Maintenance, or lack thereof, was the biggest bone of contention in the relationship between block managers and leaseholders. According to a recent survey conducted jointly by the Leasehold Advisory Service and Brady Solicitors, two-thirds of leaseholders are dissatisfied by the levels of service they received from their agent.
The problem that troubled most leaseholders was the approach their managing agents took to property maintenance. “They don’t care, listen or call back,” noted one leaseholder, when reflecting on his block manager’s approach to maintenance.
What is a PPM strategy?
Proactive vs reactive
PPM stands for planned preventative maintenance. As opposed to reactive repairs, PPM is a consistent, proactive and forward-looking approach to building and asset maintenance. When assets such as lifts are out of order with no warning, it can be distressing and disruptive for residents in a block property.
A block manager with a good PPM strategy always keeps their building assets performing normally, because each key asset is checked and serviced regularly by a qualified engineer or contractor. The need for emergency reactive repairs is, thus, minimised.
Transparency is key
Less than a fifth of those who responded to the mentioned survey (which polled 1,244 leaseholders) had a positive experience with their managing agent to report. And an overwhelming majority thought that the poor service was systemic. 62 percent of those surveyed believed that the service had not improved over two years, despite repeated complaints and requests.
Looking at what makes a good block manager from the data received, the Leasehold Advisory Service and Brady Solicitors found the three most important qualities were:
- Regular communications;
- A genuinely transparent approach to service charge expenditure; and
- A commitment to educating both leaseholders and RMC director clients
From lifts to communal doors and stairways, informing leaseholders about any planned maintenance, and keeping downtime to a minimum ensures residents in a leasehold property experience minimum disruption. This type of consistent and proactive maintenance strategy can help managing agents win the hearts of their leaseholders.
Easier said than done - PPM involves many stakeholders. And maintenance work comes in all kinds of budgets, time frames and frequencies. For those struggling to implement their PPM strategy, Fixflo Block’s planned maintenance module makes light work of something which can often drain block managers time.
By allowing block managers to create specific messenger groups, they can contact and connect with groups of leaseholders and owner occupiers selectively and simultaneously. Ensuring that everyone is kept up to date with communal matters through customisable automated reminders, Fixflo Block will chase contractors and clients for you. It also provides on-demand data, allowing block managers to present a complete portfolio overview and providing them with greater transparency, a gold standard for good management. Every interaction is logged, creating an audit trail and making sure that nothing falls through the cracks. Recognising the many languages spoken by contractors and clients alike, Fixflo Block is available in over 40 languages, making sure that all stakeholders involved in the process are on the same page and that nobody is left out in the process.