Outsourcing maintenance and other tasks could damage the property management profession, according to a group of property managers.
Property management professionals who attended a recent Purple Emperors Club meeting concluded that outsourcing would not provide consumers with the consistency and level of service they were demanding.
As a result, the property management industry would be devalued if the trend continued.
ireviloution intelligence managing director Jo-Anne Oliveri said the growing popularity of outsourcing maintenance was related to a lack of agency systems and accountability across the board.
Place Newmarket property manager, Ranita Patel added that if more agencies outsourced, more consumers would lose faith in the industry.
“Outsourcing may appear like the ‘easy path’ to cut costs, but agencies are not looking at the long-term problems. Giving away control means property managers lose touch with their clients and properties, resulting in relationship breakdowns,” she said.
Attendees also agreed that instead of outsourcing, principals needed to educate their clients on how they benefited from their services.
Business development manager at Thomson Real Estate Marcel Dybner told Residential Property Manager he agreed with the conclusions from the meeting.
“As property managers, it’s our role to look after and know everything about a property and take full responsibility for everything we do,” he said.
“By outsourcing any key task of a property manager, you’re wiping your hands clean and you can’t provide the owner with the service they need.
“If a property manager can’t manage the maintenance of a property on top of the things they need to do, then maybe the business needs to look at their processes better and figure out a way that a property manager can do that.”
According to CEO of Tradebusters Laorence Nohra, there was a misconception that outsourcing maintenance meant property managers would lose control.
“Good outsourcing is about how you gain control,” she said. “It’s not about ‘Hey, let’s just outsource everything and leave it with the service provider and not have anything to do with it'.
“You may only be outsourcing parts of a process but the property manager still has a role in overseeing the process, being involved in that process but recognising that in certain aspects of it where it makes sense and where it adds value, a service provider is involved.”
Ms Nohra told Residential Property Manager last week that research by her company had found many real estate offices were decentralised and operating inefficiently.
By outsourcing where appropriate, property managers would save money and have more time to win prospective vendors and assist existing clients, she said.