Outsourcing maintenance can be a useful technique for property managers if they are willing to relinquish some control over their properties, according to a major network’s CEO.
Chairman of CENTURY 21 Australasia Charles Tarbey told Residential Property Manager many practitioners found it difficult to let go of data about their landlords and tenants.
“Real estate practitioners guard their data very strongly,” he said. “They often feel they are losing control by outsourcing.
“In my view, outsourcing is probably a more efficient manner to do it, but not outsourcing the entire operation.”
Mr Tarbey said outsourcing, if it was done effectively, could provide savings for landlords.
However, he added that as it was a relatively new initiative, he had yet to hear from real estate agents as to whether they were satisfied with the results.
Director of Stockdale&Leggo Albury Philip Bell said he saw pros and cons to outsourcing maintenance.
“We find that using our contact base of tradespeople to carry out repairs, renovations and maintenance is beneficial to our landlord clients, as well as simplifying the communication process between property managers, tenants, trades, and landlord clients,” he said.
“By utilising the services of familiar tradespeople – the people we use often – we find that property managers gain knowledge of how the trades charge their time, organise their priorities for jobs, the quality of workmanship and so on.
“It also enables property managers to call on their relationship with the trades to return to a job quickly and without fuss if for some reason a repair didn’t work out as planned, or needed fine tuning.”
Echoing Mr Tarbey’s comments, Mr Bell said the negative side of outsourcing maintenance was the loss of control.
“By outsourcing maintenance our property managers would lose control of the maintenance process, as well as not being as informed as they should be of the progress of some works, in order to enable adequate reporting to their client or a tenant,” he said.
“By adding another link in the maintenance chain there is more room for uncertainty, particularly with larger jobs.”