How to become effective property managers in London

Being property managers in London is a demanding job that usually requires multitasking, making decisions on the spot and planning ahead.

Here are our 9 top tips for becoming effective property managers in London, from our long experience.

Property managers in London particularly need to focus specifically on the unique daily tasks that they face in running an efficient and profitable business.

Implementing time-saving strategies into your workday can make you more efficient, minimise problems and increase your job satisfaction.

Before you start with dealing with tasks, remember that you are the head of a team comprised usually of maintenance workers, outside contractors and more.

It’s hard enough to manage your own time with no distractions, but as a property manager, another person’s crisis becomes yours.

To be the best property manager you can be, it’s important that you take control of your schedule and understand how to focus your time and efforts to be more efficient and effective at your job.

In order to accomplish all your property management goals for the day, week and year, boost your skills by following these time management tips for property managers:

1. Make a List

It sounds cliché, but it’s important to create a priority list at the end of each day for tomorrow, or early in the morning of each day.

Whether you make your list using a computer software program, a scheduling app on your smartphone or in your business planner, create the list and refer to it often throughout the day.

2. Prioritise the List

Determining what needs your attention first and what can wait is critical in managing your time effectively throughout the day and week.

For example, you may want to start the day by managing maintenance requests and repair issues,  then move on to others on your list.

3. Use Your Morning Effectively

Studies show that people are generally more productive in the morning. Resting well helps focus better.

Schedule your most difficult tasks or projects for the morning so you can be your best and make sure your team is also following this advice.

4. Stick to One Task at a Time

It’s easy to get distracted when you are in the middle of a task. You may fool yourself into thinking that you can leave one task, take care of something else, and then return to the first task with no hiccups.

Instead, studies show that working on tasks one at a time until you complete them is actually the most efficient way to get things done.

5. Group Similar Tasks Together

It is much more efficient to group tasks together and deal with them either collectively or right in a row.

Go out one time to complete several errands rather than going out and back for each errand. Also, group similar tasks to be more efficient. This keeps you mentally ready to deal with them.

For example, if you need to call a few contractors to set up appointments, do them in succession. So, you have all your notes in one place, your mind is focused on asking the right questions and listening to the answers.

6. Use Your Tools & Resources

Technology is a wonderful time saver. If you aren’t already utilizing the many different applications that technology provides, it’s time to get up to speed.

Tools like electronic calendars, appointment reminders, texting, electronic banking, and social media all make you more efficient when you know how to use them wisely.

However, don’t let technology distract you too much. Keep your focus on your tasks.

7. Minimise Interruptions

Even if your to-do list is perfectly spaced so that you’ll get everything done, there are those unexpected events that instantly prevent you from completing your goals.

Whether it’s a personal emergency or just one of many immediate issues that pop up in a day, interruptions can completely throw you off. They prevent you from doing the things you need to.

Even more difficult to deal with are the smaller, innocent interruptions, such as a phone call that goes too long.

8. Break Up Big Tasks

If you have a huge task that you are shying away from because it is a big time suck or you simply don’t want to do it, break projects into smaller tasks and accomplish something each day.

For example, if you must clean out your file cabinets for the new year and archive old tenant files, split the job into sections and handle one each day.

So, you could commit to dealing with all tenant files from A to D one day, then E to G the next day, and so forth.

Organizing a task into a series of smaller ones gives you a much better success rate and you arrive at the same result with less stress.

9. Laugh a Little

There will be days when things go wrong and you won’t have accomplished anything on your list.

Instead of beating yourself up about it, just laugh about your crazy, wonderful job! Then, make a promise that you’ll do better tomorrow.

It’s easy for stress, frustration and guilt to overwhelm a busy property manager. So, don’t let it happen or you will be setting yourself up for many future days of disasters.

When you aren’t at your best, your job suffers. Make sure you stay mentally healthy by recognizing your limits and laughing about them from time to time.

All the demands on your time are just part of being a property manager, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

By implementing some time management tips and working more efficiently, your productivity will increase and your satisfaction will grow. Your management will be much more successful when you master your own day to day operations.

Discover the West London Property Network!

Read more: What is vacant property management?  – What is a Block Manager and what are their responsibilities

If you are looking for effective property managers in London, based in Chiswick and working with Central London and West London property (West KensingtonShepherds Bush, Ealing, BarnesHammersmithHolland ParkNotting HillKensington, and more) ask for a 30-minutes free consultation with Blue Crystal Property Management.

