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A Property Factor’s Winter’s Tale

Winter is a time of year when property factors and block managers can be stretched. With increased storms and cold weather causing a spike in the need for repairs and maintenance. These spikes can cause an increase in the number of enquiries received from clients. And this leads to a spike in work needing to be organised.

2018 began with snow storms, panic buying and many people being trapped in their homes, unable to go anywhere. It’s still fairly fresh in our memories. And whilst Accuweather reports that we shouldn’t see any repeats of the Beast from the East this winter, we’ve all felt the temperature dropping and the wind and rain on our faces.

As a property manager, do you take steps during winter to prepare for these potentially increased workloads? Have you thought about how your processes are working for you or against you? Rather than try to firefight or wait until the proverbial hits the fan, it’s a good time to take stock of the day to day running of the business.

Use our CPL Software Checklist to help you get through winter with less storms and more clarity.

Respond to clients on time.

By having a process in place that allows you to communicate with clients in real time (or within a set timescale), you can manage expectations and possibly exceed them. Keeping track of incoming messages and responses is crucial and could help make everyone’s lives much easier.

Do you track SLA’s?

How do you know which SLA’s are being adhered to and which aren’t? If you have a robust tracking system in place, you could save your team and your business a lot of headaches

Make sure your engine is well oiled.

To run efficiently, your back office has to be working for you, making sure all the other wheels and cogs are turning as and when they should. If your back office is up to speed, you’ll have a much easier winter!

Make sure you’re accessible to your clients.

This one could save a lot of unnecessary follow up calls, phones ringing, or multiple emails or texts chasing for responses. By putting a process in place that will give staff the time and space to be available for clients, they can avoid being bogged down by menial distractions.

Make it easy for your clients to contact you.

If your clients can only contact you by telephone or email, you might struggle to respond. Having a systematic approach in place is crucial for staying on top of everything during these busier months. Aim for one centralised place for enquiries and make sure your clients have a number of ways to get in touch with you that suits their age and lifestyle e.g. email, website, phone, text, app.

Ensure your relationships with contractors are under control.

It’s potentially the busiest time of the year because there’s more chance for things to go wrong. The Contractors you work with might be needed in an emergency.  So it’s a good idea to have processes in place that allow this work to be managed successfully. Aim for efficient contact streams to keep the flow of communication moving between all parties.

Are you using the right contractors and how do you know?

Of course it’s all well and good having a large bank of contractors to call upon. But what if they aren’t the right ones? Do they have the necessary insurance? How do you know they are reputable? Identify how you can manage this easily and you could save a lot of time and effort chasing people and paperwork.

What are your priorities and how do you manage them?

Every property management office may have a different set of priorities during the winter months. This may be dependent on your portfolio, the areas in which you operate or the types of clients you deal with. Whatever your priorities, it’s good practice to have a service level for each. It will allow you to manage client’s expectations as you will be giving your team clear guidelines on how to manage jobs. It will also set the right pace for everyone to be working to.

Make sure Written Statement of Services are on time – or ahead of time!

If you find you’re constantly chasing your tail, sending out untimely statements, your process may need a tweak. Take some time to figure out when steps must happen, when and then set reminders to stay on top of it and meet those deadlines.

Is everyone able to access the information they need when they need it?

It’s also the time of year when we can succumb to colds, flu and bugs. So if someone is off sick or unwell, other members of staff must be able to step in and pick up the baton without any issues. Think about how you would do this in your office? And then put a robust process in place so that all staff can gain access to all the information they need.

So there you have it. The CPL Software guide for property factors and block managers to help get through the winter months with ease and efficiency. Now it’s time to prepare.

Contact CPL Software to chat about how we can help propert factors and block managers during the winter months, Contact Us