Q&A: Working with RMCs as a FirstPort Property Manager in London

Property Manager, Jennie Roos looks after some of FirstPort’s most prestigious residential developments, working primarily with Resident Management Companies (RMCs), alongside other clients, to provide the support and expertise. 

Here, she shares insight about working with RMCs and how property managers like FirstPort can provide the additional support needed to help Resident Directors fulfil their duties and obligations. 

Can you tell us about your career in property management? 

I have worked in various areas of the property industry for 25 years and I made the move into leasehold management five years ago, specialising in resident managed developments.

Block management pulls on all my experience because it is so varied. Having a well-rounded CV helps me to use my knowledge to react quickly to any challenges that arise. No other job I have found requires the range of skills that a property manager requires, and I love it. 

What would you say makes an effective property manager?

Without a doubt, communication is essential to being a good property manager. You have to wear so many hats and you need to be able to cater your communication accordingly. You've got to have the head of an accountant, the heart of a therapist, and you have to be very versatile. 

What are the biggest challenges for RMC Directors?  

Taking a group of diverse people and putting them together and asking them to make decisions as a collective can sometimes be challenging, but the key to success with this is expertise and communication.

One of the biggest challenges has come with changes within health and safety legislation and requirements, especially in higher risk buildings.

I make sure to support and clearly explain the duties and liabilities involved in being a Resident Director and that, unless these are adhered to, there can be serious implications. When a property management company is involved, it is the responsibility of a Property Manager like me to guide the Resident Directors as a collective on many of these areas to make informed decisions that are best for the site as a whole. 

What are the biggest benefits of an RMC appointing a property management company for their development?  

A property management company takes the stress of managing the site, from accounts, cost estimates, overseeing on-site staff, contractors, general day-to-day queries from leaseholders and the everyday running of a site. Without a property management company that would all fall to the RMC or RTM Directors who will not typically have the experience, knowledge or access to information that is required. 

I have sat with many RMC’s who question what the management fee consists of, and they have looked at opting to self-manage the development. But when the fee is broken down to them, they understand that managing a residential development is not always a one-man job and they very rarely opt to do it themselves. There’s also the back-office support that the right property management company can provide, from a dedicated health and safety team, project management co-ordinators, major works teams, through to an accounts, billings, and collections. 

What do you enjoy most about working with RMCs?

Working with Resident Directors is a very personable thing, and you have to invest time in learning about your directors. I enjoy getting to know the directors of the RMCs and that is where I thrive. 

Are you a Resident Director in London looking for a property management company with the right skills, experience, and professionalism to meet your needs? Please visit our Resident Managed Developments page to find out more.

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