This blog is about the local leased property managing agent and why, when you are selecting an agent you should give this some thought.
Like most commercial enterprises, managing agent companies are progressively getting bigger and more centralised. It is a business model that makes sense. The company gets economy of scale, technology allows easy Communication, and the ‘local’ bit can always be handled by the area property manager. Sounds good and for modern developments with low demands on the management company it may work well.
The client base of PM Property Management are,however, largely converted Georgian Town House properties, and here the business model does not work so well. Why?
For a number of reasons, not least that in relatively high end properties leaseholders expect high end service, and that translates into a high level of personal service. It is not really good enough to simply send a contractor around, they want to meet with the Agent and feel that they have properly understood their problem. For example, in Georgian conversions it is common to have water leaks. These can be contentious, with leaseholders blaming (usually) their upstairs neighbours for allowing this to happen. Frequently by being ‘local’ we can get on site and calm things down, get repairs underway and generally get normality back as quickly as possible. But there is a price to pay as often, this means working odd hours, responding rapidly to requests and just ‘being there’. These are all things that are difficult for large company property managers, working within tight procedural and budgetary frameworks to achieve.
A couple of years ago PM Property Management made a strategic decision to operate in a relatively tightly defined geographic area, so that we could provide that personal level of service. So if you are thinking about appointing a managing agent, before selecting the glitzy national company, stop to consider the following:
- Is your property one that may benefit from some local, personal attention?
- What is the relationship of leaseholder and are their likely to be ‘peacekeeping’ requirements?
If so it might be wise to ‘ think local’.