What Does The Future Of Property Management Look Like? We Ask: Christian Bruce, Partner at Redpath Bruce

future of property managment

What does the future of property management look like? We asked Christian Bruce, Partner at Redpath Bruce on a recent Blocktalk podcast. This is what Christian had to say about where he things the industry is going.


In a utopian world, I’d see factors and property managers universally seen as allies to their owners and their customers and not as a necessary evil. And we really do need to change the rhetoric around property management. It’s a bit of an oil tanker, trying to turn it around. And it’s all about education and communication and our clients knowing what we do, but more importantly, knowing what we don’t do, what they shouldn’t expect us to do. And if they do want us to do it, why is that? How’s that remunerated? And do we want to actually do that?

So I think we need to work as a group, and this comes back to the PMAS and the role that that organisation has to bring together all factors. There’s going to be, two big changes. I mean, digitisation is already the great disrupter in most industries.

And it will be no different than ours.

You’ll constantly striving to make CPL more, you know, flexible, faster, quicker, more usable. I mean, you’ll be constantly improving and, and developing it alongside us, you know, you use your customers as your, you know, your front-end designers. Yeah, and the collaboration between CPL and the factoring industries is fantastic, I think, and more of that.

But I still I constantly wrack my brain to say, what app is going to replace the factor, you know, and who’s going to design it? And can I? Can I patent it? But I just can’t see, I can’t imagine the scenario where an algorithm can decipher what is common and what is private. You know, to know, every day the condition to know if that balcony is actually a private balcony, or it’s a common fabric of the building, and everyone contributes to it. Now, it’s almost certainly possible, but in the end of the day, you know, can that algorithm, negotiate between parties and disagreement?

I just, I can’t imagine it. I can’t imagine a scenario where just a couple of clicks and things will get sorted, the plumber will show up, and we’ll know who to bill and who not to bill. So there will always be the requirement for human intervention in property management. No question now we can be more efficient with our systems, process procedures, collection of money, you know, chasing debt, we’re working on that all the time. I mean, every week we’re looking at new processes, we’re looking at new work streams, that could be better. Because we know we can, we can incrementally increase our charges. So we have to find efficient, more efficient ways of working, that allows us to be profitable, and to deliver a quality of service that we’re happy with.

Moreover, our clients are happy with.

So that’s the first thing you know, where the digital revolution, it’s got to play a part, and we’ve got to embrace it. And as an industry be far sharper, you know, throw off the sort of shackles of the dusty house factor and old paper files that we’re probably famous for, or infamous, for, which we’ve most businesses have done, We’ve come miles, but I still don’t know if we’re nicely getting the credit for that.

And the other thing is the actual deterioration of housing stock. And the challenges that’s going to have alongside the requirement for greener, more sustainable buildings and the need to improve energy efficiency and older buildings. These are huge asks, I’m going to put aside the Grenfell panel issue and there’s just one thing you know, that’s, that’s front and centre at the moment. But you know, where there’s going to be demands by probably European global demands that buildings must be x, y, and Z, I mean, we’re seeing it in the EPC’s already. There’s a lot of properties that aren’t managed, you know, 1000s of properties in multiple ownership in the UK, but certainly in Scotland, and probably predominantly in Edinburgh, where they only embraced factoring, you know, in the latter half of the last century. You know, that they may become policy that, that these buildings, it’s compulsory for them to have a common manager.

What do you think the future of property management looks like? Do you agree with Christian? If you would you like to be a guest on the Blocktalk podcast, drop us an email hello@blocktalk.co.uk or use the Contact Form