A Day in the Life: the Ins and Outs of Property Management
May 4, 2011
As part of my series on property management for PRSupdate, I have previously explained how a property management division deals with several aspects of the moving in, moving out and the day-to-day property management processes.
In my last post I also took a look at the importance of a good inventory, and today I shall give an overview of my role as property manager.
Because Young London has property spread throughout the capital, we divide the property management team into 3 portfolios based on the geographic areas we cover. We have Hannah covering East & South-East London, which includes properties in Old Street, Hackney, Southwark and even as far south as Earlsfield. Jennifer covers E14 (Canary Wharf) – an area that has seen has seen particular growth for Young London and includes, amongst others, properties in The Landmark, Ability Place and Lanterns Court. The remaining areas are covered by David, who joined us in February as part of our growing team.
Every day starts with the morning meeting at 9am when the whole property management team (the “Dream Team” as I like to call them) discusses any issues rep orted by our tenants in the previous 24 hours and the outcome or steps underway to resolve them. We also use this time to discuss any outstanding on-going works.
As the number of properties that we manage has grown – and the team has expanded, we’ve introduced a central ‘property management’ email address for our tenants to contact us directly on, and all residents are provided with it as part of their welcome pack when they move into a property managed by Young London. All members of the property management team have the inbox to ensure that all new reports are logged and dealt with as soon as possible. Every maintenance request is recorded on our agency management system, and is updated daily until it is confirmed as completed – an essential process that allows us to track and manage our progress.
So what happens when a property administrator receives a request for maintenance? Depending what the problem described sounds like, they normally ask the tenant further questions and sometimes to carry out a few routine checks to find out exactly what the issue is, rather than immediately initiating a call out that may not be necessary. These checks are perfectly safe to be carried out by anyone and might include requests to check the fuses or ascertaining whether a problem is a communal issue affecting the whole building. Once we have established exactly what the problem is likely to be, the job is quickly dispatched to the relevant contractor. This information is then uploaded onto our system, enabling everyone access to up to date information about the job’s status.
We have a fantastic relationship with our approved local contractors, and they too can access our system from their smart phones to check if anything has been added or to update the progress of a job. Many of the properties we manage are currently still under warranty from the developers, so I also work closely with the developers to ensure that they act quickly to deal with any issues that are covered by their construction warranty.
We always deal with maintenance requests as quickly as possible; all tenants are given an emergency out of hours number for my mobile phone, which is monitored 24 hours a day. We also have fully qualified engineers and contractors on standby to deal with any eventuality.
However, our work is not just limited to dealing with reactive maintenance and repairs. Our day also involves carrying out regular property inspections to identify, and address, any potential problems at a very early stage. By tackling issues early on, tenant’s enjoy properties that are in an excellent state of repair and landlords’ repair and maintenance costs are kept to a minimum.
Within their respective portfolios each administrator is responsible for ensuring a smooth check-out of tenants and ensuring each property is available and ready for the next tenant. We often deal with specific furniture requirements or maintenance issues that are raised at check-out, and ensure these issues are resolved before the next tenant occupies a property. As a rule we always allow 2 days between tenancies, to give us enough time to ensure everything is ready and prepared for the new tenant.