The soft side of management

Roger Southam

Over the last nine months I have had a lot of conversations about the state of leasehold management. I have encountered the nuances of the soft side of management. When calls go unanswered; when information is not supplied; when the leaseholder feels they are not getting service are all the soft areas that are vital to the management process of a building. 
 
Although I genuinely believe managing agents’ service levels have improved over the last five years, there will always be examples of poor service, of agents who don’t do things right, but we have to look at the bigger picture. It’s not easy for anyone when they are in the middle of a problem or feeling they have an injustice.
 
Of course if you go into a store and buy something and are not happy, that is a lone choice, a lone interaction. With management of a building it is really a community and it is finding a common denominator of service. This will never please all the people and may not please a lot. 
 
Of course, I hear those who are complaining on levels way beyond customer service. I have touched on these themes previously and they are there every day of the week in my inbox and in work with Leasehold Advisory Service
 
One of the biggest leaps forward we have made is the launch of the information sheet for potential buyers so they get an understanding of what buying leasehold means from when they first go to look for a property. 
 
Leasehold is not a bad way to own a home in a building; it is how it is operated that can cause the issues. I think there needs to be a new perspective given that maybe the managing agents are not bad, they are just doing their best. If their best doesn’t measure to your standards then it is necessary to get the perspectives aligned. 
 
For some a restaurant will be great, while others will hate it. There may been no change in service. 
 
We have to highlight the bad from the good and it needs the good managers to stand up and shout from the rooftops what should be done to give good management. 
 
Roger Southam is Chair of the Leasehold Advisory Service

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