How to find the right managing agent for your building (and avoid the wrong ones)

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How to find the right managing agent for your building (and avoid the wrong ones)
JuxtaBlock: We connect customers looking for new managing agents with block managers in their area
Understanding your problems
If you are already looking for a new managing agent it is likely that you 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 a good idea to list out the potential issues you may have in the long-term.

Some examples 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
This will allow you to get an upfront agreement with your next managing agent that these problems will be prevented or solved.
Find the best rated managing agent for you type of building
Finding an agent you can trust is critical. We have found that the best way of understanding how a managing agent will work for you is by seeing how they have worked for previous customers.

Some of the things that you should understand are:
  • Have they seen your problems before and solved your problem before
  • Do they have high customer retention and satisfaction rates
In addition you need to know if they have a specific knowledge of your location and have a track record of charging reasonable management fees and keeping service charge down.
Are they applicable to your building
Some managing agents will only operate in certain locations, with buildings of a certain size or with a certain ownership model. It is of course helpful to know this before spending times on interviews and detailed discussions.

In addition, it is useful to go through some basic items of due diligence for example how they keep service charge funds, their level of insurance and their key personnel.

Also, at the time of writing this there are plans of new government regulation which may restrict which types of managing agents can work for which type of buildings.
Can they communicate
You may be working closely for a long time with these individuals so it’s important that you like and can get on with them.

Also you should check that they have knowledge of your problems and your area.

You should conduct email, phone and telephone conversations with both the account manager who will be running the building day-to-day, but also their back-up, team and support staff.

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