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Sectional title property values: Why a good managing agent is vital

08 Jun 2017

When investing in sectional title property, a property category that is increasingly coming to the fore, the importance of a good managing agent attached to the particular scheme should not be underestimated.

“For schemes to continue to attract strong buyer and rental interest, not to mention solid management and maintenance essential to retaining and growing property values, it is vital that property owners and bodies corporate select very carefully when they appoint a managing agent,” says French.

This is according to Paul French, commercial director for Coastal Property Management Services, who says the introduction of the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act and the Community Schemes Ombud Service Act in early October last year, has brought added complexity to sectional schemes and shifted the spotlight to the importance of choosing a good managing agent.

“For schemes to continue to attract strong buyer and rental interest, not to mention solid management and maintenance essential to retaining and growing property values, it is vital that property owners and bodies corporate select very carefully when they appoint a managing agent,” says French.

Aside from the obvious importance of a credible track record in the field and area in particular, French says you should also look for an agent that is passionate and committed to the job. “It is important for property owners and investors to know that their property is in good hands.”

French says some of the important considerations when choosing a managing agent include:

1. Consider all your options

Make a selection of five managing agents that you want to interview rather than just directly appointing a single agency on the say-so of someone in the complex.

2. Look for a strong and recognisable brand

The next important point, is to look for a managing agent that has been in operation for at least two to five years with a proven and demonstrable track record. Also ask for references.

Aside from the obvious importance of a credible track record in the field and area in particular, French says you should also look for an agent that is passionate and committed to the job. “It is important for property owners and investors to know that their property is in good hands.”

3. Consider infrastructure, financial services and support

Be sure to choose an agent with a good IT and financial infrastructure that can ensure the efficient billing and collection of levies and other moneys, and someone with a ‘hands-on’ management capability.

4. Find an agent with a full portfolio of services

It is always advisable to select a managing agent that offers a full portfolio of services to meet the end-to-end needs of a complex or scheme. While most may offer the basic running of meetings and the financial and administrative aspects, what about the vital matter of maintenance? This is something that a responsive managing agent offers to its clients, so in essence, a one-stop shop.

5. Responsiveness

You would want a fairly quick turnaround on vital issues and queries, so be sure to also check that the managing agent can respond quickly to queries and issues and address these effectively and efficiently. Most trustees and property owners work or have busy business interests and they would want a managing agent and support team that can attend to matters as speedily as possible.

6. Registration and accreditation

Be sure to check that the managing agent is registered with all of the required industry bodies and associations including the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) and National Association of Managing Agents (NAMA).

French says property is the cornerstone of wealth creation and property owners invest vast amounts of money into their sectional title property. They would want to be assured that the property is managed by a credible managing agent. Anyone looking to rent, buy or invest into a property will also want to know that, and a well-managed complex or scheme will no doubt also attract good capital value 
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