Changing Managing Agent
Changing managing agents is easy - Here's our 'how to' guide
If you are living in a block of flats and disappointed with the way your current agent performs, making a change (to POD) is easier than you may think. See our top tips below for how to go about it.
1. Give notice.
First of all, give notice to your existing agent. This is an important step as the actual termination date may be so far in to the future that, once you have decided on your new agent, you still have to wait for months to make the change. You are changing for a reason so the quicker you can make the change the better.
2. Get a short list.
Every building will have different requirements from their agent, so be sure to have an idea of your requirements in advance and let them know what you expect. Not only does this allow them to price correctly but you'll avoid disappointment if they are not aligned. The independent Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) has a really useful guide on what to look for, what to ask and how to go about this. You can find their guide here.
We think the most important attributes to look for are:
Providing various communication channels including online and telephone support;
Clear and transparent pricing;
Having time to manage the building proactively;
Experienced (and qualified) staff.
For larger developments we suggest using the services of an independent consultant, such as Insight Property, to oversee the tender process and find the right solution for your needs.
3. Don't get fooled by location.
Many residents believe that having a local agent is the most important requirement because it means they can attend site and deal with issues quickly. Of course being near your property is useful but it's only good if the property manager is available (and not already dealing with an issue at another property elsewhere). Perhaps more importantly, you should find out where the suppliers they use are based.
You could have a problem at the property and your managing agent is located next door but if the tradesman needed to fix the issue is located an hour away, the problem won't get fixed any quicker. Most problems can be diagnosed remotely and if they can't, they will likely require the attendance of skilled professionals, so the location of your agent should not take precedence over who the best people to manage you are. Agents that use carefully selected suppliers (be that local or those with national coverage) not only save you time but money in the long run.
4. Never choose on price alone.
We all know the saying "you get what you pay for" and nothing demonstrates that more than the residential property management industry. Many agents quote a low price to attract you in but there is a good reason your existing manager can't give you the level of service you deserve. When you consider that they are managing probably the most expensive asset you are likely to own, why would you let them do that when your share of their fee is less than the cost of a good meal out?
Remember, you pay your agents fee through the service charge so their price it is only one part of the overall picture. A good agent will take a proactive approach to management and find ways to keep your service charge at a reasonable level. What you save on their fee can easily end up costing you far more via poorly managed outgoings of which you all pay toward.
5. Look at the other costs.
Finally, ask the agent about their charges for providing ad-hoc items such as accounts, consents, debt recovery or home mover packs. The headline management fee may look attractive but there are other costs that can get charged so it pays to check what else is charged for and the level of those fees.
Making the change is easy and many agents will help you through the process. In fact we are so confident you will receive a better service than our competitors we offer a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!
If you would like to chat to our team about how POD can help you do this fill out the form below and we will do the rest!