Together, Fortus and CLAWS Consultants provide specialist Service Charge and accounting advice to the housing sector, and collaborate on a ...
How do you monitor performance?
3 September 2021
With so many different areas of regulation, both financial and non-financial, a regular topic of discussion with managing agents is around the quality and completeness of the information available to property managers.
Property management software such as Qube or Propman can help, but can only be as good as the information contained, and with so many different matters to consider, there’s risk of too much data drowning out vital elements of information.
When you look at the management of a single block, even then there are potentially a number of areas for consideration. From reviewing costs vs the budget, responsive repairs, electrical and water systems testing, fire safety, asbestos monitoring (as well as removal or containment), lightning protection checks… the list’s potentially endless, especially with leases adding additional responsibility over and above regulatory considerations.
We often talk to clients about starting with the end in mind – consider what needs to be achieved and work backwards. You should initially ensure you have a comprehensive list of the various areas for review, testing or monitoring. From there understand what data’s available, what gaps might there be? Is data stored in multiple locations, rather than a single central source? Is some of the data in systems, and some on spreadsheets, or held by third parties?
With a list of the areas to consider, you should then understand the frequency of checks, how’s the item reviewed/tested and when? If there’s a failure, how fast must it be rectified? How do you determine a pass or fail?
Once you’ve considered the above, the next is to think about how you’ll monitor the various items, should these be estate-wide, across all property under management? Perhaps you have a single contractor responsible for a particular check, so it may be easier to ensure the reporting is part of your contract with them. Or perhaps you wish to have a scheme or block performance report, for the local property manager to consider the outstanding action or plan the next check.
The key to good reporting’s in the planning and gathering of good data and then ensuring the checks are happening. Regular reviews are vital to avoid surprises in the reporting outputs.