Tandem Senior Partner Lisa Riva was one of two guest speakers at this week’s CIPFA Conference Playing the Property Investment Game with Confidence, discussing ‘Tips on Procuring Consultants to Manage your Property Investments’.
The conference was attended by 25 representatives from the public sector, as part of a workshop on investing in property. Local authorities across the country who are struggling to make up for budget cuts have been increasingly looking at commercial property investment to help plug the funding gap.
According to a survey, the number of councils investing in assets they deemed “investment property” doubled from 35 in 2015-16 to 71 in 2017-18. The deep financial constraints have resulted in the risk appetite changing, and many authorities have looked at more commercial avenues to generate additional income streams, and ensure vital public services are maintained.
Investments are wide ranging and include shopping centres, car parks and office premises, both in and outside council areas. Investment in property is likely to remain part of many councils’ financial strategies in the foreseeable future. However, research has identified significant gaps in knowledge of local public and private assets. It is therefore essential that practitioners develop clear understanding and approaches to this rewarding, but strategically high risky area.
Lisa’s key advice to local authorities included…
Treat the asset as if you were a property company or institution
Appoint an agent on full treasury and data management as well as service charge management and FM – blended inhouse/ outhouse solutions tend to be inefficient.
Treat tenants as customers
DATA is king and can drive performance through benchmarking and analysis
Refer to the original business plan for the asset on a quarterly basis - measure performance and success
Compliance with the RICS service charge code
Our two senior partners Lisa Riva and John Jones have a wealth of experience of working on LA portfolios (including Enfield, Ealing, Hounslow, Brighton & Hove) and can provide consultancy advice on a wider range of services including outsourcing, core property management and asset management.
If you’d like to find out more, please email email@example.com