Decent Property Managers in Cardiff?

by Readers Question

11:42 AM, 27th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Decent Property Managers in Cardiff?

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Decent Property Managers in Cardiff?

I’m new to this website and forum so pleased to make your acquaintance. Decent Property Managers in Cardiff?@

Does anyone know of a property management company in Cardiff or the surrounding area that they would recommend for the management of a small portfolio of residential properties? Two are student let and three are professional lets.
I need a company whose fees are reasonable but first and foremost they need to do what they say and charge for and keep my tenants happy.

As you probably know, the new LL licensing system is coming to Wales shortly and I would have to get qualified and coupled with the fact I travel a lot it’s better, in balance to have someone representing me in this.

I have tried a couple of companies in the past which turned out to be absolutely dire. I do not want a repeat of this.

Cheers, Tim



Comments

Mark Alexander

11:45 AM, 27th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Tim

Letting Supermarket (an agency which Property118 founders have invested into) are looking to recruit an agent in Cardiff but don't have anybody there just yet.

The following linked post will give you an indication of what to look out for and also what to expect from Letting Supermarket when a Cardiff based agent is appointed by them >>> http://www.property118.com/property-management-checklist/67891/
.

Tim Vale

12:02 PM, 27th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "27/10/2014 - 11:45":

Thanks Mark

Cardiff is a difficult one. There's plenty of independent EA's but nobody I could instruct without having reservations. The corporates seem just as bad and nobody seems to have a value for money service except for a couple I spoke to who have theirs managed by a sole trader who only does management and maintenance, not letting of property. He does them for £35 per month including 3 free call outs per month. He's not taking on any more property at the moment though.

I think there's a niche market in Cardiff for someone decent to compete - I'd consider starting up there myself if I were not already engaged in other things.

If ever you get to the point where you want some info on the local EA's for your project, please let me know. I'll give you all the details that I know including who should definitely be avoided at all costs.

Still if anyone knows an honest and reliable manager in Cardiff, please point me in their direction.

Cheers, Tim

Mark Alexander

12:16 PM, 27th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Tim Vale" at "27/10/2014 - 12:02":

Hi Tim

Ideally Letting Supermarket want to appoint an experienced AIIC or APIP qualified inventory clerk as their local agent. They will be responsible for viewings, check in/out, producing inventories, maintenance management and periodic inspections. Likewise, please let me know if you come across somebody who may be suitable.

All other functions of management such as advertising, rent collection, referencing etc. are dealt with centrally at Letting Supermarket head office.

Where else in South Wales can you get the same level of service from an ARLA agent for a fee of just 4% of rent collected?

Even with this level of pricing, an agent of Letting Supermarket can make decent money as their portfolio grows. Best of all, they don't need to do any of their own marketing as that's all centralised and there are no up-front costs such as a franchise fee.

Hundreds of Property118 landlords now utilise the services of Letting Supermarket and we produce a consent flow of new enquiries to them.

Further details of the pricing and services provided by Letting Supermarket can be found HERE >>> http://www.property118.com/property-management-checklist/67891/
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Carol Thomas

12:40 PM, 27th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Tim. I can highly recommend Letting Supermarket. I took Mark's recommendation and approached them several months ago. At that time, I had a tenant who needed to be evicted and I couldn't deal with it as I had become too close to her (not a good idea!). They took over my four properties and I have never looked back. Rents go into my account as soon as they are paid, problems are sorted out quickly and efficiently and I am extremely satisfied with them. Mark, have you had a word with Tony to see if he can get someone in Cardiff ASAP (knowing you I suspect you have).
Tim, I would recommend that you register your interest with them and wait for them to be set up in Cardiff. If you want to speak to me I am sure Mark has some way he can arrange it for you. Best wishes, Carol

Mark Alexander

12:44 PM, 27th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "CaZ " at "27/10/2014 - 12:40":

Hi Carol

Yes I've spoken to Tony because demand in Cardiff is growing.

They are recruiting now and this thread has presented a fantastic opportunity for us to help spread the word about that. Hopefully somebody reading this thread will either tick all of the boxes or know somebody who could.
.

Tim Vale

12:55 PM, 27th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "27/10/2014 - 12:16":

Thanks again Mark

I'll keep you informed of my progress. I am from a property management maintenance background but am working on other things now.

