Make Things Better – overpaying for managing agent support?

We aim to give our clients peace of mind that their property and interests will be cared for now and far into the future. And for those of you who aren’t our clients, we’ve found a way to help you too with our new advice series, Make Things Better.

To kick things off, here’s a query that came through to us just last week…..

“I get little contact from my managing agent and yet the service charges are really high. Is this normal?”

Sadly this is a regular occurrence with many managing agents, providing poor and infrequent communication, and in some cases not even an acknowledgement of a query.

More likely than not, the reason for this will be the size of the agent. Some companies are too big and you’re just a number to them. At Town & City, we see ourselves as small enough to care and big enough to cope. That means we’re small enough to be able to talk to people on an individual and personal basis, and treat each person well; but can also provide the best support and advice whenever and wherever in the country it’s needed.

We’re a mid-sized player in market and we’ve invested heavily in how we communicate through the hiring of high quality staff, training and our new client portal. What’s more, we never underestimate the importance of getting back to people properly and as quickly as possible. Why? Relationships are important to us. So much so, that some of the leaseholders we work for are now good friends too.

There could of course be another reason for the “little contact” you receive from your managing agent. The number and frequency of site visits depends on the contract – you could be entitled to weekly visits and around the clock one-to-one support. Or, a quarterly ‘check in’. You have to be aware of what you’re actually paying for. If you’ve noticed a reduction in the service and attention you’re receiving but the service charge has gone up, that is something to investigate.  With regards to transparency  of what should be offered, it’s all in the contract.

The last potential reason for radio silence from your managing agent could be that they have something to tell you that they know you won’t want to hear. Is that acceptable? No.  There’s no smoke and mirrors with us – nor should there be with any agent when it comes to giving the best advice for preserving your property. You need to resolve a problem in the best way possible and sometimes that way isn’t easy or cheap. There may be a legal route that has to be taken in certain circumstances. It may be that an inspection or investigation into a problem has uncovered bigger issues. Sometimes managing agents have to deliver bad news – it’s how they help you resolve the problem afterwards that matters.

Have you got an issue you’d like to run past us? Get in touch with us at mail@townandcity.com or find out how to switch to us here.