Property management professional vs self-management – finding the best fit

Although most sectional title developments in South Africa are managed by professional management companies, which handle day-to-day operations and necessary processes, some owners and bodies corporate opt for self-management.

“Ultimately, this decision should be based on finding the best fit, and whether the chosen route will maintain and improve the value of the property,” says David Rebe, chief executive of Sandak-Lewin Property Trust.

“Bodies corporate often choose to self-manage as it is a cheaper option and offers a personal experience with property owners. However, without a management company, the body corporate needs to source relevant contractors for services like plumbing and electrical work themselves, which takes time and a lot of effort from all parties involved. The members of the body corporate are also sometimes not familiar with suppliers and contractors, and cannot guarantee quality workmanship.

“In order to self-manage efficiently, the body corporate needs to know exactly what is required to maintain a scheme, and must have the time, knowledge, experience and resources to do so.”

Rebe says that self-management includes keeping up-to-date with legislation, such as the Sectional Title Act and other necessary laws, maintaining the required documents such as minute books, proportional quotas, applications for extensions and a host of other administrative tasks, all the while remaining friendly yet professional with body corporate members, enforcing rules, and dealing with all maintenance issues.

He says that management companies provide owners with access to all the necessary resources and staff who are able to assist with queries and the management of the property as well as the necessary policies and documents including participation quotas, insurance schedules, debtors’ schedules, minute books, conduct rules, management rules and other issues. He says that management companies also have extensive lists of tried and tested vendors and contractors at hand.

“It may not be as difficult to self-manage smaller, low-maintenance developments consisting of six or fewer units, provided that all owners are all on good terms. An alternative option for the body corporate is a collaboration of options, whereby the administrative tasks are handled internally and levy collections, legal issues and the handling of complaints and emergencies are outsourced to an experienced management company.”

Rebe says that certain aspects need to be taken into consideration when hiring a managing agent, as the size and scale of the sectional title scheme as well as the budget available to outsource this service will affect the decision. He says that issues can become increasingly frustrating over time and takes away from other important tasks, especially if the members of the body corporate are not experts in this field, and the solution often leans towards hiring a professional who has the level of experience needed for the job.

“The benefit of making use of experienced, efficient and competent property managers is that these specialists ensure that the property investment is managed correctly, and that the property is kept in good condition at minimal cost,” he says.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 21 Feb 2018
      Given the hand they were dealt, government has performed a delicate balancing act which it is hoped will serve to reignite confidence in investment in South Africa, regain our global credibility and satisfy the credit ratings agencies, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      The real estate mantra, ‘location, location, location’ remains a strong market influence regardless of the prevailing economy, with suburbs like Rondebosch enjoying the buffering benefit of being ideally situated.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      These days most buyers are using online property portals like Private Property when house hunting due to the convenience, up to date information and variety on offer. “The property portals have revolutionised the way buyers shop, but they do need to be cautious – viewing photos online is no replacement for viewing the property in person,” says Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.
    • 20 Feb 2018
      Owning a home is a milestone that most South Africans aspire to. Becoming a homeowner is a step towards growing personal wealth and owning an asset that appreciates in value over time, provided of course that the correct principles are applied during the buying stage of the process, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 20 Feb 2018
      The suburb of Greenstone in Johannesburg east came to be over the last two decades. “In the beginning, it was literally just a hill with not so much as a shopping centre,” says Michael Levy, Property Consultant at Jawitz Properties Bedfordview. Today it has plenty shopping facilities and is fully built, boasting high-density, upmarket housing and residential estates, though still has a few pockets poised for commercial development.
    • 20 Feb 2018
      A major shift in the ageing paradigm has precipitated an equally dramatic transformation in the retirement sector, with modern accommodation options worlds away from the conventional model.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Possibly one of the biggest sources of contention between landlords and tenants surrounds the rental deposit. “Most tenants rely on getting their rental deposits back when moving, so that they can use it to pay a deposit on their new home. Having it withheld or even having large amounts deducted can lead to a lot of distress,” explains Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Situated approximately halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, Midrand was established in 1981 and forms part of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. It has become one of the major business hubs in the country with major pharmaceutical, textile, telecommunication and motoring giants situated within its boundaries.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us