While there has been much future gazing over the long-term outlook for different property classes - with questions over the viability of the high street, office space requirement, and growing interest in conversion to residential - there have been more pressing short-term practicalities to address as lockdown has lifted.
With restrictions on non-essential maintenance lifted in Scotland on 26 April and a backlog of non-essential maintenance that had accumulated since January 2021, it has been a constant balancing act of setting realistic expectations for our residents whilst also ensuring our contractors can accommodate the extra work.
With a large volume of new maintenance queries received and hundreds of new jobs raised since January 21, nearly half of which have been instructed since restrictions were lifted on 26 April. Contractors are working at full capacity and continue to do so, daily.
To ensure contractors are not overloaded and residents’ expectations met we communicate with contractors regularly. This then allows us to better spread the surge in maintenance we have seen in the last two months and set the residents expectations.
We are now in a fortunate position where all accrued maintenance for the second lockdown period, has been instructed with much of the work completed. Resulting in happy residents and very tired contractors.
With the backlog of non-essential work now largely addressed, it is important as asset managers that we continue to apply the lessons learned, new processes and improved efficiencies that came about as a result of the lockdown. With institutional investment in the residential sector gaining interest in a post pandemic world, the use of technology and process, as well as personal communication, to deliver effective asset management and residential client care, will be a key component of the sector’s success and growth in Scotland.