Here's Somebody Who Can Manage Your Home in Your Absence
Ten years back, when Vivek Sathpathy landed in Bengaluru with a job, all that he wanted was to own a home in the city. Years later, Vivek along with his wife Mitali bought a plush villa in Koramangala. Recently, the couple got an opportunity to move to the United States with an H-1 Visa. While they were thrilled to move to a new country, they were equally worried about how to look after their Rs 2.75-crore villa. The Sathpathys were in a fix.
“I was not sure about leasing my house I had so painstakingly purchased and designed. It was customised for my family's needs and we did not even have close relatives who would have wanted to move in temporarily and look after. It is then that we considered property management services,” says Vivek.
“Our very close friends had leased their beautiful home to tenants and when they came back, it was a mess. Even the security deposit wasn't enough to repair the broken tiles, unkempt garden and even the flooring was scathed. We did not want to take that chance,” says Mitali.
PropGuide's Sneha Sharon Mammen reached out to Tejas Ubale, Founder and Managing Partner at One Stop Solutions (OS2), a property management company in Mumbai to know the ambit and hold of these services. Here are some excerpts from the conversation:
Mammen: What does property management involve? Is it a growing trend or a necessity that will soon be a reality?
Ubale: A property management company works at the behest and on the behalf of the property owner. They directly liaise with the owners/societies, tenants, prospective buyers/ lessees thus, saving time and worry over activities involving marketing rentals, collecting rent, handling building maintenance and repair issues, tending to tenant complaints. It brings its know-how and experience to the property, thereby giving the owner or the society peace of mind knowing the asset is being managed well and is in safe hands. The services should not be looked at as an expense but an investment.
Mammen: What approximately would be the cost of hiring a property management company?
Ubale: Again, let us not see hiring a property management company as a “cost”. Proper maintenance of your asset will ensure its longevity, less money will be spent on repairs and maintenance.Thus, an overall increase in the value of the asset.
There is so much emphasis on finding the right plot for construction, a good architect, and a good contractor to build the dream building. So, why not invest in a good property management company to maintain it? A good management company will add value to your existing asset. At OS2, we look into security, housekeeping, landscaping and plumbing. Other services rendered by us are consulting and transactions.
Talking about the cost, a property management company can charge between eight and 15 per cent of the amount charged for the services rendered.
Being an owner, you may enjoy the hands-on management of your property; however, this might be at the cost of other important obligations – like family or work. You may not be in a position to manage everything given the amount of time you have.
Mammen: Who are your usual clients? Do you think non-resident Indians (NRIs) would be looking at this facility more than the locals?
Ubale: Anybody who has a real estate exposure is our potential client including corporate houses, retailers and individuals. Moreover, a large number of NRIs have real estate exposure in India. They probably visit their properties once a year and surely do not have time to maintain them. Yes, NRIs are looking at many of the solutions offered by property management companies.
Mammen: Are legal procedures also taken care of by the firm?
Ubale: No, we do not advice on legal matters. We, however, guide our clients to legal and subject matter experts.
Mammen: What do you think should people look for in a good property management company?
Ubale: When hiring a property management company, try and keep the following in mind.
∙ Don't go by big name alone
∙ Look at companies that are open to new and innovative ideas
∙ Choose companies that are focused in giving you value solutions
∙ Look for companies to become your long term partners
Traditionally property management companies have followed global best practices, and they are afraid to change in changing scenarios. We are constantly looking at trying new options. One of our client had unused spaces within his premises. We were able to convert these spaces into various amenities with minimum investment. This not only resulted in customer satisfaction but also increased the client's revenue.
Mammen: How popular is property management among people? Do you think there is a certain kind of uncertainty?
Ubale: Nowadays you see most malls, IT Parks, commercial buildings and luxurious residential projects managed by reputed management companies. Consumers have started to realise the importance of these services. Though uncertainty arises in the initial stages, this feeling is short-lived if the consumer is satisfied.