30 September 2021
In an article published on Property Week, FirstPort Business Development Director, Charles Lucas reflects on his three decades in the residential property sector, looking at how the industry has evolved and what the future may hold for property managers, customers and clients.
I have been involved in residential property management since 1987. Over the past few decades, I have seen the good and the bad. The industry has changed immensely.
From a London-focused sector resistant to change, to nationwide and rapidly improving. Back in the 1980s, the urban centres of regional cities were not as popular as they are now. People lived out in the suburbs and commuted into cities, and any night-time socialising would be done on the outskirts of towns.
All of that has changed. With improved public transport and road infrastructure, people gradually began to gravitate towards city life with its emerging new options. In the 1980s and 1990s, we saw developers buying local housing blocks from underfunded councils, followed by a boom in the construction of bigger housing blocks, with more glass, leisure facilities and amenities on offer.
We are now seeing an appetite for a feel of community, with shared greener outdoor spaces, without the burden of the upkeep of a private garden.
The property management industry had to change massively over this period to respond to these many changes. The dynamic has changed from ‘tenant’ to ‘customer’. The whole industry is now more about people, not just buildings, than ever before. Customers are now better informed and, quite rightly, more demanding, with increased and more personalised customer service expectations and appetite for new technology, which meets their need for swift and efficient responses.
This article was originally posted on Property Week on 24th September 2021.