4 ways to make your life easier as a resident director

4 ways to make life easier

Being the director of a residents’ management company isn’t always easy. You want to do your best by your residents, but the job brings a range of serious responsibilities that can make life busy and occasionally stressful – whether your block is a new build or a period property. However, life as a resident director can also be very rewarding – and these four tips will help you avoid much of the hassle and make the most of your role.

 

1. Invest in your relationship with your managing agent

 

Take time to build a good relationship with your management agent. It will save you time in the long run and make your role as resident director a lot less stressful. Having a strong relationship is not only more pleasant for everyone – it will also stand you in good stead when it matters. Mutual respect and good communication are much more likely to make your agent respond quickly, work hard to solve problems and generally go the extra mile for you.

 

In fact, “communicating well is key to a good relationship” says Rynew’s Creative Director Desmond Moreira. “Be crystal-clear from the start about how you and your fellow-directors on the RMC board are going to communicate with the agent, then keep that line of communication open and try to keep all your dealings friendly and positive. If something isn’t right, be very clear about that too – but try to make it about the problem, not the person.”

 

A strong relationship with your agent is the foundation of good service – and good service will make your life so much easier.

 

2. Keep residents in the loop

 

It’s important to keep your residents happy and one way to do this is to keep them informed. Many residents feel forgotten by RMC directors who never meet or speak to them. Although you’re not obliged to consult residents about your decisions, it’s a nice gesture to stay in touch fairly regularly so they feel involved. So decide on your policy for this – maybe set up a monthly newsletter or a quarterly meeting – and stick to it.

 

“You can actually take this a bit further by involving residents in some smaller decisions,” suggests Desmond Moreira. “Even if it’s something like choosing a new colour for their front doors, it shows respect and can really build goodwill.” You’d be surprised what a difference this can make to your residents. And happy residents are another sure way to free up your time and avoid hassle!

 

3. Take health and safety seriously

 

Health and safety is a vital issue that can be easy to overlook. If you use a property management company, complying with regulations is their responsibility – so some resident directors feel fairly relaxed about the topic. However, you owe it to your residents to take it very seriously.

 

What’s more, if an agent makes a recommendation you don’t choose to carry out, be aware that you must log a justifiable reason – or if an accident happens, you could be sued. 

“Nowadays you often hear people complaining that ‘health and safety has gone too far,” explains Desmond Moreira. “It’s true that complying with all the regulations can be time-consuming, but it’s nowhere near as time-consuming – or costly – as dealing with the fall-out from an accident.” A good agent will know what needs doing, so you’ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble by giving their recommendations the go-ahead. Better safe than sorry…

 

4. Don’t make extra work for yourself

 

If you’ve appointed an agent for your block management, try to relax and let them get on with it. “It’s not always easy to let go of the reins,” says Desmond Moreira. “You’re probably anxious about whether they’ll do a good job and it can be tempting to get involved. But the point of the agent is to free up your time and make your life simpler, not add to your workload. So be clear from the start about what you expect, accept that it’s their job to solve any problems that come up. As the saying goes, don’t keep a dog and bark yourself!”

 

Bottom line? Let your managing agent manage. It’s what you pay them for – and if you’ve got the right agent, they’ll do it much better and faster than you! Armed with these tips, you’ll save a lot of time and trouble and make your life as a resident director much easier.

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