One of the most attractive aspects of living in a condo is the convenience that it offers. There is much lower maintenance to have to take care of than a freehold residence. Another selling point can be the availability of amenities and other shared facilities. However, we've seen that amenities and shared facilities can also become a burden when not organized and taken care of properly. How can a property manager ensure that these spaces are used by residents without it becoming a burden? In this article, we explore the 4 things to consider to optimally manage amenities and shared facilities in a condo.
1. Visitor Parking Management
Managing visitors to the condo on day-to-day basis just may be the single biggest challenge for property managers. There can be many visitors coming in and out of the building and many of them arrive and leave by car. This is a part of everyday condo living. So property managers better be equipped to deal with the many variables this brings in as seamless way as possible. The biggest challenge with visitor parking, in most buildings, is that there are limited spaces. During busy times, this can get quite hectic. Even worse, is that some behaviours can actually contribute to the chaos. For example, folks may sneak in additional vehicles without approval from management or even the resident, overuse of parking spots beyond the allowable threshold and so on. We can't stress enough the importance of having a very defined policy on visitor parking.
The policies regarding visitor parking must be extra clear and steps must be taken to ensure that all residents, both owners and tenants, are fully aware of them. The policies should outline the following:
a) the allowable limit of visitor parking passes per unit on a monthly basis;
b) the times during a day when visitor parking is allowed or not allowed;
c) the duration of the each visitor parking permit; and
d) the processes required in obtaining a permit.
Once the rules are defined, they need to be communicated, but also needs to be enforced. The best ways to enforce a sane visitor parking environment is always with the help of technology tools. Many software platforms out there provide great support for this. We would be more than happy to recommend you some of the best ones that we have seen - you can contact us anytime.
2. Facilities Booking
Similarly to visitor parking, a lot of the amenities in a condo require reservation in order for use. In fact, there is an increasing number of condos out there that include amenities beyond the standard party rooms, conference rooms and gyms. There are now theatres, golf simulators and a whole host of others being built by developers. A proper amenity reservation system should be a must instead of the use of a pen and paper system. The right tools will allow property manager to track the number of use by unit in a given time period. This will also make it easy to investigate when there is damage or mess to the amenities.
3. Tracking Keys
One aspect of condo management that is often overlooked is the tracking of keys. Like visitor parking, there is a frequent in and out of keys. A lost key not only becomes a security vulnerability, but also becomes a major hassle to recover and/or to re-copy. Thankfully, there are now tools that are dedicated specifically to tracking keys. The use of these software tools allow property managers to locate and recover the keys with ease while identifying the individual that signed it out.
4. Role of Security
With amenities and shared facilities, comes the obligation of ensuring the security of the spaces. For instance, when the party room is being used for a large number of people, condos often have a policy in the regulations that require the resident making use of it to pay for additional security. Generally "additional" means security personnel beyond the ones used on a daily basis.
For everyday use, the security personnel on premise needs to be more vigilant and have more ground to cover when there are reservable amenities. This seems like a theme, but again the best way to seamlessly manage them from a security standpoint is through the use of software tools.
We are fortunate at Condo Manager to be integrated with a many software tools that address specifically the challenges above. We would be more than happy to walk you through the most suitable ones for your condo or management specifically. Feel free to reach out to us!