Don’t Screw Up Your Property Management Takeover

By Published On: March 17th, 2021Tags: ,

So, the big day you’ve been waiting for is fast-approaching. Your residential building is fully developed, and the doors will open up for residents first thing tomorrow morning. The lifts are working, the lights are on and there’s only a few minor items left on the snagging list. There’s absolutely nothing that could go wrong now.

Or is there?

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A perfect transition between property developers and property operators is a rare sight. There’s usually some form of miscommunication that leads to improper equipment maintenance and other issues down the line. Eventually, this results in huge costs — both financially and time-wise.

The handover from Development to Operations isn’t a straightforward task. However, there is a solution to prevent these issues from affecting your property management takeover.

Why is the Transition From Developer to Operator Causing Issues?

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Build-to-rent and purpose-built student accommodation are still young concepts here in the UK. When the Head Developer of a residential build hands the keys to the Operations Manager, many vital conversations go unspoken.

This is not down to incompetence. The reason these conversations are overlooked is simply down to having minimal experience in the growing residential sector.

Multifamily properties in the States are a firm fixture. In fact, the BTR lifestyle which is in its infancy in the UK is considered the norm on the other side of the Atlantic. Having worked in the US residential market for decades, the knowledge we have on how to ensure a smooth property management takeover is what’s missing from the UK scene.

Initially, you might not even notice that a transition hasn’t gone well. It’s only when the first real incident emerges that the penny usually drops. Then it becomes a race against time to fix other potential problems before they cause an issue for staff or tenants, and while assets are still under warranty.

Naturally, you want to nip this in the bud to avoid having residents look for a new property once their lease is up.

What are the Most Common Handover Issues?

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When an operator takes charge of a residential building, all the equipment installed falls under their care. Keeping on top of which assets are coming to the end of their warranties and trying to decipher complex O&M manuals to determine maintenance services and scopes is no easy task.

The only way to identify the best practices is through gaining valuable experience. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to make these mistakes just so your team can learn from them. It’s often said that prevention is the best cure, so bringing in an expert to oversee your property management takeover could help you save thousands of pounds.

The Full Solution? Soft Landings’ Complete Service

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Fjeld Consulting offers residential operators and stakeholders our Soft Landings consultation services. Using the vast amount of knowledge we have gained from the American market, we look for all the operational savings that are usually missed during the transition period between Developers and Operators.

When you sign up for Soft Landings, we will:

  • Build clean, usable and scalable standardised asset registers with third-party tagging & asset verification service
  • Create your company’s standard service agreement with pre approved terms and conditions
  • Utilise British Standard maintenance specifications to create bespoke property-specific scopes of work per each relevant building system, ensuring warranty and defects coverage
  • Provide a full tender of specialised soft and hard facilities management services with planned preventative maintenance and reactive services to ensure we achieve your budgets
  • Provide comprehensive up-to-date reporting of contract performance, vendor key performance indicators, service level agreements, and budgetary tracking systems
  • Ensure all assets in the building have a maintenance plan
  • Provide one year of ongoing support, escalation point-of-contact service, and Fjeld Consulting’s comprehensive performance reporting

Once we have the information we need, our team can negotiate the best maintenance services from preferred providers. It’s through Soft Landings that key stakeholders save a significant amount of money.

We find time-wasting defects and ensure all equipment on the premises are properly maintained from day one. Some of the big problems we can help you avoid include:

  • Lifts entrapments
  • Fire systems failing
  • Boiler breakdowns meaning no hot water for the winter freeze
  • Buildings that burn through energy because they are not optimised
  • Water leaks
  • Backed up drains and sewers

Ensuring a Successful Property Management Takeover

Fjeld Consulting has a wealth of experience in overseeing property management takeovers. The knowledge we have gained from working in the US and the UK residential sectors means we know exactly where problems can occur and how to stop them to save you money.

It’s common for the Operations team to worry about the systems installed. They don’t want to tackle issues surrounding broken assets, ongoing maintenance and checking if systems are still under warranty, so they overpay the Developer to keep everything covered for the first year.

However, it’s in year two when most problems tend to surface. Developers want to build at the lowest possible price, which can affect maintenance costs. The same system worries are still there, but the Developers have taken their leave. If there’s an issue from year two onwards, the costs can be huge.

Soft Landings will make your property management takeover seamless. Operators won’t need to panic about overpaying for ongoing Developer support because we ensure everything is covered. For more information on how we can help, make sure to contact our team today.

About the Author: Dustin Fjeld

Dustin Fjeld
As founder member of Fjeld Consulting, Dustin has helped save clients thousands across a range of BTR, PBSA, PRS and Co-living portfolios.

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