Insider perspectives: Time and block management

Jonty Shepheard

By Jonty Shepheard

20 July 2023

Unlocking the secrets to efficient time and block management is no small feat for block managers. With a myriad of responsibilities ranging from tending to urgent matters to maintaining client relations, professionals find themselves perpetually grappling with time poverty. The constant struggle to strike a balance between tasks and clients often poses a formidable challenge. 

We sat down with industry experts and thought leaders for a deep dive into this critical subject.

How do you measure time?

Nigel Glen
, Non-Executive Director, Emeria

“Block managers probably already know which clients they spend the most time with, but how do you measure that time? When I was working with clients, I used to get together with my colleagues at the end of the month and discuss which clients we had each had the most points of contact with. That could be emails or meetings or calls.”


Joaquim Fillola, CEO, Encore Estate Management

“The way my agency measures time spent with clients is mostly email. Estate managers don’t lose time because they’re having coffee with a client or getting into a conversation; they lose time because they deal with so many emails. It’s asking for work when it's not necessary, or re-doing a report, or 25 other things. Emails are an easy way to measure estate managers’ time and effort.”


How do you manage time?

Joaquim Fillola
, CEO, Encore Estate Management

“Charging a fee per unit for everything is not ideal, but there is a way to do it right. In the agreement from the outset, the client should know that for their fee, they get not only a certain number of meetings, but also, for example, a hundred emails, four quarterly reports, 75 hours one-on-one, et cetera. Everything is perfectly measured. That way you can manage client's expectations around how much time you will be spending managing their property."


Alec Guthrie, CEO, HML

“Another model is to have a very defined service for a base management fee, and then if the client wants anything on top, they pay for it. Out-of-hours service, a health and safety report, someone to inspect the emergency lighting – the client pays for that on top.”


Competitive challenges

Danielle Parker, Director, Inspire Property Management

“Finding the balance can be difficult because if you change your business model to add extra fees for clients who want more of your time, they can take their business elsewhere. There could be a managing agent down the road who will undercut you by £10 per unit. The challenge of being a small business is the question of whether you lose that client.”


Joaquim Fillola, CEO, Encore Estate Management

“At the end of the day, we are selling time. Being competitive, being honest – we need to establish how much time we are going to devote to each client. Be honest and say: “This is your time, and that’s it.” 

Looking for more insight into how block managers can balance their time with clients? Read Nigel Glen, Shelley Jacobs and Martin Perry’s in-depth thoughts on management agreements here.



This article is intended for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions related to issues in this article, we strongly advise contacting a legal professional.
These blog posts are the work of Fixflo and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. In summary, you are welcome to re-publish any of these blog posts but are asked to attribute Fixflo with an appropriate link to Access to this blog is allowed only subject to the acceptance of these terms.

Jonty Shepheard

By Jonty Shepheard

20 July 2023

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