It’s not uncommon for a prospective client to approach us because they are experiencing poor levels of service from their existing property management company and they want to move to a better option. In some cases, the client was putting up with a range of poor service levels that they shouldn’t have been.
Here we summarise five of the most common reasons why people leave their property management company to come to JCF. If you are experiencing any of them, don’t hesitate to contact us now.
1. The property manager rarely visits the property
One of the most important roles of the property manager is to understand the building and its grounds. This can’t be done from a desk. And yet we frequently hear of property management companies that allow many months to pass before making their next property visit. Perhaps they are under-resourced, or perhaps they don’t have the procedures in place to ensure the visits take place. Either way, under normal circumstances we believe a property should be visited at least each month. In some cases, such as when major works are being carried out, we would visit a property more frequently.
2. The property manager doesn’t respond to emails
Replying to emails and calls from customers is a basic requirement of any service. And yet it’s very common for us to take on a new client and for them to tell us how hard it was to gain simple email replies from their previous property manager. Essentially, a lack in old fashioned customer service. Our team naturally understand the importance of customer service and so reply to email requests quickly, typically within 24 hours.
3. Excessive charging for additional services
It’s unfortunate to say that in some cases, a property management company may inflate the costs of the services or the contractors they use as means of gaining additional revenue. We believe this is a very short sighted view. The residents associations and committees we work with have their fingers on the pulse when it comes to contractor costs, so trying to pull the wool over their eyes is as much a fool’s errand as it is disingenuous. We think that transparency of costs is much simpler. Our customers pay the true cost of the service they require and we regularly check that the contractors’ fees are competitive.
4. Poor accounting processes
Perhaps one of the most common accounting-related frustrations for clients before they move to JCF is the late issuing of service demands to leaseholders. This however is likely a symptom of wider failings in an accounts team that possibly doesn’t have the skills, resources or procedures to make sure the estate’s finances are managed and communicated expertly. Conversely, JCF has a dedicated and in-house team of qualified accountants so all aspects of the property’s finances are carefully and professionally managed.
5. A lack of professionalism
Many of our clients are professional people and they expect, and deserve, a professional service. But we regularly hear of poor procedures, incomplete tasks, inappropriate styles of communication, and a general lack of knowledge of the industry they are in. As Chartered Surveyors as well as property managers, we demand a higher level of professionalism. Of course we have industry bodies who require this of us, including The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, but we are also very careful about choosing our team members who are professional, educated and highly experienced.
If you recognise any of the above traits in your property management company, don’t feel you have to tolerate it. Get in touch with us and we’ll talk to you about how we work and how we can help you.