3 RMC Directors: how to work with fellow Directors when appointing a new managing agent.

RMC Directors: how to work with fellow Directors when appointing a new managing agent

When a Residents’ Management Company decides to look for a new managing agent, it often falls on each company Director to go away and come up with some suggestions for alternative property management companies. Multiple directors often split up the task, taking to Google to research companies. Then each Director will contact property managers separately, producing their own shortlist. They then round robin each other with suggestions or reconvene a meeting to go over each shortlist.

In our experience, this approach can lead to problems further down the tender process and beyond:

  • Each Director works in isolation to the others, possibly researching the same companies as their co-Directors
  • Each Director spends time choosing preferred options then must sit down and convince  the other Directors of his/her preferred recommendation
  • Directors get excited about 'their’ block manager, then their choice gets vetoed
  • 'Your’ block manager gets appointed, it doesn’t go well and you feel responsible for the choice

This is how we often receive an enquiry from a Director on behalf of their RMC, then the enquiry goes quiet for a very long time. We can sense that some tension has entered the process.

We don’t think this has to be the case and, to help Directors avoid this situation, we have some advice on the steps to shopping for a new residential property management provider.

  • Meet early and decide on a preferred set of criteria (large or small firm, the extent of online-based services etc) before drawing up a list of firms
  • Construct a longlist of potential block management firms based on the above criteria through your online research.
  • Create a shared list of questions for each company on the long list. That way it doesn’t matter which Director approaches them – they all gather the same info.
  • When all the responses have been collated, go over them together (or separately) to agree on a shortlist.

    Choose two or three companies to visit the property (if that’s required) or decide there and then in a final meeting

This gives the process a sense of collective responsibility and no finger pointing later down the road. By creating a set list of criteria before creating a long list – and not the other way around - all the Directors know not to shortlist a candidate that clearly doesn’t tick all the boxes.

Choosing a new property manager is such an important decision potentially affecting hundreds of other residents so please know that some give and take is going to have to happen to reach a decision agreeable to all!

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(04 March 2020 )