How Octopus Real Estate enhanced their culture across offices 200 miles apart 👋

Steve Matthews (https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-matthews-54b2388/) is the Head of Residential lending at Octopus Real Estate. We asked Steve what he thought of Video Window and here’s what he had to say.  

Questions 

Please introduce yourself, your company, what your company does and your responsibilities. 

Octopus Real Estate covers areas ranging from equity investment into real estate assets including Care homes, Retirement villages and Affordable homes through to providing debt solutions in Residential, Commercial and Development loans.  

My role is leading the Residential lending team of c30 people across locations in London and Manchester. The team consists of Sales, Credit, Portfolio management and customer services. 

As a team we deploy c£100m of debt p/a in buy to let, bridging and refurbishment property loans 

What problem were you facing that made you seek out Video Window and how did Video Window help you overcome those problems? 

With our head office being in London we decided to open an office in Manchester in 2019. After Covid and when people began returning to the office, we noticed the smaller Manchester office was lacking some of the culture and people interactions that makes our business a special place to work. Whilst technologies such as Teams and Zoom were being used, this was predominantly for meetings and did little to help spread the culture we want between offices.  

What is the best thing about Video Window? (Or your favorite features) 

One of the best things we experienced from Video Window was to use it for fun, we’d send messages on the whiteboard, for someone’s birthday or create a game of Noughts and Crosses or Hang-Man. Being a competitive business with competitive people these games often got the attention of multiple people which then led to conversations through the window. 

What was great, was seeing games be the “ice-breaker” that often opened ad-hoc conversations for someone to say “whilst I have you!!”, leading to chats about deals which wouldn’t have happened without Video Window. 

Would you recommend our product/service and if so, who to? 

I would recommend the service to businesses who care about their culture and operate multi-location offices. When we first introduced it there was concern of it feeling a bit “Big Brother”, but people quickly settled and people realised that wasn’t the case and quickly saw the benefits of feeling like one team regardless of location. 

The Video Window team were fantastic, on hand to help with any tech questions, and consistently looking at upgrades and improvements to the service.