Kim Lidbury, group director of property management at Leaders Romans Group, on how she got started in property, her top film and podcast recommendations and her best and worst purchases

Kim Lidbury

Kim Lidbury

How did you join the property industry?

I have been in the property industry for 24 years, starting my career as a property manager at 18, with little understanding about property or the management of a property, as I was living at home then.

I was really interested in the architecture of London and all the different properties within the city, so I found a role that allowed me to visit different areas while learning about the industry, too.

What does your job entail?

I am now five years into my journey with Leaders Romans Group (LRG) as group director of property management. This involves working with around 550 property management colleagues to provide a high level of service relating to the day-to-day management of their properties, building strong relationships and continually growing the business.

What do you like most about the property industry?

The people make our industry what it is – without them we would not have an industry to succeed in as we do. Property management is an ever-changing industry, which means no two days are the same.

And what do you dislike most about it?

While the speed of the industry is my favourite thing, the changes can affect customers. Ensuring that communication with customers is robust when the industry changes and making sure we provide them with a strong advice-led service can be really difficult. We want to get it right and sometimes, specifically around legislation changes, we may not always have the full facts when legislation is first announced, or when an act of parliament is finalised.

What would you change about the property industry?

We have more than 150 pieces of legislation within the lettings industry, and while all are relevant and important, it can feel that the government may not always listen to the experts before making decisions and changes to it. This can really affect private residential landlords and has over the years seen a decline in those investing in the industry.

What barriers or challenges have you overcome?

The property industry is very demanding and can put pressure on one’s time and energy as it is ever-changing.

I am frequently educating myself and my team on regular changes. Having recently become a mum, it is challenging to ensure I am doing everything I can to keep on top of the fast pace of property while juggling this new and chaotic home life. Both have very different demands and have been very rewarding in their own ways.

What are you most proud of in your career?

At LRG, we are fully invested in the development of our staff, and recently implemented the senior property management course. I always wanted LRG to be somewhere people came to progress and, thanks to this course, by the end of 2023 we will have provided just under 100 people with that progression.

What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?

Never aim for perfection; aim for exceptional because you can always do your best and exceptional is more achievable. Property management can feel like a thankless task. However, keep going as it is all worth it.

Cultural recommendations

Something to watch: 

Believe it or not, a film I really like is The Last Samurai. An American military adviser embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy after he is captured in battle – it is a great film.

Something to listen to: 

The Diary of a CEO with Steven Bartlett is a great ‘self-growth’ podcast. It is uplifting, educational and inspirational.

The best and worst things you’ve spent money on: 

The best thing I have spent money on is, hands down, my three-year-old Rottweiler Howard. He is my big baby and a much-loved member of our family. There is never a dull moment with Howard around. The worst is chocolate.

I have a very sweet tooth and love chocolate; while it is the best when I am eating it, it is not when I am having to run to burn it off.

One celebrity you’d like to meet: 

The celebrity I would most like to spend an hour with is Michelle Obama, as she has championed a multitude of important causes throughout her life and I would love to hear about these.