Today we’ve got a treat for you. We’ve compiled our very own “Top 10 services” list that any property management company worth its salt should offer you. It’s a long list, so here we go…
01. Regular inspection visits
At least once but preferably twice a month, a property management company should send a trained inspector to your home to carry out a detailed inspection of both the exterior and interior, checking for any wear and tear in accordance with a written checklist.
It’s a good idea to ask to see a copy of that written checklist so you know how thoroughly they will go though things.
At the very least, the inspector should
- open all the windows and doors to air your rooms
- make sure your electrical appliances, plumbing and sanitary facilities are in good working order
- check under sinks
- ensure that the furniture, fixtures and fittings are exactly as they should be
And of course, before they leave they should make absolutely sure your property remains fully secure until their next visit.
02. Accurate status reports
Each inspection visit should be followed up with a status report which is easily accessible online, and advises you of any problems detected in your property. Issues such as damp, water leaks, or storm damage should be highlighted with photos if necessary.
Recommended action and quotes should be supplied from trusted qualified local tradespeople, and once approved, repair or maintenance work carried out to a good standard, speedily and without fuss.
03. Interactive online management
In addition to regular feedback about the state of your home, your property management company should provide you with an interactive online tool through which you can oversee the management of your Spanish property yourself from anywhere in the world, 24 hours day.
There should be full account management facilities allowing you to view any invoices, or statements of your account, and the facility for you to make any payments related to the upkeep of your property easily and securely online by credit card.
Similarly any payments due to you from rentals, for instance, should be capable of being electronically transferred directly to your bank account.
A personal holiday bookings calendar is also a must, allowing you to fill in the dates that you or your guests will be staying in your home so your property management company can automatically arrange for it to be properly cleaned, the beds made up and the hot water put on, etc, before you arrive, without you having to worry about it.
The bookings calendar should also ensure that if you rent out your property for holiday lets, you’ll be able to see ‘at a glance’ when your property will be occupied.
Basic housekeeping services are a vital component in the successful management of any property, especially if the property is to be rented out or made available for guests to stay. So ensure the property management company you pick can meet your expectations in that respect.
It’s a good idea to ask to see a list of their housekeeping services and their cleaning checklist so you can satisfy yourself they will be doing things to your liking. Their range of housekeeping services should include:
- Automatic cleaning and laundry services for holiday visits
- Specialist cleaning services such as a builders clean after construction work
- Spring cleaning for linens, fabrics and furnishings
- Cleaning and refurbishment of curtains, upholstery and rugs
- Barbecue cleaning
- Daily cleaning upon request.
05. Maintenance and repairs
If your property management company are keeping your Spanish home in prime condition at all times, it makes it so much easier for you to enjoy your stay when you or your guests visit. After all, the last thing you want to be doing during your valuable leisure time in Spain is unblocking the pool filter, painting the terrace wall, or sorting out a plumbing problem, when you could be out enjoying the sun.
Your property company should have the experience, the in-house resources and access to tried and trusted local specialists to make sure your home is always kept in tip-top condition. You should be able to request a range of maintenance and repair services online such as:
- Installation and maintenance of air conditioning, alarm systems, and safety equipment
- General interior and exterior painting and decorating
- Plumbing and electrical work
- Interior and exterior tile refurbishment
- Garden landscaping and maintenance
- Pool cleaning, repairs and maintenance
- Property refurbishment and building work
- Kitchen and bathroom installations
- Other additional ad hoc services.
06. Interior décor and refurbishments
There are many companies up and down the Costa del Sol offering all sorts of different (and often confusing) home decoration packages, so when it comes to decorating your Spanish home or carrying out refurbishments, it’s difficult to know which of them will do the best job.
Your property management company should be able offer the benefit of their experience and recommend local suppliers who’ll provide you not only with a high quality and more importantly, reliable service but also legally compliant invoices and receipts in case disputes occur.
Your property management company should also be on hand to offer expert advice about how best to decorate and equip your property in readiness for both short-term holiday and long-term lets.
07. Carefree visits to your holiday home
Just picture this – you arrive at the airport late on a stiflingly hot afternoon after a long flight and are met by a chauffeur who drives you to your holiday home in an air-conditioned limousine.
You open your front door to find your home is cool and welcoming, thoroughly cleaned and ready for you to relax and enjoy yourself; the beds are made with fresh linen, the water is on. There’s a welcome pack of sweet smelling flowers and other essentials on the dining room table. The fridge is stocked with chilled drinks and your favourite delicacies. There’s wine in the wine rack and the pool’s clean and ready for your first refreshing dip, plus there’s a gourmet chef arriving later to cook dinner…
A first-class property management company should provide a facility that allows you to request all these services and more before you or your guests arrive on a holiday visit. After all it’s the extra 5-star luxury touches that will make any stay in Spain all the more memorable and enjoyable.
08. Detailed guest manual
And while you’re here on holiday, if you need a babysitter, a housemaid service or a local restaurant recommendation, or if you want to go kite surfing, quad-biking or horse-back riding in the hills, you should be able to benefit from the extensive knowledge of your property management company’s staff to help you find what you’re looking for.
Likewise, when guests or holidaymakers stay in your property, an extensive Guest Manual should be provided giving detailed and, more importantly, impartial advice about recommended restaurants and golf courses, and the best places to visit and things to do in the area for the whole family.
09. Trouble-shooting and key holding
Your property management company’s bi-lingual staff should also be there to resolve any issues you may have with local authorities, property developers, lawyers, communities and other suppliers – things you may not have the time, language skills, nor indeed the inclination to deal with yourself.
What’s more, they should act as your secure key-holder and, upon your request, accompany tradespeople when they require access to your property. In addition, the company should supply keys to your guests upon arrival and have a 24-hour key safe in case of emergencies.
10. Specialist service
Of course, at some stage, as a Spanish property owner, the chances are that you’ll need help and advice over and above that which just concerns the management of your property.
For instance, your electricity or telephone may get cut off if a transfer you’ve made doesn’t hit your bank account in time, or you’d like broadband connected so you can bring your laptop on holiday with you, or you’ve decided to install satellite TV to enjoy programmes from home while you’re away. Whatever extra facilities you need or local utilities problems you encounter, you’ll almost certainly require a property management company with Spanish-speaking staff who have the experience of handling such issues on a regular basis to resolve them swiftly for you.
In addition, you may need legal or financial advice, or help in arranging insurance, or a mortgage or currency transfer. If you want to sell your property or buy another property in Spain, you may need someone to talk to about the best way to go about it. Even guidance about re-locating to Spain or the best place to hire a car can be difficult to find when you don’t know who to turn to.
And finally, any good property management company should be able to provide you with access to reputable and trustworthy local companies, in order to help you with any such advice or guidance you might need.