In April of this year, just before Easter we took over the management of a new property from a block which has previously been self-managed.
We must admit that we are always a little extra cautious when we take over the management of any self-managed block as we know that often elements of our management cannot compare with what the Directors who live in the block will have done, often for free.
For this block in particular it was made even more difficult by the fact that the previous Directors were pretty much au fait with what was required, so much so their service charge demands left us wondering why they needed us.
Getting to grips with the property
After several months, we are now getting to grips with the property and finally getting things done the MIH way but became a little unstuck last week when we were asked why, based on the level of competency we have displayed in all other areas, we couldn’t supervise a preferred building to carry out the exterior works which were desperately needed at the property.
As always with MIH, this got us thinking, and once those cogs start whirring we start thinking about that if the questions needs to be asked then an explanation needs to be given and hopefully others will appreciate our thoughts too.
So here goes, one of our earlier blogs referred to the rise of property management as an industry, as previously it had been an add-on to a surveyors practice.
It’s not just about property
Our thoughts then and as they are now and as referenced in another blog is that while property management is about buildings it is predominantly about managing people and this is not something that is taught as part of a surveying degree.
For us, we have always felt that the best service you can receive is from a company that is wholly focused on the discipline that they act within and this was very much the reason that MIH will never undertake anything other than property management whether this be commercial, block or flat management.
With this in mind, while our combined experience in the office means that we have undertaken countless number of external and internal refurbishments. We freely admit that we are not qualified to specify methods of work required to maintain say roofs or damp course treatments. It is true that MIH can make it happen by finding contractors who can undertake work to a very high standard, we would always defer to a qualified opinion from a surveyor.
Involving a specialist
Our rationale being a building surveyor who had specialised in this field, has spent years learning about building methods and who through their CPD will be constantly updating their knowledge on new technology will provide the best advice and should be able to ensure the longevity of any repair made.
To our collective minds, having a specialist building surveyor specify works is much like going to Apple to buy a phone- a no brainer- sorry to those Android users out there. I am often quoted as stating that QUBE, our financial package is the iPphone of accounting software for property management and the same kind of reliability and high quality of service can be expected when you go to a building surveyor to undertake the works.
Luckily for MIH and as mentioned in previous blogs we have a great panel of contractors including surveyors to choose from and can always find the right surveyor to specify works on our clients’ behalf.
As a postscript to the above we are pleased to say that our clients have accepted our advice and we have instructed a specification of works with a view to carrying out the works in February next year – partly to ensure that there is adequate funding but also, and as referred to in another previous blog, so that the owners of the flats can enjoy the summer months without the intrusion of scaffolding. Yet again MIH have Made it Happen!