Appointing a New Agent in 2020
A new year and a new decade are underway, and while some may consider continuity to be the most suitable option as far as estate management services are concerned, there are circumstances whereby change could be regarded as the more prudent choice.
The role of a block management company is important for RMCs, with agents appointed to ensure that the building is managed to a high standard and it’s often the case that such services represent a significant investment. Therefore, it’s important to recruit a company devoted to providing stellar service, befitting of expectations.
While it may well be the case that you're considering other options to complete block management duties for this year, it’s important to evaluate the overall standard of the services that were received from your current provider in 2019, before making a knee-jerk decision.
When assessing the performance of your existing partnership, ask yourself: Have the current services fulfilled your expectations and exceeded your wishes?
In many instances, clients will be content with the services rendered by their block management company, yet there are times when it can be deemed the preferable decision to amicably part ways and seek an alternative arrangement.
Multiple scenarios can prompt a client to sever ties with a previous provider of estate management services. For example, sometimes companies fail to communicate effectively or fail to uphold agreements outlined during an initial consultation. Such factors can be a source of frustration and results in clients taking their custom elsewhere.
Recognising signs of a company underperforming is imperative, to ensure that you make a well-informed decision, as to whether your relationship with your block management company will continue or not.
Signs of Bad Management
Before beginning your search for a new company, it’s important to understand what many would consider being characteristics of poor service.
For example, a failure to answer telephone calls/emails or lack of response to messages is a common gripe that incites change.
It should be clear for the client what services are included within proposals. Any service commanding a fee should be attended to promptly. For example, if chores such as gardening and cleaning are being performed to a mediocre standard, this calls into question whether you’re truly receiving value for money.
2020 has begun and it’s important to begin the year on the right foot, implementing property management services in keeping with your expectations. Therefore, consider the following questions before deciding the future of your agent.
Are Your Current Providers Performing?
It’s the job of a block management company to alleviate stresses that can arise when managing a property.
Therefore, clients deploying estate management services need to consider whether their provider is working hard and offering value for money.
Should directors find themselves completing duties on their own accord, or if the company isn’t readily available, the firm isn't performing to the required standard and they should be replaced, immediately.
Professionalism, consistency, as well as respect for clients, should all be deemed indispensable characteristics when employing a block management company. In settling for less, you’ll receive substandard service.
Is Your Building Consistently Maintained?
Any distinguished block management company will go above and beyond to ensure that they keep your building clean and provide satisfactory services.
While the frequency of visits will usually be outlined in the agreed terms, trustworthy and adept suppliers will, more often than not, be more than willing to do all they can to make their client happy.
Therefore, if you’re experiencing uncertainty or there is ambiguity surrounding the arrangement, sourcing an alternative is recommended; repairs should be completed without any inconvenience to residents.
Scanlans Property Management visits properties and blocks to monitor the performance of on-site staff and contractors to ensure that lease agreements are being adhered to. The outcome of all visits is logged by the property manager and any actions are swiftly dealt with.
If your current block management company isn’t managing your building to check that everything is in order, this leaves your investment susceptible to depreciation.
A reliable organisation needs to possess in-depth knowledge of how to successfully manage contractors and staff, conduct inspections, maintenance and arrange repairs - never compromise on quality.
Are Stringent Regulations Being Implemented?
If you’re changing your block management company, it’s important to make sure that incoming provider is regulated by a professional body.
For example, Scanlans Property Management LLP is regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA).
Five years ago, Scanlans was awarded accreditation from ARMA-Q, a self-regulatory system for ARMA managing agents. We consider this to be important as the accreditation highlights our devotion to enhancing services for each of our clients.
Moreover, Scanlans are also members of RICS. Therefore, we’re obligated to comply with a strict code of conduct including compliance with the RICS Members Accounts Regulations.
Help must be sought from legitimate companies, with relevant accreditations. If you’re not sure if a company is legitimate, always be sure to follow your instinct and seek confirmation from professional sources.
Can You Contact Your Management Company?
It’s incredible how many mistakes are avoided by communicating effectively; the importance of communication should never be underestimated.
Regrettably, in some instances, getting hold of a company responsible for estate management services can be a small feat in itself. If you’re unable to speak to a representative, the issue can mount and turn into an unnecessary hardship.
There’s never an excuse for a block management company to ignore telephone calls/emails or correspondence from their clientele. If this is happening to you, then you need to seriously re-evaluate your options.
Even on national holidays, including Christmas Day, emergency services should always be made available to a client via an emergency number.
Important Factors to Consider
Always ensure that you check the finer details before taking the plunge and employing a replacement company to take control of your management services.
For example, an agreement shouldn’t be concluded with a company without checking their professional indemnity insurance, beforehand. Also, confirming the financial security of the firm is paramount, as is clarifying the credentials of staff who form the workforce.
Moreover, if you’re familiar with anyone who can provide insight into the quality of services on offer, be sure to speak with them and ask for all the advice that you can get.
Scanlans: Stellar Block Management Services for 2020
Here at Scanlans, we’ve provided property management services for over 25 years. We’re known as a knowledgeable, specialist block management company, with a diverse portfolio spanning multiple developments.
Moreover, we’ve further broadened our horizons, working alongside Pad Residential, a city centre company offering a range of services, including sales and lettings.
We’d be delighted to give you the support you deserve in 2020. Call a member of the Scanlans team on 0161 236 8888 for advice on how to change your block management arrangements.
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