NOW FOR THE DETAILS:
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT -
Property Management can go from managing large portfolios of properties to managing individual houses. Marshall specializes in the Management of individual properties, such as the landlord's own home while he or she might be overseas etc. Despite being offered contracts for the Management of developments of apartments from time to time, he has chosen not enter into this field of activity. He steps into the landlord's shoes and, once again, asks himself, if this were my property how would I like to see it being taken care of going forward? If I were the tenant living in this house, what would I expect? If I were the tenant, how would I like to be treated by the Managing agent in my own home?
While Marshall represents the landlord's interests and acts in accordance with his principal's instructions, he has never needed to bully tenants and never had to lay down the law to anyone. He is depending on the tenants to be reasonable and in turn he tries always to be reasonable. In fairness, his tenants tend to be very senior professional people from the world of banking, insurance, business and the Diplomatic Corps etc. These tenants come from a culture of renting rather than buying and they know how to treat what is, and will be, their home for the next 3, 4 or 5 years. He remembers - every single time - that he is entering into someone's home. This is terribly important. He asks rather than demands. He suggests rather than insists. After all, his tenants don't need some smart-arse of an agent lecturing them. It's as simple as that. Whatever needs to be done, will be done. If the expenditure is going to be high, various options will be offered and it will be agreed in advance with the owner. If works are required as a result of some mistake on the part of the tenant, this will be discussed and amicably agreed between Marshall and the tenant. Marshall can be forthright and make his displeasure clear to a tenant if required, but it is done in a way that is reasonable to ensure that the parties can move forward together.
He does not go around the tenant's home taking photographs. Some agents boast about doing this every 3 months. How intrusive is that? If something needs to be photographed for clarity, it will be photographed. Even when he is showing a house, in which the current tenants are still residing, he will not allow the prospective tenant to take photographs. One would imagine this to be no more than common courtesy. However, this cannot always be taken for granted. Bad form.
Marshall is not in the business of bullying his tenants. He doesn't need to. He knows that the tenant, in reality, is the boss, like it or lump it. As the Managing Agent he has to be sure that the tenant is well taken care of. His standards are high and problems are dealt with swiftly. Marshall knows what it is like to be on the receiving end of bullying from his own landlord who basically let his office fall in around him. And he knows what it is like to be on the receiving end of demands and warnings from so called property management agents who then go on to ignore the actual problems. He has no time for this petty and vindictive carry on. He says life is too short.
Marshall admits, he's a bad tempered old grump but he never sets out to be deliberately offensive or hurtful to any person; landlord or tenant. Where's the benefit in insulting people? He has a bad habit of treating everyone equally. Maybe that's how he has avoided so many disputes. As an aside, if a landlord should fall into bad terms with a tenant (a tenant that Marshall hasn't introduced to that landlord) Marshall can often intervene to offer advice and can also assist in dispute resolution. He generally cuts through to the central issue and puts aside the mish-mash of confusion between what "he said / she said" where the parties may have become bogged down in hurt feelings and being terribly offended about what was never actually said or intended! He offers a fresh pair of eyes and, sometimes, by simply assessing what the problem actually is, is half the battle. Alas, he has little confidence in the Dispute Resolution Services offered by certain authorities.
This is a very important service: Contact Marshall before you start your planned renovations; after, might be too late! See Renovation Projects.