Bill Hughes of Legal & General was right to say property management needs to change if it is to survive. But rather than all-out revolution, property managers just need to remember the fundamentals of what great service looks like.
In the hospitality industry they call it the ‘brilliant basics’, which cover everything from hotel rooms being clean and tidy to staff being genuinely welcoming and helpful. But much the same applies to the housing market as well, whether you’re dealing with leaseholders or renters.
Industry commentators occasionally forget that property is as much a people business as it is about the buildings – and this is especially the case in residential.
Looking specifically at build-to-rent, some investors are getting excited about what onsite amenities they are providing, while ignoring the fact that the concierge service being advertised will probably be the biggest deciding factor in tenant retention, which is crucial to minimising costly voids. Gyms, roof terraces and co-working spaces may get people through the door, but without friendly and responsive human interaction, especially when there is a problem, they will not stay for long.
Getting the simple things right is a lot easier if that is the focus of your business. At Mainstay, management is at the core of what we do, not an add-on that we just offer while our real attention lies elsewhere.
Our integrated, focused approach means we cover many of the aspects Bill Hughes said (rightly) were missing in most ‘traditional’ property managers. To achieve this, we have assembled a team with skills and experiences from many sectors to cover the whole spectrum required to provide the full customer experience.
But more important is our culture of empowerment, which means staff are more happy, productive and feel able to tackle issues head-on, instead of passing the buck and waiting for someone else to deal with them.
Having the right people is crucial even in the digital age. While people may happily take to social media to complain about a bad dining experience, they’ll still want to talk to someone face to face when it comes to their home.