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If someone were to ask my opinion on property management I would usually say that I have a “Utopia” view which has been cultivated over some time. Indeed, my blog about “why I love property management” garnered a lot of interest and comments. However, I would be the first to admit that most people, be they in the property management industry (and indeed clients) do not hold the same view and that it takes some time to get to this state of management.
I suppose, after careful consideration, I can understand why. Generally, when taking over a property you are already at a disadvantage as you are taking over due to what is perceived as a lack of management and a dereliction of duty by the previous property management company. For the clients themselves, all they know or feel they know is bad property management so do not have experience of property management the MIH way.
For a property manager at any level, management can be extremely stressful at any time, but particularly when you are taking over a property. Often you will have received a poor handover from the previous agents and owners/residents who do not have a clear understanding of the role of the property manager. This coupled with owners/residents and tenants asking for works to be carried out immediately and often a lack of funds, can quickly lead to the property manager feeling impotent in their role and the clients feeling they are incompetent and as ineffective as their predecessor.
So the question is how do MIH avoid this situation? Find a way to work through what, at first, feels like a quagmire and get closer to the utopian view that we at MIH espouse?
When taking over a property, our advice is to spend some time getting to know the property. Once you have a feel for the property and the residents then you are can start in earnest to work on the property, getting to know which services are required (and what has been budgeted for as per the lease) and working through the issues that may arise.
An example of this in practice is at a property we recently took over, we were advised by the previous managing agent that the keys they had been handed over to them didn’t work. As they had managed the property for around a year, it did make us wonder why they hadn’t raised this with the client in the first instance. Secondly, how had they managed to get any work done at the property? To our surprise when we attended the property the keys were in perfect working order. For us, this has meant that almost immediately we have been able to transform the management by obtaining alternative quotes for works, instructing these and getting works carried out.
Perhaps the downfall if there is one, is that we can’t hide behind the previous excuse but to be honest why would we want to? We at MIH are keen as mustard to make sure that we provide the best service to our clients and therefore have no reason to have something to hide behind.
However, aside from the practical side of getting a property managed the MIH way, there is also the administrative and financial handover to get in shape and our next blog will focus on this.
In the meantime, if you would be interested in hearing more about the practical side of MIH taking over your building or even can’t wait to hear about how we deal with the other side of handover, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.