Our Services

Let us manage the problem for you

We have in-house service charge expertise at Ad Esse, that has been both developed over many years and recruited from the housing sector. Our complete support package includes an interim service charge lead who will:

  • Take responsibility for your organisation’s service charges over a period of 6-12+ months and stabilise your team
  • Train your current staff across the organisation in the necessary details of service charges
  • Redesign and embed new effective and efficient processes
  • Then rather than just making a swift exit, we will continue to coach and mentor your service charge leaders. 
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What do you need?

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We appreciate that improving service charges with us comes at a cost, therefore we are pleased to offer you a free of charge piece of work, up front, to calculate an estimated Return on Investment (ROI) for any service charge work you may be considering undertaking with us to help build a business case. To take advantage of this offer just email hello@ad-esse.com. 

Our service charge experts each have 17+ years of experience in the housing sector and have held leadership roles in service charges. Our experts are available to join your organisation to lead your service charge team for 6, 9 or 12+ months at a time. 

Our experts can provide cover where you are looking to recruit experienced service charge leads or provide assurance to more senior directors who lack service charge knowledge and experience. 

One of the first jobs the interim lead can do is to develop (or redesign) a service charge strategy, one that sets out the organisational vision for service charges and has customer excellence and recovery maximisation at its core. Beyond this strategy development, their exact responsibilities and role will vary depending on your unique needs, but our experts can fulfil any tasks within the role including but not limited to:

  • Execution of the service charge strategy 
  • Policy development & implementation
  • In-house training and coaching for your existing staff
  • Executive team coaching in service charges 
  • Operational setup 
  • Some elements of process delivery 

Our experts are also able to manage crisis situations, which could involve disputes, reputational challenges, managing complaints or FTT cases. Depending on the size of your organisation, and your needs, we can help you work out how much time each week is required to support the work, and how long that support is required.

The job market for service charge expertise is competitive, there just aren’t enough experts to go around. Our training spans your organisation, so everyone has the required knowledge to make service charges successful. This includes building you a knowledgeable team of service charge experts with the capabilities required to deliver service charge process well and to support the rest of the organisation. 

Our service charge training is structured into basic, intermediate, and advanced, with basic and intermediate available as e-learning.

depending on the needs of the individuals. See below for a brief overview of the training we offer:

 


 
Basic level

Target audience: Everyone involved in service charges (customer contact centre, housing officers, anyone who codes service charge costs, repairs schedulers, asset management etc.)

Content: Basic concepts of Service Charges, including its importance to meeting the organisations purpose. 

 


 
Intermediate level

Target audience: Service Charge team and managers.  

Content:

  • Important legislation
  • Best practice
  • Specialist areas (Sinking funds, Apportionment etc.)

 


 
Advanced level

Target audience: Service Charge team leaders and managers.  

Content:

  • Case law and how it impacts service charges
  • Service Charge Strategy
  • Section 20 consultation (advanced)

 


 
Executive level

Target audience: Executive teams and boards. 

Content:

Standalone training delivered to improve awareness for Executive Teams and Boards on:

  • How to maximise recovery 
  • Service Charge strategy 
  • The existing and future challenges 
  • The customer experience

 

Our approach is to work with you to complete a strategic and detailed end-to-end service charges review. Incorporating the setting, calculating, and issuing and recovery of service charges. 

It will be a structured, collaborative piece of work with clear leadership commitment, a defined purpose, and measurable outcomes. This involves assessing how value is currently delivered with a view to removing waste activity. Reviews are mostly used to deliver a swift step-change in performance by identifying and implementing improved processes and a more effective operating environment. Ad Esse has a proven record in supporting and delivering successful service charge reviews in housing. 

Our methodology for service reviews comprises of four stages, outlined overleaf, that are usually delivered over an 8 to 12-week period. There are milestones between the stages where feedback is provided for key stakeholders of the project, and any key decisions can be made. 

  1. Project scoping and planning
  2. Diagnostic of current state (followed by stakeholder feedback)
  3. Future state redesign (followed by stakeholder feedback)
  4. Implementation
  5. Project close

Where an organisation aspires to bring in an IT system to support their service charge processes, we can also help to build the system requirements, assess options, and network you with other organisations using various systems. 

Once your team is trained and our interim steps back, they will be available to coach and mentor your team and service charge leads through the next iteration of the service charge cycle. Acting as a critical friend and an expert advisor the interim lead mentoring will include structured check-ins and being reactive to queries and requests for support. 

We have a team of Project & Implementation Managers who are multi-skilled individuals with experience of working with service charge processes and with the teams. They can be used in two ways: 

  1. To provide additional team capacity, where there are specific tasks that need completing but yourexisting team does not have the capacity or skills to complete the tasks. E.g., auditing leases/tenancy agreements, developing or modifying spreadsheets, capturing future system requirements
  2. To coordinate and embed your service improvements. All our PIMs are experienced and qualified Agile Project Managers, they will work with you to ensure swift and effective delivery of all and any improvements that need implementing. 

When you work with us to improve service charges you will also benefit from the following, free of charge: 

  • Updates when there are regulatory (or other) changes
  • Free attendance at our specialist webinars which will feature specialist guest speakers covering specific topics
  • An annual assessment against a service charge maturity model for organisations, with guidance on how to move to the next stage for each criteria.

Our Service Charge Strategy underpins our approach to tackling the issues faced within service charges. The strategy outlines what principles and skills an organisation should have to deliver service charge excellence. It supports our approach and acts as a Target Operating Model for your service charge team. It is supported by a maturity model to measure how you are performing against each skill, which can be used to provide an initial baseline and continually measure performance both during and after the review.

Our Service Charge strategy and the extensive tools that support it are unique to Ad Esse and will support your service charge teams to make better decisions, focus on what brings value and deliver more consistently.

If you want to hear more, please get in touch: hello@ad-esse.com.

Part of the challenge with service charges is understanding exactly how you are performing. Our Service Charge Assessment provides you with an accurate measure of current performance, analysing the organisation across 10 capabilities and utilises our Service Charge Strategy and maturity model to provide a consistent approach to best practice. Not only does this provide you with an excellent picture of where you are, it also recommends the steps to take next to improve your service charge offer. The whole process takes between 4-6 days, depending on the size and nature of your organisation. At the end of the process, we will provide you with a proposed implementation plan for you to deliver and all the tools you need to assess your performance once the plan is complete.

Costs

The majority of our services are delivered at a competitive day rate. The overall cost to you will vary depending on the support you need from us. As part of our ROI calculation, we will provide a detailed proposal tailored to your specific needs, clearly outlining the support we propose and the respective costs. 

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