4 Steps to Finding the Right Managing Agent
for your Building
Running a block of flats has never been a piece of cake. Maintenance of the building, managing the common parts and placing insurance are just some of the responsibilities that comes with it. These can be too much to handle by one person, that’s why building directors tend to hire a managing agent to help them run and manage their property.
Finding a reliable and competent agent is yet another difficult and critical task and that’s why JuxtaBlock has made a 4-step guide to help you find the right managing agent for your property and easily catch red-flags at the start. Here’s how:
Step 1: Understanding the problems
If you are looking for a new managing agent, it is likely that you already have at least 1-2 concerns with your current service. Apart from ensuring that whoever you hire next is signed-up to fix these problems, it is always a good practice to list out the other potential issues you may have in the long-term. This will allow you to get an upfront agreement that these problems need to be prevented or resolved with your next agent.
Some of the most common issues or problems are:
- Service charge arrears
- General finance and accounting
- High service charges
- A new major works project
- Obtaining a Right to Manage
- Obtaining a Share of Freehold
Step 2: Assessing their quality of work
We found that the best way to understand the managing agent’s quality of work is by doing a bit of a background check. Seeing their existing and previous customers will give you an idea of their relevant experience with dealing with your building’s problems.
Below are some of the things that you should also take into account:
- Have they encountered and solved similar problems before?
- Do they have high customer retention and satisfaction rates?
On top of that, you need to know if they have a specific knowledge of your location, a track record of charging reasonable management fees and keeping service charge down.
Step 3: Fit to your type of building
Some managing agents will only operate in certain locations – with buildings of a certain size or certain ownership model. It is also useful to go through some basic items of due diligence such as how they keep service charge funds, level of insurance and key personnel. These items are good to know before spending time on interviews and detailed discussion.
In addition, there are plans of new government regulation which may restrict which types of managing agents can work for which types of buildings.
Step 4: Flow of communication
You will work closely with your managing agent, so it is important that the two of you get on the same page. Communication has been a consistent challenge with many of the RMC directors we have spoken to, so it is critical to watch out for any possible gaps. You should conduct email, phone and telephone conversations not just with the managing agent but also with their back-up, support staff and team.
Hiring the right managing agent can be painful. We’ve narrowed the steps to getting you to the right agent – you can begin the process by following the button bellow