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Five Tips For Post-Crisis Property Maintenance

At Bold & Reeves, our core intention is to reduce the total cost of ownership for prime residential properties and minimize the amount of stress in our clients’ lives. And in the forthcoming period, where it may well be easier to save money than to earn it, and everyone is under pressure to adapt to extreme change, we believe now more than ever before that our mission will see us through. Here are our five property maintenance tips for being more efficient and more effective than similar offerings in the marketplace.

1. Wholesale prices:

Anyone who lives in a prestigious neighbourhood is vulnerable to nefarious strategies such as price-fixing and overcharging in the area of property maintenance. In particular, during Covid-19 many service providers are running a restricted service, leaving homeowners with fewer options for domestic repairs, longer wait times, and a greater risk of maintenance being carried out unprofessionally… and often at vastly inflated prices. Owner-absent properties, single-occupancy homes, elderly residents and housebound owners are especially at risk. Throughout the crisis and beyond, our team is on hand to ensure you are protected from these types of practices, bypassing wholesale prices directly to our clients, executing jobs ‘in-house’, absorbing unnecessary costs in our retainer, and providing initial recommendations that are always preventative rather than topical. Each intervention is available in ‘short-term’, ‘intermediate’ or ‘comprehensive’ options, to suit unpredictable cash flows and a wide range of budgets, and any contractors we use for work in our client’s homes are both proficiency-proven and price-tested by our property management team or recommended first hand by an existing supplier partner… meaning you are never the guinea pig, in a potentially expensive experiment. And as such, no longer at risk of being ripped off!

2. Crisis-specific services:

These days, the phrase ‘healthy is wealthy’ has never been more true. Since Covid-19 began in February, at Bold & Reeves we have been refining our services to ensure our client’s wellbeing and property maintenance needs are met at this uncertain and unprecedented time. From house-sitting empty properties to be sure of security and operability, to deep cleaning and sanitisation services at operating theatre standards, we have asked ourselves over and again what our clients are experiencing and how we can be of support to them. Whether it be food and prescription deliveries for those who cannot or would rather not leave the house, access to private security solutions (both intermittent and 24/7/365) or drop-in home security and functionality checks if you are overseas, our whole team is here to help as we all find a way forwards together. Concierge solutions, transport ideas, caretaking and janitorial services and even wine cellar maintenance are all in our repertoire, and we take great pride in alleviating the pressure our clients are under due to duty of care and ensuring they feel protected.

3. Tech-based remote monitoring:

Before Christmas, a client from St John’s Wood was out for dinner on a Saturday night. In parallel time, one of our Property Managers received a smartphone notification, from the aforementioned customer’s remote monitoring device in their plant room at home. Despite being adamant everything had been fine when leaving the house earlier, our client agreed to nip back and check when pressed by our man. ‘Good lord, you’re right!’ came the call just a few minutes later, just in time to take action and prevent serious damage. It was the first of several instances in which we know what’s happening at your home before you do… At Bold & Reeves, we have designed our own bespoke app-based property maintenance technology, which not only allows clients to communicate solely with their property manager through their handheld device, but also curates the entire monthly costs schedule of their property maintenance schedule into one easy to read the document, and makes it available to them to read online in real-time. Our remote monitoring devices ensure there are no delays in the diagnosis of your property maintenance issues and our team of experts field the whole requirement, as quickly as it possibly could be – in many cases even if residential staff were present.

4. Owner-absent property management:

47% of all insurance claims in the property maintenance sector are down to water damage in owner-absent homes, where little or no maintenance takes place for unusually long periods of time – hence a delay in awareness of the issues, and with diagnostics and solutions… and a subsequently large bill. Now is an excellent time to both install the technology for water leak detection to avoid similar scenarios, as well as embark on modifications and maintenance to owner-absent homes, particularly in London. Many of our clients are currently out of town and for obvious reasons this can be a good motive to carry out more in-depth pieces of work. Reparations can be upgraded from temporary to permanent, with the time and space being used as an effective ‘spend now to save later’ period. We are here to support you with all manner of requirements – nothing is too big or too small. Our property maintenance team are in fact busier in the time of Coronavirus than ever before, and as such now is an excellent time to give some busy people even more work to do… which as everyone knows is a good recipe. Throughout the lockdown we will continue to install remote monitoring devices in our client’s homes, meaning that while you are away you will have more control than ever over your home and the way it functions. Not to mention being fully prepared for the first trip you take into town when the restrictions ease up.

5. Communal buying power:

Over the past few months, we’ve been prototyping a new initiative – saving £250k in the process, on the annual utility charges for just four properties. We are now working closely with specialist utilities consultants and energy providers, to produce basket savings for all Bold & Reeves clients – by leveraging the aggregated spend of our client group. Having successfully slashed the energy budgets for the aforementioned homes in our first pilot, we are now looking to do the same for all the other house-owning clients in our portfolio. We believe this type of collective resourcing is a first among property maintenance companies of our kind, and one that could be a big part of the ‘new normal. And as you know, anything that helps us fulfil our promise to reduce TCO (total cost of ownership) on all our client’s properties, is something we wholeheartedly recommend. We were thrilled when the initial saving of £250k was confirmed, producing an average annual saving of over £60k for each building.