13 October 2023
In an article originally published in News on the Block, Charles Lucas, our Business Development & Mobilisation Director, discusses how property managers support Resident Management Companies to ensure the mobilisation of their residential development is a seamless process for residents.
When a new-build residential development approaches completion, incoming Resident Directors may relish the prospect of managing a blank canvas of a development. However, the reality is that bringing the site to this point will have taken collaboration from a number of parties involved in the mobilisation process, often including a specialist property manager.
Mobilisation of a residential development is the culmination of all parties buying into one vision – from the developer’s initial concept, which has in turn been bought into (literally) by homeowners, and facilitated by property managers, who have applied specialist knowledge and experience to support the process.
Appointing a professional property manager can provide continuity for Resident Management Companies long after the developer is off site, to ensure that residents settle quickly into their new homes and that the development continues to run smoothly.
Demonstrating value for money
As a residential managing agent, it must always be remembered that the service charge that pays their fees and funds essential maintenance works is paid directly from the pockets of residents. This makes it legally and morally essential to ensure that property managers are providing genuine value for money. This has never been more important than with the current cost of living crisis at play. Paying attention to the mobilisation phase gives a clear picture of costs that may lie ahead once the development is occupied, and facilitates better, more transparent financial management down the line.
Buildings and mobilisation processes vary from case to case. Getting the mobilisation phase right can help ensure the right processes are in place from the start. A professional property manager can deliver not only expert knowledge, but the experience to handle the complex requirements of a development, whilst working closely with Resident Directors to ensure an engaged, informed, assured and happy community.
At FirstPort, we have a dedicated mobilisation team, with a mobilisation lead assigned to each development to liaise with individuals from our specialist support teams – such as finance, compliance, procurement, health and safety and legal – to ensure we can consider holistically all aspects of the process.
Our mobilisation approach extends beyond new-build developments. Our specialist team also has extensive experience of mobilising existing developments where we’ve been appointed to take over management, implementing new practises to improve how the site is managed.
Managing the complexities
Early mobilisation allows the property manager to truly get to know how a building has been put together and to understand in detail how it works and what is required to keep it running smoothly. Modern apartment buildings are far more complicated than they used to be and rightly the subject to far more scrutiny, particularly around areas such as fire prevention and mitigation systems, which need to be managed closely to ensure safety and compliance, particularly as legislation continues to evolve.
Whether mobilising a new development – designed to meet up-to-date requirements – or taking over management of an older development, utilising our resources to improve the running of the site in line with updated standards, having this knowledge and expertise in place as early as possible means that property managers can bring an element of continuity. By building strong relationships between developer and property manager – and subsequently between property manager and Resident Management Company – this helps to establish stability as residents settle into their new homes and management processes bed in.
Mobilisation and beyond
It is important to remember that mobilisation is a process rather than a single event, and that unforeseen issues can arise sometimes that may not have an immediately obvious solution. At times, it may also be unclear whose responsibility it is to take ownership of a problem and what resources are available for fixing it. At FirstPort, our access to in-house experts, as well as relationships with local and national contractors, mean that our teams can help identify the best solutions, both in the mobilisation process, and in the ongoing management of a development.
It cannot be emphasised enough quite how vital it is for residential property managers to be fully engaged in the mobilisation process, working alongside the community to provide continuity going forward and to ensure the best possible service to residents, to ensure that they are, and continue to be, satisfied and safe in their homes.
This article was originally posted on News on the Block on 13th October 2023.
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