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Contractors. We have written extensively about what any potential client should be looking for in their managing agent and in particular the property manager that will be looking after them. However, having thought about this while writing another blog we realise that what gets overlooked is how does a property manager ensures their management is effective and the answer is the standard of their contractors.
Frequently when we speak to potential new clients who have been recommended to us or found us through our reviews, we discuss the questions that they should be asking their managing agent. More often than not we refer them to the Lease publication on “Appointing a Managing Agent” or to as we feel it is important that a new client knows exactly what they should be expecting from their new agent.
However having looked at the guide today we note that in the checklist entitled Appendix 1, the contractors are only referred to as part of the repairs and maintenance strategy and in Appendix III it is only halfway down the list of possible questions to ask a potential managing agent.
To our minds, we feel that this should be top of this list and during an office discussion recently we all agreed that the most important part of our job is to ensure that the day to day maintenance is effective and that therefore the contractors used must be excellent. As our founder explained it, the day to day repairs are the equivalent of learning the scales when learning to play an instrument or in her day your times tables in maths.
We believe that all managing agents undertake rigorous checks on their contractors as to their financial probity, their insurances, their health, and safety record, and the quality of work. However, at MIH for us our contractors need to be so much more.
As the people who are on-site undertaking work we need them to be extensions of ourselves and to almost be a further ambassador of MIH although they are completely independent of us. We expect them, like ourselves to undertake the job at hand quickly, effectively, and economically and at the same time be aware of any factors which may affect this. They should also be looking at any issues that they feel may arise at the site, almost acting as a second set of eyes to supplement the regular visits that we undertake so nothing gets missed.
Like ourselves, we expect our contractors to Make it Happen, and if this means going above and beyond to get a job done then so be it. Recently we took over the management of a major works project part way through and despite not having worked with this contractor before they quickly became aware of what is needed to become an “honorary MIHer”. Despite not being part of the original spec of tanking the electricity room, they have tided all the entry phone cables into the conduit, which albeit did not cost very much, but is a touch that both MIH and the client really appreciate. It particularly appeals to our “neat freak” founder.
Although MIH is relatively new in property management, (apparently the right terminology, as after 2 years a company is no longer considered a start-up) we are lucky to have a truly unique panel of contractors whose work is not only of a very high standard but whom also understand the MIH ethos. Their reward for doing so is that they can be guaranteed repeat business from MIH and their clients who often ask for the contractors by name.
So if you are looking for a managing agent who can find the right contractor for the job whether it be a Surveyor for a roofing project, an M and E consultant for shunt ducts or even a cleaner for a specialist floor do not hesitate to contact MIH who know the people who can make it happen.