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From the comments I got from my team I realised that the word “Utopia” may not be a universal one so by way of explanation, Utopia was conceived by Sir Thomas More as an ideal society or place. Something which I believe is as far removed from property management as you can get, bearing in mind that your usual reason for contacting your managing agent is to raise an issue.
In my last blog, I focused on the practical problems a property manager can face when taking over a property based on inadequate knowledge of a property and how this can be remedied simply and quickly by putting in the extra time to get to know the property and what is needed.
I would also comment that the results of this effort when presented to the client do not go unnoticed. Aside from the improvements that our clients thank us for, we at MIH are as delighted by our client’s reactions to the management information we provide. We are often advised that not only have they not received this service and information before, but how reassuring it is for our clients when having to make decisions which affect so many others.
In this blog, I wanted to focus on the administration and finance side which often proves the most difficult part of the handover. Principally, because most clients won’t always know of the difficulties experienced and there is no quick fix.
When taking over a property, ARMA and good practice states that information should be provided to the new agent at least a month before handover, however often this information is not forthcoming and when it does arrive, doesn’t have the most recent contact information. As all managing agents do, we write to all clients asking them to verify that we have the correct information but often do not receive a response. I would imagine that most people will consider letters from the managing agent as a bit like junk mail something to be avoided at all times.
However, never ones to be deterred MIH will always find a way to “Make it Happen” and in 95% of cases are always able to get our man or woman as it were. Recently, despite some struggles we were even able to speak to someone about their property while they were in deepest darkest Peru – not Paddington! After all, we can’t keep our clients informed if we don’t have their details.
On the basis that our introductory letters are considered worse than junk mail, you can imagine when we send out service charge demands these are even lower on the scale akin to receiving a brown envelope from the taxman.
This is further exacerbated by the fact that at the handover we do not receive reconciled funds and in most cases will only do so up to three months after handover. This frequently causes bad feeling and frustration which is definitely not the first impression that MIH wants our clients to have.
Fortunately, we are lucky enough to have Shauna, who is ferocious in her determination to make sure that we have correct accounting information and that our clients are not at any disadvantage, having made the decision to move.
Shauna’s keen eye for accounts and her resolve to ensure that our clients get the best value for money has often resulted in money being reimbursed to our clients, for the period prior to our management and costs savings on the annual accountancy fees. This coupled with her need to get things right, means that for our clients, the financial handover can be seamless or as hassle-free as MIH can make it.
We at MIH are proud to be able to offer this great handover service and to be able to turn even the most anti – managing agent-client into a happy one. How do we know this? Our most recent client, who told us that he hates managing agents, is now putting us forward for another block he has a flat in.
If you too would like to experience a unique service that results in a “Utopian” form of management then please do get in touch. We would be delighted to assist you with “stress-free” management.