“It’s all about the people”: An Interview with Rapid Accommodation’s Business Director, Linda Anderson-Smith

‘Passionate, Professional, Personable.’ That’s our motto here at Rapid Accommodation. We’re passionate about what we do. We always work in a professional way, as you’ll discover when you book your business accommodation with us. We go to great lengths to make sure there’s always a person on the end of the phone, not some automated robot.

So, to help you get to know even more about the people behind Rapid Accommodation, we’ve put together a special series of interviews that dig a little deeper into what motivates us to help you save time and money and make working away feel that little bit closer to home.

In the hot seat today we have our Business Director, and the true ‘First Lady’ of Rapid Accommodation, Linda Anderson-Smith. We drop in on the conversation with Linda telling us why she likes working with Rapid so much:

LINDA: It’s all about the people. I love getting to know people as it is. I’m a pretty chatty person, as most people quickly realise. But working with Rapid, I get spoilt. Our team is amazing. But also all the different clients we get to work with. It’s the best thing.

RAPID: It’s a pretty social kind of business really isn’t it? When you’re working away, a dinner soon turns into a few drinks. That’s sometimes when you get the best business done, right?

LINDA: Oh, definitely. Though I might be guilty of letting those nights go on a little too late! But yes. I love those moments. Those connections you’re able to make on the road, after a tiring day on your feet at conference, and you get together with like-minded people and just find out more about each other’s businesses. We’ve struck up lasting partnerships with a lot of different companies in moments just like that.

RAPID: Any particular one spring to mind?

LINDA: There was an event we did at the NEC in Birmingham and that was brilliant. We met a lot of different clients during the day and they invited us out for dinner at night. We all packed into this little Indian restaurant and had a proper laugh. It was a great evening just connecting over business. It was a late night. Very late. But we learned a lot at that event and we’re still working with a lot of the people we met that day.

RAPID: Aside from those organic meetings, how have you built up the huge roster of clients you work with today? How did you get started?

LINDA: It’s a lot of things. In the beginning I was lucky that I knew a lot of people in the local steel and construction industry and bosses would use the guesthouse here in Howsham that I was running at the time. Businesses saw how much we cared about looking after them and word started to spread. These days we have people referring us constantly.

RAPID: That must be nice as it shows your personal approach is working, right?

LINDA: It’s very rewarding. And it’s lovely to be at that stage. But don’t get me wrong, in the early days we had to be pushy too. We networked a lot and would just pick up the phone and start speaking to different businesses. It was hard work, but we believe so much in what we’re doing that it was worth it and as soon as people gave us a shot, they discovered how much we make life so much easier for them.

RAPID: It was a networking event how you met your finance director, Karl, right?

LINDA: Ha. It was. But he wasn’t the finance director from the start. We just struck up a good connection and so did Rebecca, my daughter. We all had different businesses at the time but somehow Rapid was born between us and we all needed to figure out who would do what. I’m a people person and terrible with numbers, so Karl took that side of things. Thankfully. Rebecca makes everything tick. And I, well, I like to talk. So I carried on going around and talking to people. I haven’t really stopped since.

RAPID: The three of you must have a great connection?

LINDA: Oh we have mega fallouts. Mega fallouts. Ha. But seriously, it’s good as we’re all totally honest with each other. We push each other to make the company stronger and figure out how to go above and beyond for our clients. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Besides, I’m the mother of the team so of course, my say is final. At least, I like to think so!

RAPID: You work away from home a lot yourself. What’s your advice for people who spend a lot of time on the road?

LINDA: Pack enough sweets and crisps. I can’t get ten minutes down the motorway before I’m raiding the snacks. Wine gums are my favourite if anyone wants to treat me.

RAPID: Ha. That’s good advice.

LINDA: I guess chargers too. But not just remembering to take them on the road. Remember to bring them back too! The amount of people who leave their stuff behind in hotels. Those things aren’t cheap so don’t forget them.

RAPID: What annoys you most about working away?

LINDA: Hmmm. That’s a tough one. I’ll have to think about that.

RAPID: OK. You’re usually out and about while you’re on the road, but if you do find yourself stuck in the hotel room, what’s the film would you be watching?

LINDA: That’s easy. Grease. You can’t beat Grease, can you? I love that film.

RAPID: Nothing wrong with Grease. It’s a good film.

LINDA: Oh, I’ve thought of what annoys me. People needing the toilet ten minutes after setting off for a trip. Does that count? My daughter Rebecca does that all the time.

RAPID: Ha. Sure. That is annoying. And it’s good for people to know about when travelling with you. On that note, Rapid is constantly expanding right now and always looking for new talent. What do you look for in new people joining the Rapid family?

LINDA: I like people who don’t look at their watch. They’re not looking at the time constantly or have their minds elsewhere. I like to see people in the moment and committed to what they’re doing. Our team right now are so dedicated to what we’re doing. There’s a buzz in the office. You couldn’t ask for a better culture and we’re keen to make sure that continues, no matter how much we grow. What I can promise is anyone who makes the cut will absolutely love it here.

RAPID: I know they will. And thank you for sharing your thoughts, Linda.

LINDA: No problem. It’s a pleasure and I’m happy for any excuse to talk about Rapid. Of course, if anyone reading wants to find out more about what we do and how we could help them…I’m always looking to make new connections, so just reach out and we can grab a coffee.

And there you go…the offer is on the table from Linda herself. So, before booking your next work trip, why not get in touch with us first to see how we could help. You can call us direct on 0330 090 41 42 or email info@rapidaccommodation.com

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