During a training session a few weeks ago, a client (property manager) who shall remain nameless, explained that she was asked by a tenant to remove a hedgehog from the garden as it was a “pest” and causing a nuisance. We chuckled about the hedgehog and discussed what the actual remit is of a property manager. We continued to focus on the elements all Property Managers (PMs) will be dealing with as Autumn sets in.
The Property Manager’s Role
Remember what it is the PMs will be dealing with and be sure to bring these points to the fore when communicating with your landlords. Remind them what it is you are doing for them in one of your quarterly newsletters, for example:-
1. Reminding the tenants how to deal with the cold weather as it sets in
sending out a Winter Warmer leaflet which gives the tenant clear guidance on what they should and should not be doing
2. Gutter cleaning & unblocking downpipes – who will take care of this chore?
3. The annual boiler service. One of the key issues over the winter months relates to lack of heating & hot water, the end of October is a good time to resolve any problems early
4. Supporting the vulnerable, in particular the elderly, if there is a cold spell
check if your landlords have service agreements in place. Good PMs will know
5. Understanding condensation & ventilation. This is a huge issue, particularly in high-humidity areas such as kitchens & bathrooms
6. Does insurance give adequate coverage for the landlord? Make sure s/he speaks to their insurer as some of the problems may not be covered
7. Avoid dramas that often happen over the Christmas period. Get organised before hand. Make sure tenants are aware of how they can contact the PMs when the office is closed.
Property Management is a key element of the service provided by manay letting agents, however, remember to communicate with your landlords and not only when something is going wrong. They are a captive audience and need to be reassured that you are doing your job well.
Even the landlords who have not opted for a managed service and prefer to do everything themselves, could use a gentle nudge and reminder about the benefits of what it is you do.