Realty are incredibly proud of our reputation for proactive management and doing what we say we are going to, when we say we’re going to do it. We have developed something of a niche in recent years for professionally turning around developments that have suffered a period of neglect. If we promise to take action we will, and with strong lines of communication and engagement, we are fast becoming known
as the agent of choice for those seeking proactivity and honesty, or simply for those with a problem to solve. Below are two recent case studies demonstrating how Realty’s proactive management approach to has succeeded where others have failed.
New to the portfolio last year, Quay 5 is located in Salford, Manchester and has been in the care of Realty since June 2018. The development of 5 blocks and 231 flats is situated within a popular residential area not far from the desirable amenities, bars and restaurants located in Spinningfields and Deansgate.
The development should have been one of the most popular places to reside in Manchester, but due to a period of neglect, it was clear that the capital and rental values at the development were starting to suffer. At the point of inception we found the development to be in a state of deterioration. The development had little funds, needed a significant amount of TLC, and had Fire Service Enforcement Notices in place.
The Residents and Directors in particular were worried as they had no reassurance nor received any correspondence as to the steps that were being taken to put right the period of neglect that their homes had suffered before our appointment.
Realty’s approach was to fully assess the information provided at the point of handover from the outgoing agent and to engage with the Directors immediately, outlining the full situation. The initial shock from the Directors was apparent, and as a result, meant that we would really have to work hard to build a trust with the leaseholders based on their previous experiences of Managing Agents.
It was agreed that the best course of action would be to engage with all affected leaseholders from the outset, to ensure the community within Quay 5 were able to fully express their thoughts, views and opinions and so that we could the formulate a positive action plan that all leaseholders would value. More importantly, we needed to ensure that the action plan was realistic and would continue to build trust between ourselves, the Directors and the leaseholders, while tackling the most pressing issues, while also keeping the budget restraints in mind.
Within nine months of action from Realty the enforcement notices were removed, cash flow has improved within the development, and the fire safety works have been delivered on budget. One leaseholder at Quay 5 commented: “After years of appalling neglect of our residential block by the previous management company, Realty has made a dramatic improvement in a very short period of time. The buildings were declared a fire hazard at the changeover and these have been
put right with a minimum of disruption and without excessive charges being passed on to leaseholders. As a result the buildings are now clean, safe, and very well presented.
You hear stories of companies putting on a good “show” in order to ingratiate themselves with flat owners, only to exploit them after things have settled. This, though rare, can never be discounted. However, having had extensive dealings with their team I can say without hesitation that this will not happen. They have been highly professional, courteous and responsive to issues which have arisen. A pleasure to work with after what went before.”
Appleby Lodge is one of Manchester’s hidden Art Deco gems. A development of 102 apartments situated within 1930’s buildings of such beauty and architectural importance that they are listed despite their 20th Century age.
Realty were approached following a significant period of neglect where this landmark development had been allowed to fall into a state of serious dilapidation. The key issues were numerous leaks to the unusual deco-style flat roofs and a failing communal heating and hot water supply, alongside many aesthetic and general maintenance issues. Capital and rental values of the apartments had plummeted and there was general discontent amongst the leaseholders.
Realty’s approach was to immediately engage with the leaseholders and formulate a short and medium term plan that resolved the key issues whilst bringing about greatly improved resident’ satisfaction and increases in property values that greatly outstripped the required project costs. The first stage of the project went ahead quickly following well supported statutory consultation and listed building consent, and this saw the blocks re-roofed with a technically advanced solution that completely eradicated all leaks. The communal ‘energy centres’ that provide heat and hot water each apartment were replaced with efficient and reliable modern systems with long life-spans. New and highly proactive site-based staff were appointed and this has brought about even greater resident satisfaction through attentive service and raised standards of maintenance and contractor management.
We are now in the process of stage two of the project where further major works are being undertaken to restore this landmark development to its’ former glory. This management project includes full restoration of the stunning curved and tiled entrances, redecoration of the internal communal areas including refurbishment of the original etched glazing, deco marbled finishes and polished brass and glazed balustrades.
The works and the development as a whole has attracted great interest in the locality since Realty’s involvement and there is currently a significant demand to acquire property at the development. Partly due to the tangible increases in capital value and rental income seen, but mainly because this development is now seen as a prestigious, unique and well maintained place to live. Just as it once was in the 30’s.
Beech House lies at the head of quiet road in suburban Didsbury. The development consists of 72 apartments within a purpose-built block, in desperate need of major works immediately. Alongside the general state of disrepair following mismanagement by more than one managing agent, the building was suffering from serious water ingress from the roof areas.
Realty were appointed on the promise that we would eradicate the water ingress within the first year of managing the development. Immediately upon appointment we undertook the required statutory consultation and shortly afterwards completed the full re-roofing works using professional contractors with a track record of resolving difficult water ingress problems and offering a cast-iron guarantee. The works were competed within nine months of our appointment and we are now focussing on bringing about increased standards of maintenance generally whilst planning a further major project to redevelop the run-down parking court areas into additional multi-level parking in accordance with the Clients’ instructions.
Our immediate and effective action has led directly to two neighbouring blocks of apartments switching managing agent to Realty on the back of the speed and professionalism of the works undertaken to date. One block required a similar resolution of action to some significant structural problems which have now been completed ahead of schedule, whist the other simply wanted the best possible proactive management of their significant assets.
The work Realty have undertaken to date has meant that property values at Beech House have soared from a 1-bedroom apartment valued at £98,750 in 2014 to £152,000 in 2019.