It is always daunting when you are thinking of making a change to your property managing agent and would compare it to changing your bank - I have been with mine forever!
The choices are massive. How do you know whether they are a good agent or not? Do they offer all the services that you require? Will you get the blame if you choose the wrong one? How do you differentiate between the service provided when everybody appears to offer the same thing?
When looking for a good property management agent in London I would always recommend that you think long and hard about what you are looking for. It is easy to think that the ideal solution is to offload your headache, pass it to an agent local to the property and that you will never hear anything again.
… have you checked their credentials? are they registered with the appropriate governing bodies? Being a member of ARMA, the trade association for residential managing agents or RICS should be considered here. Have you also thought about their company operates? How long have their staff been there and what accountancy package do they use?
Although, these questions may at first seem intrusive they are important, because property managing agents are going to be managing one of the biggest assets that you own. In the same way that you wouldn’t go to a doctor to diagnose your pet, the property managing agent you choose should be someone who understands your requirements and wants to work with you to achieve the same end result.
What questions should I ask when choosing the right property managing agent?
Without adding further to the burden of choosing the right agent, my initial tips would be to consider carefully what you want and prepare a brief list of questions relating to their terms of engagement such as:
how they deal with situations;
what’s their longest standing client;
what their staff turnover is (you don’t want to be dealing with a different person every month who never has time to catch up with their predecessor’s history); and
what training is given to staff in property management and most importantly how they hold client monies and account for it.
Once you have prepared your list of questions you can then set about finding an agent.
What steps should I take to make sure I have the right property managing agent?
Local isn’t always best
You may well want to go for someone local but it would be my suggestion to look for someone who specialises in the type of property management you want and then to assess their experience.
Google reviews are always helpful in ascertaining the kind of service that is provided, although if there are no reviews then it is not necessarily a bad thing. In the property industry, it is a case of no reviews is akin to good reviews.
Meet in person
Once you have selected your agents, go and meet them and ask your questions. I would always recommend that you ask to meet the property manager looking after you so that you can see if they are compatible with what you want.
Ask for references
Once you have found your best match, the next stage is to ask for references from their existing clients. It may well be difficult to get references as most clients are too busy to give these. However if possible I would always recommend trying to have a telephone conversation with a referee as you get to know so much more about the company and the property manager as after all they have been working with them!
Hopefully after going through this rigorous process you will find your perfect property managing agent and have a long happy relationship with them.
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