Taking on the responsibility of residential blocks can be intimidating for many property managers. Managers will need to look after multiple occupants and everything within the four walls they inhabit. To maintain several leases successfully, block property managers will need to use strong organisational skills, be able to communicate well between tenants and must be open to ironing out their existing processes. There are several common challenges that property managers need to overcome when looking after blocks. Fortunately, they can be easily remedied by using some simple solutions.
One of the biggest block management problems that will test managers, is troublesome tenants. It only takes one disruptive unit to irritate an entire floor’s worth of people. Unruly behaviour can present itself as high noise levels, damaged property, missed payments and sneaky sub-letting.
The best way to avoid taking on bad tenants is to start with a thorough background check. By collecting a lot of information on potential tenants before a contract is signed, block property managers will be able to spot red flags well in advance.
It is also recommended that block owners become familiar with their legal rights before letting out a property. Whilst legal disputes are rare, it helps to be prepared for the scenario.
Residents within the building may also shed some light on their neighbours’ bad habits in the form of complaints. It’s important to not dismiss these comments as they can be an indicator of larger problems.
Block property owners will need to take responsibility for the safety of the residents. It is useful to hold regular inspections to help spot any glaring hazards.
Malfunctioning heating and waters systems can be a typical risk within blocks. As is damp and mould. If the damage is caused by the tenant, the repair expenses can be taken from the property deposit. Notifying the property manager about required repairs is also an occupant duty.
Signs of broken water or heating systems include faulty heating/radiators, blocked chimneys and tap or shower water that will not heat up, to name a few. Property managers can prevent some of these issues through setting regular visits and by making sure that all repairs are comprehensive and well done.
Getting the Right Insurance
Investing in a good insurance package is crucial for any property manager. The insurance will cover all units for any general damage incurred, will support buildings in the event of severe weather problems (such as floods), guarantee legal protection and protect you financially from any other block management problems.
The key to property insurance is choosing the right amount of cover. No owner wants to over-pay but insurance is an important asset to have in the case of unforeseen circumstances. It is suggested that property managers become familiar with the legalities surrounding insurance, or to consult an advisor, to understand what is essential in the industry.
Many block property managers find that there are not enough hours in the day to complete their workload. Time can easily be eaten away by emails, incoming and outgoing calls, finance tracking, conducting visits and more. On top of this, there is pressure to ensure that work always remains compliant.
Strategies such as well-ordered lists and reminders are traditional ways of managing workload effectively. However, it is also wise to investigate technology which can support daily workload. Many software packages, such as Decorus for Sage, are designed to condense down the time taken for most tasks.
Property solutions make it easy for block property managers to access important details and quickly log information. Features such as mass messaging and invoice generation help block property managers by speeding up and automating certain tasks.
Lastly, a lot of block property managers struggle with improving their business. Many find increasing profits to be the main challenge. What property managers need to understand is that as the business grows, so do profits.
Smart block management owners will choose to invest further in their property portfolio, opting for reasonably-priced, higher quality units. Additionally, adding more amenities (such as advanced appliances and ceiling fans) to properties can significantly ramp up interest using smaller spends.
Lead generation is a hot topic in the property sector and there’s a good reason for that. Whilst tenants can express a lot of interest initially, only a small amount will commit to a rental agreement. Getting that vital conversion from prospective leads can be challenging, so it’s important to send them a mix of high-quality content. From video to testimonials, property managers need to showcase the property’s value and the best sides of their brand.