Most board directors have responsibilities that extend beyond the building they call home. The decision to seek outside help is a great one because it is essential to have a professional that will ensure your condo runs smoothly.
If you need a property manager, there are specific steps you should take to make sure that you pick a property management company that aligns with your board’s vision, standards, and values. However, with so many property management companies available today, it can be hard to know which one will be the right fit.
Each condominium building has unique needs, and it is up to you as a board to decide what your priorities are and seek out the right property management company. Once you have a plan of action, selecting a property management company doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are six steps you should take to choose the right property manager.
Step One: Agree On What You Need
Before the board begins looking for a property management company, and ahead of communicating those needs to prospective management companies, the board should agree on what the condo building, its owners, and the board needs. What key challenges does your board face, and how can a property manager help alleviate those difficulties? You would be surprised by how much a property manager can do for your building.
Start to look for property management companies and get a feel for how their team manages buildings. Begin to narrow your search to the companies you have decided to move forward with soon.
Step Two: Communicate Your Needs To Prospects
Once your board has narrowed its search, it is time to communicate those needs to prospective property management companies.
During any meetings you have, do not be afraid to explain in detail what you are looking for in a property manager. Remember, it has to be a good fit on both ends and leaving out job description details would be detrimental to everyone involved.
Remember that a property manager is your ally. They will tell you what laws or regulations your board may not know about, and they also understand what must take priority in your building and what can be secondary. You need a property manager that you can trust.
Step Three: Check Their Backgrounds
After communicating your board’s needs, a good next step would be to check professional licenses and certifications.
You should also continue to narrow your list. Based on your initial discussions and after your background checks, does any company stand out? Snip that list even further and whittle it down to a handful of companies that your board believes will fit the bill.
Step Four: Name Your Terms
With your list of prospects shaved down, now is the time to hammer down your contract terms. Start drafting a detailed contract that would firm up what you’ve already discussed. Your contract should not come as a surprise to your prospective property management company, as you have already talked about what you need from them in the first meeting.
Step Five: Try Before You Buy
After you have selected the company that your board believes will fit the bill, it’s time to see how your new property manager does working for your building. Hopefully, in your contract, you’ve left the door open if either of you finds that it isn’t a good fit. A sixty-day trial is enough time to see if your board and the new property manager can enjoy a long-term working relationship.
Step Six: Make Introductions
Finally, once you have a property manager in place, take the time to introduce them to to the residents of your building. Encourage residents to share any questions they might have so that your new property manager can answer them. Doing this will help build a positive relationship between the residents and the property manager.
Opening up lines of communication is essential because it is the property manager who interacts with residents, collecting payments and ensuring that rules, by-laws, and legal statues are respected.
A Common Misconception
One common misconception about property management is that property managers take on tasks that you, the board members, can easily do for yourselves. However, property managers know and follow legal statutes, by-laws, policies, and regulations. The property manager’s skills and training are in building maintenance, and they are well equipped to manage your condominium building.
Finding the right property management company doesn’t have to be tough, but it does have to be a task that you handle with great care. Remember that, because it is uncommon for a board of directors to choose which property manager they get, you must be specific about your needs.
Don’t hesitate to look into company backgrounds to ensure that you have found a good fit, and don’t be afraid to name your terms and try them out for a few months before you commit to a long-term arrangement.
Once your property management company has assigned a property manager to the building, be sure to introduce them to the residents. Building a strong relationship between the residents and their property manager will go a long way in ensuring that your building operates efficiently and peacefully.
Before You Go
At the core of every strong board is excellent communication. To learn more about how to better communicate with your owners and residents, promote alignment and transparency in your condo and find out if the MAX TV Communication System is right for you, contact us today!