Needless to say, being a condo manager is no easy task. Managing a large number of residents and dealing with various stakeholders such as board members, vendors, staff and so on requires a high level of organization skills with top notch communication skills. With so much happening and with so many people involved, it is often easy to stumble and make a mistake here and there. While we're all human and mistakes do happen, there are certain faux pas that should be avoided for a property manager to maintain reputation. Here are 6 of the most common faux pas for condo managers to avoid.
1) Lack of familiarity with the condo's by-laws and regulations
Some like to view the property manager of the condo as custodians of the community. As such, the condo manager is relied upon to know the condo's by-laws and regulations inside and out. This knowledge is supposed to be used to enforce the rules. The lack of familiarity of these rules has the potential to cause disaster in the community. In fact, the board hired the property manager specifically to oversee and enforce these rules.
The good thing is that if you do your homework as the property manager, you'll be able to avoid much larger issues when you're on top of all the rules and regulations.
2) Lack of communication with board members
It is of paramount importance that there is a strong relationship between property manager and members of the board. In fact, that relationship is so important that it can literally make or break the well being of the entire corporation. The best way to forge strong chemistry between the two is to ensure strong communication. The property manager must do their best to communicate all relevant issues to the board. Such communication can come in the form of phone calls, video call, texts, email and in-person meetings. Prioritizing communication with the board will likely solve half of all issues in the corporation.
3) Mistreatment of residents
One of the most important aspects of being a property manager is to provide great customer service. In this case, the customers are the residents. While a property manager may not set out to treat residents poorly, there will be times when certain residents are extremely difficult to work with and may test boundaries. These situations require extreme patience and understanding. Even when the resident is in the wrong, the condo manager must remain calm and look to defuse the situation.
Thankfully, the difficult resident is typically the outlier. In most cases, courteous treatment of residents are reciprocated. This in turn, usually makes the property manager's job much easier.
4) High rate of vendor turnover
Just like in any business, the condo management business is often run on relationships. One of these types of relationships are with vendors. Many of the vendors that work with a condo have worked with them for many years (even decades). When there is a change in management or board that results in change of vendors, this can become a turnoff to the ever so important vendors. That can have the potential to cause decrease in levels of service which the residents are dependent upon. Unless there is a very compelling reason to change vendors, it is always wise to stick to the ones you've been using.
5) Not staying on top of the corporation's finances
A corporation's finances is literally its lifeline. When a property manager takes their hands off the pulse, they lose track on its well-being. It is therefore, very important to stay current on anything relating to the finances of the corporation. That typically means being organized, getting updates from relevant stakeholders and also communicating any finance-related aspects to board members. In our experience, the best way to stay abreast on finances requires a team of folks to work around them with a proper accounting system.
6) Not consulting experts
There are many instances where the corporation will require the services of experts in various fields. For example, it will require at certain points the services of engineers, lawyers, accountants and so on. The services of those professionals are often not cheap. It can be tempting at times to bypass consulting their expertise and looking things up on the Internet or asking others for help. However, this is in most cases is a formula for creating more issues down the road. It is always wiser to retain experts in their respective fields and reach out to them when there is a need.
While this is a summary of what of certain faux pas that a condo manager should avoid, it is certainly not the end all. We'd be more than happy to elaborate and share with you the above and other mistakes that managers may make during a free demo of Condo Manager.