Appointing a Managing Agent in Singapore

 

Often Management Council members and owners are perplexed by this question. Most condominiums moved from one Managing Agent to another in succession but without the needed improvements in service and good state of maintenance.

There are multiple facets to this matter.

Let's look at the owners' needs first. The owners need to save up for the major replacements / repairs that would come a few years later. Given that the cost of replacement / repairs escalate every year due to inflation puts pressure on the savings and raises the possibility of the owners having to top up sometime in the future. This is not something the owners like. A Managing Agent who can help the owners save costs would be most welcomed.

Secondly, within the tight budget, the Managing Agent has to execute out the daily repairs. Often somewhere will give way due to the fiscal pressure.

Thirdly, speed of execution, quality of work and follow through. Managing Agents work through 3rd party contractors and are dependent on their time table. The 3rd party contractors may not be responsive and that backflows & impacts the performance of the Managing Agent.

Also, the frontline staff of the Managing Agent is constantly bombarded by some tough residents. Over time, that wears down the staff of the Managing Agent, resulting in resignation. This again impacts the performance of the Managing Agent.

The above gives a glimpse on the challenges faced by Managing Agents during their day to day operations. No perfect answer exists. Thus, when the Council selects the Managing Agent, it is important to be realistic and recognise this fact. These are in addition to the usual selection factors like management capabilities, systems & procedures, customer skills and staff quality/experience.

In many instances, depending on the mindset of the Council, the selection criteria may just focus on how cheap is the Managing Agent's fees. Perhaps a better approach is look at the totality of the Managing Agent's philosophy/strategy for the estate, management capabilities, systems & procedures, staff quality/experience and lastly the fees.

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