They’re so simple, yet so effective; a sheet stating who manages the property and who to contact.
After all, unless you’re really in the know about the management of the property, you’ll probably not realise. And even obvious contacts such as a regular contractor or concierge won’t necessarily know the whole picture.
The correct way to outline this is to refer to within all kinds of correspondence, notices, building guides, and general communication. However probably the most common form is simply a sign on site to say so.
The Different Formats
Such on-site signage can dramatically vary. It may be just a metal name-plate with a management company name and number on, or it could be a series of documents and posters dotted around an entrance point.
Within this context, it’s worth focusing on a substantial enough one at a key entrance point that people will naturally head towards. Others may well be around the property but really, just to re-iterate, you should have this main one.
In terms of what it needs to include, the obvious one is of course contact details, which may be different ones for different purposes as outlined soon.
However, the other obvious one often missed is clearly stating the actual property name and address in question, as after all any visitors may well be asking even this, and with a large multi-let property, may need a bit more of a breakdown of what areas are covered.
It’s also helpful to have a welcome blurb of writing, briefly explaining the context and even the different types of people and contacts involved.
Then as a final thought in terms of how it’s presented, go the extra mile to not only make it stand out and be visible to people but also communicate that feeling of quality and substance. So maybe even final laminated copies, or special plaques from a sign maker.
The Various Forms of Contacts
In terms of how these contact-signs can actually display the right contact details, here are some of the main ones to consider:
1. The General Contact
The main point of contact is the bread-and-butter one here, with full details from the address, to telephone number, or even email address.
This may be an external managing agent or company, in which case they may wish to state that they are acting on behalf of the actual property owner, freehold, or long leasehold interest.
2. Individual Contacts
Having an individual to contact can help personalise everything, including their own mobile numbers and even a photo of them.
This might also be for different departments or areas of business, for example an accounts one as opposed to the main property manager.
3. Emergency Contact
This is what it says on the tin, emergency issues only, particularly out of hours.
This might still be to the main contact which has a recorded message on what to do in these circumstances, or another arrangement through, say, a helpdesk or contractor.
4. Other Enquiries Contact
These might not be directly related to the day-to-day management of the property, but worth stating for the record.
As an example it might include those asking for details on property sales and lettings, and any external letting or sales agents involved.
It could also be any other generally useful contacts, for example
local car parking or taxi arrangements.
5. Contractor Contacts
These can go either way, be a great help or a great hindrance.
By placing the names and contact details such as telephone numbers for the property’s main contractors, then they can therefore be contacted directly by occupiers at the property or visitors such as the fire service.
These might be great to contact directly in an emergency, and therefore having the contractor’s correct emergency contact details stated, however this might mean they get inundated with calls and there is no way to manage these.
This might include, say, electrical and fire/security specialists, the lift operator, or a general handyman.
6. Insurance Contact
You may have a separate insurance certificate on show anyway for public liability, for example; therefore having general insurance contact details may help for any major incident or claim.
This might include the main buildings cover of course in addition to others like engineering insurable for the lift and plant, and possibly the main broker in addition to the actual insurer.
Getting the Right Contact Sheet
So as you prepare to get this ever so important contacts sheet ready at a property, just make sure you’re clear as to what this is actually for and what information it has to include.
Getting all the right contact details like above is critical, as it needs to do what it says on the tin; communicate contact details of those managing the property.
However don’t then forget the other obvious and therefore still-important things like where it goes and what it actually looks like.
Then you’ve nailed it.
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