Staff Spotlight: Peter Steele

As September draws to a close and what’s left of summer steadily ebbs away, it’s time for us to embark upon yet another instalment of our Staff Spotlight feature, in which we get to know some of the dedicated people that make Mobysoft the social housing sector’s most trusted data analytics partner. This month, we met up with enterprise business development director, Peter Steele, who’s now in his second stint at Mobysoft and is in the midst of developing the company’s offering for larger social housing providers with 35,000+ properties.

How did you come to work in social housing? 

Joining Mobysoft was my first role in social housing and my first real exposure to the sector in general. You hear it all the time in this sector that many ‘fell into housing’ and I think that for a lot of the population, the social housing sector is on the periphery of consciousness. That needs to change, and more people need to see housing as a viable, long-term career choice. 

Describe yourself in 3 words: 

Curious, collegiate, obsessive. 

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your past experience within the social housing sector? 

I’m now 11 years into a career as a software sales professional, in my second stint at Mobysoft. I initially joined to lead our business in Scotland, where we grew the customer base from 3 to 30 in a four-year period. After spending a year away at a Tier 1 American software company, I returned at the end of 2022 to build out Mobysoft’s Enterprise function. 

What does your role at Mobysoft entail? 

As enterprise business development director, my role is to develop Mobysoft’s Strategic Accounts Programme to serve our ‘enterprise’ customers (i.e. those organisations typically with 30,000+ properties). These providers have some unique elements and drivers, particularly from a technology perspective. There are also potentially dozens of stakeholders and many teams to align with and make sure Mobysoft is aligned to their strategic goals. 

What is the most interesting part of your job? 

Travelling and seeing new places. I’ve been lucky enough in this role to have travelled the length of breadth of every county of the UK, to places I would never have thought of going in my own time. 

What are your biggest challenges at the moment? 

Scaling the Enterprise operation and meeting the demand remains my biggest challenge. In the era of doing more with less, better, a key requirement is proven solutions that deliver results quickly. 

What’s most meaningful part of your job? 

Easily, when after months or even years of discussions and intense engagement, an organisation that you have taken on that journey starts to see real-life, meaningful impact on their business. In Mobysoft’s case that may be reducing tenant indebtedness and/or improving staff wellbeing.  

How do you measure the success of the outcomes directly influenced via your role? 

Ultimately, a sales role is about driving revenue for the business, but increasingly this a whole team effort, with potentially over a dozen people involved in a sales process. I am indebted to so many talented colleagues across the business for their efforts and support! 

What would you say are the biggest challenges faced by social landlords in the current climate? 

Having returned to the sector in late 2022, I’ve never seen it under this much scrutiny. From the Regulator of Social Housing, Ombudsman, and national media, landlords are facing intense pressure at a time when their budgets are being squeezed like never before.  A big question they need to answer is around affordability and the ‘scope-creep’ we’ve seen in recent years – can landlords continue to deliver services the way they have been, or will difficult decisions have to be made? 

Working on anything interesting at the moment? 

Developing Mobysoft’s Strategic Accounts Programme is very interesting and a completely new motion for us. Watch this space! 

How would you describe Mobysoft and what it does to the uninitiated? 

Mobysoft is a business that doesn’t stand still. Much larger companies could learn a lot from Mobysoft’s approach to customer success. We ultimately help organisatons deliver more with less, better, in the domains of income collection and repairs and maintenance.  

If you could wave a magic wand and change one aspect of the social housing sector overnight, what would it be? 

I’d like to see a broader attitude towards risk/innovation and ‘failing fast’, where providers adopt a mentality of not fearing failure when it comes to innovation and trying new technologies. 

What has been your proudest achievement at Mobysoft? 

One of them is landing Mobysoft’s first customers in Northern Ireland. It was a place I’d never been but ended up spending a lot of time over in Belfast and Derry/Londonderry. The whole process required a lot of investment in understanding the nuances of the sector over there and the way they operated. Great people as well! 

What are your other passions outside housing? 

Boxing is my main passion and yes, that has involved competing. Boxers can be unique, fascinating individuals and I’ve read a lot of boxing history books on the incredible lives and careers of Muhammad Ali, Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey and many more… 

How do you unwind after work? 

Is it possible to unwind with three kids aged 8 and under? 

What is your ideal holiday?  

Genuinely, anywhere at the minute! Living in the North East, I am of course a big champion of Northumberland, but I also love the sun, so spending time on a beach with the kids somewhere hot is all I ask… 

Well, that’s another of our key staff members ticked off the list for this insightful feature. If you enjoyed reading this then head back to these very pages at the same time next month for Staff Spotlight where we’ll be getting to know another Mobysoft staffer a little better.

Dean Quinn