Call 02089947327 or email pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk now!

How to choose your estate agent…

Your home most likely is the most valuable asset you have, if you think about it, when you make an offer in London and proceed with the transaction, it is probably worth hundreds of thousands of pounds in some cases millions. At times we make decisions after seeing about 15-20 properties and make an offer.

When it comes to choosing an agent to sell your property, there are a few routes you can take.

  1. You can chose an agent who just sold a property or two in the same road or next road, check that the valuation is the correct value and you are not under marketing it.
  2. Speak with neighbours, friends and family and get recommendations and find out how their agent handled their property sale, did they handle it professionally, did they get the best price, was it a smooth transaction.
  3. Your estate agent is a reflection of you so I certainly would not advice you to instruct the agent who offers the lowest fee. The fee may reflect their ability to sell and cut marketing costs or chose staff members who are not experienced, not well presented, not so good at selling.
  4. Make sure they work with professional photographers and market on well known property websites and order well designed property details.
  5. I would certainly recommend anyone to put their property on the market with 2 agents at the same time. This would create competition to sell between agents so both agents will work hard on selling your property quickly and getting you the highest price possible.
  6. It is highly recommended to go with an estate agent that has lots of properties on the market at or around the price range of your home. This will bring in plenty of your buyers in your price range to the estate agency, they might already have your buyer registered. Buyers tend to view all properties that is in their price range, requested specification and acceptable location. At times they might be open minded and view properties that are out of their desired list and be open minded about their options.

If you have any questions regarding how to choose your estate agent please contact Pelin Martin on 0208 994 7327 or on pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk

 

Ways to invest in property…….

Buying a property outright

This is the common well known option. There are several risks when you buy property directly, whether for yourself or as a buy-to-let investment.

  1. Money tied up – unlike shares or bonds, it takes a long time to sell property.
  2. Big commitment – when you buy a property, you’re putting a lot of eggs in a single basket.
  3. You have to come up with 25% deposit in most cases, which is a high amount to tie up for a period of time.
  4. Buying and selling costs – with estate agent and surveyor fees, stamp duty, land tax, solicitors’ and conveyancing fees to consider. From 1 April 2016, you’ll have to pay an extra 3% on top of each Stamp Duty band when you buy an additional home or a residential buy-to-let property.
  5. Demanding – doing maintenance work and managing property takes time and money. You might need to extend the lease – if you don’t own the freehold outright. This is another cost and can take some time to negotiate.

If you use a mortgage or a loan to buy property, there are additional risks:

There’s no guarantee you’ll earn enough rent to cover loan repayments.

The cost of the mortgage might rise.

If you don’t keep up with repayments, the bank or building society can take back the property.

Other options

  1. You can appoint a property sourcer to find you a property that is available at a lower price as some vendors are looking to sell in a short period of time. If the property need updating, you can refurbish the property and sell it on. You can move on to the next deal.
  2. You can work with another investor, who gathers a pool of money from a number of investors and refurbishes the property and returns the revenue back to the investors. Your money is safe as your lawyer will put a charge on the property protecting your percentage. You need to check if the sums add up before getting into the deal and do your research as well as going through presented numbers. This method enables you to invest with lesser amount than the full deposit.
  3. Joint venture would be also a great way to get involved. A property sourcer or an estate agent can put you in touch with vendors who would be interested in updating their property without the cost of buying fees and mortgage monthly payments. In this option you update the property and share revenue with the owner of the property. Again your lawyer would put a charge on the property protecting your investment.

If you have any questions regarding how to invest in property, please contact Pelin Martin on 0208 994 7327 or email pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk – www.bluecrystallondon.co.uk

 

Small bathroom ideas…..

By using a modest color palette with just a little bit of bold colours, you can create the feeling of space.

Consider

Where to invest?………

It is well known; It all comes down to location, location, location. To be more specific, the proximity of the property to key transport links, tube, train or Elizabeth line. A property that would provide the tenant with mobility.
It is common knowledge that 75% of tenants want to live 5-10 minutes walking distance from the transport links and most prefer to be 30-40 minute commute to work.

How to identify the best areas to invest?

Any area that has signs regeneration is taking place, lots of cranes, developments would be a clue. This is followed by investors coming to the area and taking up retail and commercial spaces.

