What does a Block Manager do?
A Block Manager is responsible for a portfolio of leasehold properties, referred to as the number of blocks and units. They are responsible for managing the lease and in some cases the freehold, in addition to any Management Committee’s set up by the residents of each block. Their duties include managing service charge adjustments, notifying tenants of any major works, conducting site inspections, and attending annual general meetings with said management committees.
What qualifications do they require?
Typically, an Assistant Block Manager will be required to complete their AIRPM, and/or IRPM before stepping up into a Management role, (Associate/Institute of Residential Property Managers). The qualification covers in-depth the private, social, build-to-rent, and retirement sectors and was designed to aim to improve the quality and standards of the industry regulations.
What is their market value?
An entry-level block manager will typically have completed a property related BSc such as Real Estate, or may have worked within block administration, service charge accounting or charted surveying before stepping up into a Junior/Assistant level position offering £25-27,000 per annum. Following two years in the industry, your market value will have increased to £30-35,000 depending on the size and operating status of your portfolio. After five years in the sector, salaries will start at £40,000 and can be built upon within an Estate or Development Management position.
What are the working hours/shift pattern?
Block Managers can expect Monday-Friday shifts which can vary offering earlier start times from 8 am-4 pm or 9 am-6 pm. Regular inspections need to be conducted across all your sites and therefore it can be expected to spend some days ‘on-site’ whilst others might be office-based. It is likely you will be required to manage an out-of-hours emergency phone once you are fully responsible for your own portfolio.
How often do you recruit block managers?
Contrary to AST property management, the block management sector struggled in the past to attract and obtain new talent amongst school leavers. Thankfully, partly due to the introduction of the IRPM in 2002 and in general, the improvement and updates of many regulations over the years, the industry now regularly welcomes new talent and even offers apprenticeships, internships, rotation years and more in order to encourage and teach a younger generation of block managers.
What do you think is one of the advantages of being a block manager?
Similarly, to property managers, block managers are to be relied upon and can make a serious influence on the blocks they are responsible for. Whilst, and like any job, it isn’t always easy, we have spoken to some excellent block managers who have become so close to their tenants and Management Committees that they have actually stayed with their buildings at the request of the tenants in the event of a new leasehold management instruction; this is known as TUPE-ing, transfer of undertakings (protection of employment). It also offers excellent exposure to the role of Management/General Practise Surveying alongside RICS, Residential Institute of Chartered Surveying.