Just to recap though, you're looking for an agent as opposed to a mainstream agency with a high street presence?

I was seriously looking into starting something like this and then another opportunity arose which means I'm tied up for the next six months. There is definitely a market for this service though.

I don't think an established EA would embrace this opportunity as it's in direct competition with their own services and will probably lead to them having to equalise their pricing.

From other LL's I speak to, I get the distinct impression that they don't mind paying good money for the service but that they often get short changed and charged for things that aren't actually happening. There are so many companies charging from about 8% - 12% plus VAT. At the lower end of this scale, I think we're not too far of the mark but the service would need to be exemplary to justify it.

So many are paying £100 plus a month for a 3 or 4 bed property then a minimum of £50 plus vat for a call out. When I used to do property management I charged about 6% no VAT (as I wasn't registered for it) but this included call outs - kind of like an insurance policy. This obviously didn't include repairs but I had great staff and we were the cheapest around there too.

The only time clients were charged a call out was when they skimped on repairs and the same issues kept arising. We soon ended up dis-instructing a few though as we thought they were not being fair to the tenants. Often the threat of dis-instruction would be sufficient for them to get their house in order.

Basically I need someone to supply the same service and level of service that I, myself used to supply. Haven't found anyone yet.

Cheers, Tim

Tim Vale

13:02 PM, 27th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "CaZ " at "27/10/2014 - 12:40":

Thanks Carol and Mark

I know one guy in Cardiff who would be great at it but he said he's totally disenfranchised with the whole thing. Loves working with property and did a lot for me but he works for one client only now and hates estate agents!!

It seems to be the state of the industry, at least in Cardiff. Very hard to know who to trust and if the good ones are bailing out because they think the industry is failing them it doesn't bode too well.

Carol Thomas

15:40 PM, 27th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Tim Vale" at "27/10/2014 - 13:02":

Hi Tim
I am sure that Tony will be doing everything in his power to get Lettingsupermarket set up in Cardiff. I have family (retired) who live there and if I did too, I would definitely apply for the job! Their prices are very reasonable and the client can have as much/little involvement as they wish. Due to previous experiences, it suits me not to get to know my tenants, but that isn't set in stone. Tony rings/emails me if there are any problems and we decide of we want to do it ourselves, get a tradesman we know or Tony will sort it out for us. Works perfectly and the relief of not having to do this myself is enormous and worth every penny! Hope you get sorted soon, hang on for them if you can!
Regards, Carol

Tim Vale

15:49 PM, 27th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Thanks again, Carol

That sounds exactly the kind of service I was hoping for.

I will look into this more and keep the forum posted. My friend, Steve who is ideal for this job recently finished with a lettings resigning thoath. This was supposed to be one of the better ones but he ended up resigning in less than a month and vowed never to go back into it again.

If I'm free after my current contract expires and nobody else is in the frame then i wouldn't mind applying.

I know exactly what you mean about getting too friendly with tenants. I had a really bad experience too.

Cheers, Tim

Tim Vale

16:09 PM, 27th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Tim Vale" at "27/10/2014 - 15:49":

Sorry, never a good idea to reply on a smartphone.

It thinks it knows better than I do about what I'm trying to write (I haven't been drinking, honestly). I don't understand how that even works as the corrections it made weren't ever real words.

What that last message was supposed to say was that my friend was working for an estate agency in Roath, Cardiff, doing lettings. I was going to trust him/them with my stock for management as they said they'd do a good deal for bringing multiple properties to them.

However, within just a couple of weeks of him being there, he'd pretty much had enough. Some of the things he told me about the way they treat landlords and tenants alike was disgraceful and he felt embarrassed about doing viewings on most of the properties they had.

They just didn't seem to care. He put in his notice in early October but they let him out a bit sooner. This is the third time he's gone back into lettings and property management after trying different careers and now he said he's definitely not going to do it again. Nobody cares about customer service and everyone is trying to get money for nothing according to him.

I'd like to believe that there are moral players in the property game but they are few and far between. I think the industry could do with more regulation in some ways but in directions that are beneficial to landlords and tenants. The way it is now, just seems to breed an apathetic attitude.

TV

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