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Starter Company Plus Spotlight – Gillian Rice

Meet Gillian Rice, Owner of CKG Property Management. With over 13 years of experience in the customer service industry, Gillian has uncovered the secret recipe to offering a quality management service to both condo owners and board members. Through educating clients, easy communication tools and consistent support, CKG is dedicated to making condominium living easy so that owners and board members can clock out and enjoy life’s greatest pleasures.

As we’ve gotten to know Gillian, it has become very apparent that her client relationships are number one priority. From administration, financial reporting, contract management and rule enforcement, Gillian takes care of it all and is proud to do so. We couldn’t think of a better person for the job.

Read on to learn about Gillian, CKG Property Management and what she brings to the region.

What is your favourite part about being an entrepreneur?

I really enjoy the flexibility and the everchanging learning opportunities that come along with being an entrepreneur. I never realized how strong of an entrepreneurial community there is in this area which has been fun to discover. As I’m still in the beginning stages of my journey, I’m looking forward to fostering new relationships and continuing to grow my business.

What inspired you to start your business? What drives you?

In the past, I have worked for other property management companies and after having three children, I realized how much I craved and needed flexibility within my work life balance. Being home in the evenings was a non-negotiable. During my most recent maternity leave I started toying with the idea of starting my own business and all the “what ifs” that came along with it. These thoughts and ideas started to become obtainable goals and after discussing the possibility with my partner, we decided that if I was going to give business ownership a go, now was the time to do it. It’s been pretty great so far.

What services or products do you offer?

CKG’s main offering is condominium property management which is an umbrella to a variety of services ranging from administration, financial reporting, project/contract management and rule enforcement. I like to think of each Condominium Corporation as a small municipality, where I am almost every working department within that municipality. The days and interactions are always different which keeps the industry new and exciting for me.

What makes your business stand out?

As a new business in an established industry, I believe that I have found a modern software and communication system that will add great value to my clients. This provides condominium owners with the ability to review their accounts and communicate with our office and their neighbours at anytime from any device.

In addition to this, I am dedicated to educating condominium boards and owners on the various governing documents, provincial updates, and mandates with the hopes that it builds and strengthens their specific condominium community. This provides a welcoming and safe environment for all residents.

Do you have any advice for aspiring business owners who are still in the ideation phase but have not yet taken the plunge?

I was terrified of making the first step and what that may mean for myself and my family. Now that I am here, I wouldn’t change it for the world! If you still aren’t sure, talk to your friends and family about your ideas. You may be surprised at how much support you have behind you. Hash it out, ask for feedback and be willing to receive it. The South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre is a great resource for new and growing businesses. They’ll help you dissect your idea and determine if it’s viable.

Condo in Collingwood

How valuable have the resources at the SBEC been in the start-up of your business?

The SBEC has been amazing! It all started with a brief lunch date with a friend of mine who told me about SBEC and the Starter Company Plus program. Ultimately, this gave me the push that I needed to turn my idea into a reality. By reaching out and meeting with Tim and Don, it made my idea and business plan feel real until it actually became real.

The never-ending information, ongoing support, and mentorship that the SBEC has provided has been immeasurable and I am looking forward to what’s next!

A huge heartfelt thank you to Tim, Don, and Stef at the SBEC and Maryann at Community Futures SGB!

Who is your biggest cheerleader (and why)?

I’m very grateful for my family (this means blood relatives and chosen family). My kids have been so supportive (not to mention they love the business name because it has their first initials in it) and my partner always offers new suggestions. And finally, a slow clap for my parents and friends who have cheered me on since day one. I wouldn’t have come this far without any of them.

What does success look like to you – when will you know you’ve achieved it?

Success to me is defined through personal satisfaction. I’ve always loved helping others and finding new ways to spark joy. My hope is to bring this internal instinct into my business and become an integral part of the community. I want to ensure my clients are happy, satisfied and feel comfortable coming to me with any type of questions or concerns they have. This company is built around giving back to the local community and I plan to make this apparent in the work that I do.

My idea(s) are to find ways to support the local community and bring the Condominium management industry recognition in Grey and Simcoe counties.

What are you favourite local spots to visit on a day off?

Days off are usually spent with my kids. We love visiting the Rocklyn Inn ice cream and snack shop and finding our way to one of the parks along the bay. In addition, the new park at Sunset Point in Collingwood is pretty awesome and we frequent Memorial Park in Meaford, too.

How do you want your clients to feel when they interact/purchase from you/use your service?

Simply put, I want my clients to know that I care about their needs and their property. I want to provide a service that they value that is lead with equal parts compassion, understanding, and fairness. This comes from educating my clients on the various regulations in place, showing up when they need me, providing clear and concise communication and information sharing.

What is your favorite weekend trip?

My family has a property with acreage and forest outside of Powassan which makes for many fun weekends. There is no reception or service available (blessing in disguise) and it is a beautiful, relaxing and comforting place to refuel and recharge our batteries. I always come home feeling relaxed and refreshed despite what else may be going on.

Is there a type of music genre you listen to when working?

Music has the power to create emotional arousal. Through music, I’m transported back to past memories that ignite feelings linked to specific events or people.

Often, while working, I will revert to music that used to listen to in the 90’s as it seems to boost my mood. I can sign along without having to concentrate on the words.

Connect with Gillian + CKG Property Management to learn more.

CKG Property Management
Email: info@ckgpropertymanagement.com
Phone: 519-379-7672