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Property management startup checklist | UK
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Property management startup checklist | UK

Property management in the UK has always been a booming industry, whether commercial or residential. Setting up in this industry isn’t complex but a certain level of preparation and a few initial steps are essential before you take on the first property.

What does a property management company do?

This is an important question for you to answer in detail. The answer will determine whether your activities fall into a regulated space.

Typically a property management company oversees the day-to-day operations and maintenance of residential and commercial properties on behalf of property owners. The responsibilities encompass a wide range of tasks, including finding and screening tenants, collecting rent payments, handling maintenance and repairs, ensuring compliance with local regulations, and acting as a liaison between property owners and tenants, addressing concerns and resolving disputes as they arise. 

Develop a business plan

There are costs to running every business and for you to make a living, you need to develop a realistic business plan. In its basic outlines, it has to account for all costs, expenses, estimated earnings, the size of your market, how you will find your clients and why they should work with you. 

Understand the landscape

The UK has a varied landscape when it comes to the property market. Each county, city, and town has its own property micro climate and nuances. Acquiring first-hand comprehensive knowledge of opportunities, competition, prices and current trends is the starting step. 

Sit down and summarise everything you know about your target area and market. Writing things down helps you spot any possible gaps, additional opportunities and the documented background will become the foundation of your business plan.

Pick a property management niche

It is important to select an area that you have a good understanding of already and from day one you can talk knowledgeably about this area to your clients. Each niche comes with its own set of requirements and challenges. Focusing your property management start-up on a particular niche will help you optimise your business offering and run your business more cost efficiently.

Form a marketing plan

Even if you have a few existing contacts to lean on when setting up your property management start-up, you will at some point need to invest in marketing. Ensure your business plan delves into those strategies on how to attract clients and grow your customer base. 

Develop your brand

Property management is a people business. Start with how you present yourself to your clients and why they choose to work with you. Reflect all that in your brand identity - your company logo, colours and company values. Don’t forget to establish a strong online presence through a professional website and active social media profiles.

Set up a review platform account

There is nothing like feedback from happy clients when it comes to property management. Make sure you have your Google profile or Trustpilot account set up to start collecting feedback early on. 

Required qualifications to be a property manager

If you are planning on starting a property management company in the UK, you may need some training, depending on where you plan to manage properties. England and Northern Ireland don’t have specific requirements but Wales and Scotland insist on minimum property manager qualifications. 

Where can I do a course in property management?

The local authorities provide the necessary minimum training or recommend approved partners. Then there are courses that are nationally recognised and will help if you are applying in the areas of UK where certain property management qualification requirements must be met.

Register your business

Decide whether you’ll operate as a sole trader or prepare to set up a limited company. Both have their pros and cons. The former only requires a registration with HMRC. The latter warrants more consideration as there are ongoing costs associated with running a limited company.

Set up your office

Whether it’s a physical office space or a home office, you’ll need a dedicated workspace to run your property management business efficiently. Invest in essential office equipment and software to help streamline your operations, such as property management software, accounting software, and communication tools.

Sign up to property management software

It is not just about managing your portfolio. A good property management software usually comes with a bookkeeping functionality, has comprehensive property management guides, allows you to create and store all client/tenant documentation and more. 

Build your property management team

While you may start off as a one-person operation, as your business grows, you’ll likely need to expand your team. It doesn’t necessarily mean employees but you will need to build a network of professionals - tradesmen to carry out repairs, accountants to handle your business financials, cleaners to manage property turnovers and others to provide excellent service to your clients.

Get property manager insurance

If you are planning on starting up your property management business, you will need to get professional indemnity insurance for property managers as a minimum. It is a requirement in most parts of the UK either by the local authorities or redress schemes. You are also like to need public liability insurance if you are going to be meeting clients and tenants face to face and have a physical involvement with your clients and tenants’ property.

Obtain property management licence

Rather than having a property management licence UK requirements for property managers vary depending on where you choose to carry out property management. The specific requirements are set by each country within the UK; England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Is starting a property management company worth It?

Well, the answer depends on various factors, including your passion for the industry, your willingness to put in the hard work and dedication, and the potential for financial success.

According to recent data, property managers in the UK earn an average salary of around £30,000 to £40,000 per year, depending on factors such as experience, location, and the size of the company. While starting a property management company requires significant time, effort, and investment, the potential for long-term profitability and personal satisfaction can make it a worthwhile venture for those with a passion for real estate and entrepreneurship.

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