Property Management – An art or a science?
As MIH gets closer to the ripe old age of 2 and 3/4s and our company has become more established, we thought it was prudent to take stock and consider property management as a whole and what it means.
Of course as a growing Company (unfortunately we cant be “clever as clever” and “be six now for ever and ever” as we become a team of 8 in September) we are constantly reviewing what we offer, adapting and evolving the unique service we provide to suit our diverse portfolio, we often don’t stop to stand still and wonder what makes it work or why it works.
Many years ago our founder worked for a Surveying firm who offered both Commercial and Residential management services. At the time, one of the eponymous Partners was writing an article which attempted to answer the question of whether Property Management was an art or science?
Although she can’t remember what the final answer was – nothing that a quick flick through Google couldn’t fix admittedly but as this is our blog we didn’t want to be influenced by anything other than our experiences- it has been something that has haunted her and now us at MIH over the years.
The principles of property management
What we can say is and no great surprise here, the principles of property management pretty much remain the same for managing all types of property, be it a commercial office, a single flat, a small converted block or for that matter a smallish purpose built block, a block consisting of multiple flats or an estate of houses.
A science behind the budgeting process
This is perhaps where the science comes in as there is obviously a lot of maths involved in management, after all we can only undertake management services on buildings that have adequate funding and it is our role to ensure that this is the case.
It is also our role to ensure that when preparing a budget, we have taken into account all possible costs and are able to explain the budget and work within its limits as no one wants a large deficit at the end of the year. Again, there is a science in getting a budget correct and taking into account all eventualities
Alternatively, the science could be in both the minor or major works that we advise and implement at our properties. The timing for these and coordinating these works so that our clients are receiving best value for money at the same time as being able to enjoy their property when the works are undertaken is extremely important to us Although we would say this, we truly believe our timing on projects is second to none and we regularly receive thanks from our clients for ensuring that the scaffolding is removed as quickly as possible so they don’t have to live in gloom.
A big BUT!
With all this talk of science it seems the answer is a foregone conclusion and Property Management is definitely a science, but there is a but and it is a big BUT!
We will concur and think most would agree that Property Management is about property and therefore static buildings and although they are obviously subject to change due to factors beyond anyone’s control such as weather etc, there will always be a rulebook to follow as buildings are generally built for habitation whether it be commercial or residential.
However, and this is where the big but comes in, the occupants of these properties are never the same and this is where the art comes in as it is human nature not to follow rule books and to try and find simpler solutions.
For us at MIH we are lucky to have a very diverse office so that most of us have had lots of different experiences and can therefore understand why we may get a request from an owner to change a reference to their flat which incorporates the number 4 or 9, or for that matter being asked if a pest controller is male or female? The preference in that case being for the latter!
We are also lucky to have a lot of experience at MIH with a combined 100 years of working in the industry between us. This experience means that at MIH we know the art of property management and how to ensure that we manage properties using the science but making it work for all of the owners, residents, leaseholders and even tenants we work for.
So, in true diplomat fashion, our answer to this question is much the same as being asked what came first the chicken or the egg? You can’t have art in property management without the science and you can’t have science without art in property management. Lucky for all at MIH we have both but please don’t ask us to go back to the lab as we don’t fancy our chances with Bunsen burners!