Quality residential property management in London is going to become ever more important. The buy-to-let surge looks set to accelerate and build-to-rent developments are taking off. Investment in leasehold property is increasing. And because developers in London are choosing to build upwards (so they get more bang for their buck) it’s clear we are going to see more leasehold flats being built in the UK and particularly in the capital.
The Web-Informed Leaseholder
More flat ownership means more people have a greater understanding of leasehold law. Not only is the leasehold market growing but flat buyers are getting more savvy. The internet has allowed potential flat buyers to quickly equip themselves with a decent grasp of leasehold knowledge. A quick web search informs the potential leaseholder of what they need to look out for when buying a flat and how to run a Residents Management Company.
Leaseholders are increasingly aware that a poor managing agent can have a negative impact on the enjoyment of their home and its value. And with all the review sites on the web it’s very easy to get a sense of the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.
So, it’s easy to see that this growing market of educated leaseholders will come to expect a fantastic Property Management experience. Pleasingly the Property Management sector is responding to this by positively engaging with annual surveys like Brethertons’ ‘State of the Property Management Nation’. Such surveys are helpful to the Property Management industry in that they allow us to compare notes and check sector progress.
Great Residential Property Management Is…
The London Assembly’s Report ‘Highly Charged’ also helps to develop a better understanding of what great Residential Property Management means to consumers. Using the report and applying our own experience we’ve compiled a list of what makes for great Property Management.
Safe And Secure Homes
A good managing agent will regularly visit the block checking the development is safe and secure and compliant with key health and safety legislation around fire, contractor compliance, and hazardous materials. Keeping on top of things like external lighting is important to security too.
An effective Property Management company will manage the block such that, over time, there is an increase in the property’s value. Leaseholders know that potential buyers quickly pick up on poor communal cleaning, tired looking gardens, and sloppy paint work.
A Pleasurable Visitor Experience
Leaseholder block managers should deliver day to day services in a way which enhances the visitor experience. Routes through the common parts: the car park, the shared gardens, the lift, and corridors gives visitors an insight into the pride attached to the development by the managing agents.
Good Community Relations
The best Property Management companies meet regularly with their leaseholders and landlords (not just at the required Annual General Meeting ) and look to build relationships between all the parties. The best managers don’t charge to attend meetings. They want to be part of the social capital of the block.
Less Stress For Everyone
Effective block management means all parties should be able to relax and enjoy their home. Leaseholders should be clear about how their money is spent and feel that they have an accessible, responsive, and helpful property manager. Satisfied leaseholders means satisfied resident Directors (no daily battles with the managing agents to get things done). And happy residents make for happy landlords (a steady income stream as a result of good value service charges because leaseholders are content to pay).
Money In The Pot
Good management also results in a healthy pot of cash to pay for day to day services and major repairs. Leaseholders generally do not object to paying when they can see where the cash is being spent. It’s easy to see the cash rich, virtuous circle of good Property Management.
Long Term Plans
Well organised managers will work with the landlords and the leaseholders to agree long term plans for the block to ensure bigger repairs and cyclical works are effectively budgeted for and executed – again adding to the value of the block and keeping the leaseholders happy.
The better Property Management companies are embracing social media, like Twitter and Facebook, in order to engage with their consumers. Social media gives a platform for consumer feedback and interaction and when it is used well can result in terrifically positive feedback for the manager and a great customer experience for the leaseholder.
Now we know what leaseholders consider to be great management – because they’ve told us – it’s our responsibility as managing agents to demonstrate we are listening and deliver great services. Similarly if you’re a leaseholder using the above as a barometer to test your own service provision and you believe your managing agent is failing then our advice is shop around. There are plenty of ways to bring in fresh, new management committed to delivering the things you have said you care about.