Choosing a property management company can be a daunting task. Such a valuable investment or asset requires careful management and diligence, and needs to be managed by competent and trust-worthy professionals. A good company will not only provide you with reassurance, but can also minimize risks and maximise your return. Knowing what to ask a property management company when making your choice can be difficult, especially if you are new to it. Here is a summary of the most important factors to consider to ensure you are in safe hands and make the right selection to suit your requirements.
Firstly, it is strongly advised to check the property management company’s accreditations, i.e. if they are members of any professional bodies. The most respected of these being the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). RICS is the world’s leading professional body for qualifications and standards in land, property and construction. Members of RICS are required to adhere to strict guidelines governing all aspects of their work, and in particular, administration and security of your money that the agent will hold. All members have a ‘rating’ and this provides a good indication of how well the property management company follows industry best practice and their ethical standards. Choosing a property management company with RICS accreditation offers clients peace of mind and security and should be a pre-requisite for your selection process.
How well resourced are the property management company?
Another key area to investigate is to establish whether they have well trained and sufficient staff. Managing property, whether this be via landlord services or property asset management, requires a great deal of time, certainly with respect to the day-to-day management. In addition to this, much time and resource is also required for the essential financial and accounting functions, which should be efficient and seamless. Unfortunately, it is often the case that property management companies do not adequately staff their management department. Under-qualified staff or low resources leads to inefficient client management and care, as well as a high staff and client turnover. Efficient, proactive management is imperative and is in the best interests of both the agents and clients. A large degree of trust and responsibility is being placed with the management team and it would therefore be prudent, when selecting a property management company, to ask about how much and the level of resourcing that will be allocated to you.
Pay some visits!
A final word of advice, when choosing a property management company, would be to ask about existing clients and find out if it would be possible to inspect some of the properties that the agent manages. A visit would give a good idea of how well a property is being managed and looked after. Doing some background research and speaking to clients will give you a first-hand insight into the company’s track record and level and quality of service that is being delivered.
In summary, background research is vitally important when selecting a property management company. Simple checks such as accreditations and memberships of professional bodies can provide insights that will give you a good indication of how professional the organisation is, how well it adheres to industry standards and how experienced they are at providing commercial property advice. The importance of a highly skilled and well-staffed management team, can make the difference between a well-managed property and one that is not. Ensure that you understand how you will be looked after as a client in both the day-to-day running and background operations. Finally, do not be afraid to ask to speak to existing clients and visit a few properties. After all, your property is a valuable asset and should be treated with the highest level of care.
To find out more about choosing a property management company and how David Charles can help you, please do get in touch and we will be happy to discuss your requirements with you.