By Eion Towle
IN the past, property management consisted of three general objectives which were securing the tenants, collecting rent and the maintenance of the building. Previously, property management can be easily managed by an individual without the need for an external party. Even so, times are changing and with it comes a more dynamic environment. Tenants now have differing needs, and property managers should adapt to the new changes.
The management of properties that fall under the commercial, residential and industrial building categories are regulated by the law set by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEP). As such, property management is now regarded as a professional career and a business opportunity.
Recently we have invited seasoned property investor, speaker and blogger Ken Teo to explain further about the nature of the job. According to him, the term property management is often misunderstood as the job scope only covers facility management. He also stated that property managers are those who negotiate and ensure that a property is safe and fit for human habitation.
“They usually find the most qualified service providers in the fields, from security to government authorities and then elect them based on the votes of their local tenants.
“Unlike overseas, Malaysian property managers are not involved with tenant management and profit generation, but rather into building and facility management,” said Teo.
Teo stated that a property manager is also responsible for the level of comfort and safety for his occupants. “Tenants must be able to carry out their day-to-day task, business and recreational activities, among others in the property,” said Teo, adding that it is a must for property managers to ensure all the requirements are being met before allowing occupancy.
The flow of management follows a three-step process; advising, planning, and execution.
The four main scopes of property manager:
- Resident management
- Building maintenance
- Facility maintenance
- Accounting and human resources
Regarding resident management, the manager is responsible for electing a security firm to guard the property. A selection is made based on the most trustworthy and notable security firms. Typically, property managers are tasked with talent management and they are required to find the most efficient and qualified person for the job. It is to ensure that residents are getting the optimal amount of services that they have paid for.
“Property managers are usually in charge of managing the collection of maintenance fees along with the accounting and reporting the aspects of rental,” said Teo.
Upkeep and maintenance
“Property managers also govern the upkeep of buildings and the general repair of facilities,” said Teo, adding that there are those who ensure that lifts and stairs are rationally placed to maximise movement.
The maintenance of the building services comprises three categories which are scheduled, preventive and corrective. Scheduled maintenance is done where the maintenance of a certain device or facility is done at regular intervals following a set period.
Similarly, preventive maintenance is done regularly to reduce the possibility of the facility failing to function. Corrective maintenance commences after defects in the device or facility has been identified. These problems are then corrected accordingly.
Managing a property in any form is no easy task. Hence, some developers employ property management teams to help mitigate any problem that might arise.