care of everything from promoting facilities, handling enquiries, confirming and tracking bookings, vetting hirers, invoicing and collecting payments.”
For the fast-moving Sodexo team, the BookingsGuru service has been a lifesaver. Lorraine and the team are always on the move visiting different sites, so the ability to have a hands-on overview at a moment’s notice of what is happening in terms of lettings across the various sites is crucial. At any time, the team have access to the bookings software used to manage the lettings and can check how many customers have bookings, who they are and where they are booked so that the site team can run like a well-oiled machine. Having a dedicated booking line means the team never miss a new enquiry and Jill’s experience of managing lettings and knowledge of the specific school sites means that she is able to efficiently handle all customer queries and then feedback anything to the team.
Lorraine joined the Sodexo team 15 months ago and, working closely with Jill, the lettings services across all the sites has been enhanced considerably, driving efficiencies and fine-tuning the way lettings work to maximise the service. This evolution of the service has been built on the extensive experience of Kajima Community and Lorraine’s 17 years’ experience working in the school system in Exeter. This has been undertaken in close partnership with the Academy Trust in Exeter, which oversees many of the school sites.
As a result of an increasingly streamlined and professional service, Sodexo has seen bookings at the sites increase steadily, increasing revenues by 6% across all schools, in just 12 months. It helps to have top-quality facilities across the sites and an excellent reputation across the Exeter community, but the revenue increase is also attributed to the service’s constant marketing activity to attract more and more hirers.
At the moment, the sites boast a host of activities which are available to the local community to take part in, ranging from sports groups, such as hockey, wheelchair basketball and tots rugby, to regular theatre groups, baby markets and FA coaching courses. We’re also proud to host the Exeter City FC youth training team, as well as the year-round special Olympic badminton. The ability to hire these facilities has made the schools a core part of the community.
“The Sodexo team and Kajima Community are incredibly proud of what they have achieved together, constantly improving a successful service with a relationship built on consistency, strong communication and constant feedback. The team now work together seamlessly, at a fast pace and always working together to solve the inevitable issues that crop up when you are managing the lettings across fa number of sites. The partnership will undoubtedly continue to thrive and we’re looking forward to working with Kajima Community to improve our offering even further.”
To find out more about our BookingsGuru service visit www.bookingsguru.co.uk.