Outer area such as Croydon, Colindale, Royal Docks and Canning Town are expected to generate good returns with a low entry cost, anticipated to increase due to regeneration plans.

Consider what type of investment you are looking to make

  • New build
  • Property in a regeneration area
  • Property in an already established area

Which one is right for you depends on your personal circumstances and preferences. There is no right or wrong answer….

If you have any questions regarding where to invest please contact Pelin Martin on 0208 994 73 27 or pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk – www.bluecrystallondon.co.uk

How to rent your home while working abroad…..

Find a Property Manager
Being an expat and a landlord can be tricky. Although you might be on the other side of the world, you still are responsible for your tenants and managing the property. A qualified and effective property manager could be your closest ally in this endeavour.
According to www.StartLivingAbroad.com, working with a property manager in your home country can make your life much easier. The property manager will help you find tenants, check in on your property, coordinate property repairs, billing, contracts and keep you informed of news and events going on with your tenants. Most of all, they’ll give you the peace of mind to live and work comfortably while abroad.
Property managers typically charge around 5-6% percent of what you get for monthly rent to the manager. Also, many larger management companies work for communities that have multiple homes, and won’t take on an individual who is renting out his or home. That limits the pool of potential managers for you to hire.

How to Be Your Own Property Manager
If you really want to maximize your income, you can rent your house or apartment on your own, but there are some things you need to consider, such as repairs. As the landlord, it’s incumbent on you to get repairs done in a timely and effective manner. Find a reliable repair person, and develop a relationship with him or her. If you’re offering steady work, you should be able to negotiate a good rate.
You also should have a family member or close friend serve as a contact person for the tenant when issues arise such as a tenant not paying rent on time, or making noise that results in complaints from a neighbour.
You’ll also need to handle paperwork, such as applications and a rental agreement. Some resources for free agreements:
• The Law Depot (www.lawdepot.com)
• Rocket Lawyer (www.rocketlawyer.com)
• EZ Landlord Forms: (www.EZlandlordforms.com)
Knowing what’s going on in the home you own is natural, but checking in isn’t as easy as it may seem. Your apartment or house will be the tenant’s home, and tenants have a right to privacy. In general, a landlord is not allowed to enter a tenant’s home to “check in” on things, and needs cause to do so. Setting up security cameras is out, as that can be considered stalking, and could even lead to criminal charges.
The best bet is to have people you know and trust drive by the home and check for signs. Also, if a repair is needed, the person making the repair can give you an update about the apartment. But be careful here, just because the tenant isn’t caring for the home the way you would doesn’t mean he or she is in violation of the landlord-tenant agreement.

If you have any questions regarding property management, please contact Pelin Martin on 0208 994 7327 or on pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk – www.bluecrystallondon.co.uk

How to plan a new kitchen……

Before you start planning a new kitchen, the first thing you need to decide is whether you want to update your current kitchen or start totally fresh. Look at what you already have, what you like and don’t like, and what you want to remove, move or keep.

If the kitchen layout works, only change it if you can see it will bring a real benefit. Bear in mind that if you’re planning on moving, totally updating your kitchen might not add value; many buyers want to put their own stamp on a place and won’t want to change a new kitchen. Kitchen design ideas If you want an entirely new kitchen, think about the layout and how you use your current kitchen. Ask yourself these questions: What elements do you want to be close to together, such as the fridge and cooking station, so you don’t have to make too many trips around the kitchen?

Where will you want most worktop space? Next to the hob and oven? How much storage do you need? Think about whether you need more than you currently have and what you need to store.

Do you use your kitchen for dinner parties or do you have kids to accommodate? Do you therefore need space for a table or for someone to sit to talk to you while you cook?  Where do you want to keep the utensils and dinnerware that you use most? Do you have a lot of gadgets, and will you want these out, so you can use them quickly, or stored away? What appliances do you want, and will there be room for them? For example, you may want an American-style fridge freezer instead of a slimmer fridge. Thinking about how you use your current kitchen, and how you want to use the new one, will help ensure that your day-to-day needs aren’t overlooked in the planning process. You then need to look at the constraints in your kitchen, such as size and the positions of doors, windows and sockets.

If you have any questions regarding property renovations, please contact Pelin Martin on 0208 994 7327 or on pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk – www.bluecrystallondon.co.uk