In a perfect world, condo board and property managers would live in perfect harmony – not once facing disagreements. Even in an ideal setting where rules are in place to keep things running smoothly, disagreements even if minor, could happen.
When condo boards have disagreements with managers, what can they do?
Knowing the most common types of issues that condo boards face with property managers can help you be prepared to deal with those situations. Handling the conflict effectively and avoiding future issues. Here is a list of common issues and resolutions. As well as tips to prevent future problems so that you can continue to have a productive property manager.
Common Issues Between the Board and Property Managers
Some of the challenges the board faces with property managers may seem hard to believe. Or at least something you’d never imagine facing… until it happens to you. According to the NAA, the most common issues include:
Entering Units – In some cases, property managers enter units without proper permission or notice. Causing the owners to have privacy and safety concerns.
Communication – Being the main point of contact for owners and tenants, good communication is crucial. Unfortunately, a common issue involves property managers being reported for being impolite, rude, or dismissive.
Cost and Fees – Many times the condo board and entire HOA will become frustrated with additional fees charged by the property managers. Sometimes there are fees charged for services that were initially thought to be included by the HOA. Finally, probably one of the most widespread issues facing condo board members and property managers are the monthly costs involved in paying their property managers. When things are going smoothly, no one feels like paying for service that is not up to par.
Although these are some of the most common issues mentioned, the list doesn’t stop there. Other problems include delays in reporting and fixing maintenance issues, failure to communicate with the board of directors and more.
How to Peacefully Resolve These Issues
Communication is vital when trying to resolve an issue. Document the issue and speak to your property manager about the problem. It’s important to give them the opportunity to explain the situation and suggest a solution. This will open the door for easier communication and resolution.
Sending emails is a good way to document the interaction. But you may also want to have them sign a form stating that they were informed of the problem. Keep a close eye on the situation, and if the issue re-occurs, follow up in writing. Whether that is to give managers a reminder, or a final warning, most of the times, the issue will be resolved with the first warning. Yet, should problems keep occurring, it may be time to consider another manager or management company.
Ensure that your property manager or management company had the proper training with your software management tools. So they can make the most out of the resources available to them.
For example, the best property management apps will include tools that allow managers to handle repairs on the go — giving owners the ability to track the status of their requests. It keeps managers organized while improving communication!
Preventing Future Problems
Choosing Your Property Manager – Selecting the right property manager or company can avoid any future issues. But that selection goes beyond interviewing the right candidate or trying to reduce property management costs. Take the time to talk to referrals and ask about any possible issues they ran into in the past. Ask if there were any complaints from tenants, owners, or the board. Don’t be afraid to ask how the problem was handled and the outcome. Whether it was a one-time occurrence, or if it happened again.
Interviewing Multiple Property Managers – You would think that is common sense to interview more than one property manager, but some condos hire the first property manager they speak with. When facing the opportunity of switching your condos property manager, it is imperative to interview at least 2 to 3 companies. This way you will get a good feel for the way they do business, what they offer, and pricing. Find the best company to match your condo building.
Licenses & Requirements – Ensure that the manager or management company has the proper licenses and certified. Also, managers have different tasks depending on the condo they work/worked for. Don’t assume that they are familiar with all the tasks you expect them to complete. Provide potential managers with a detailed list describing the role and responsibilities. Take the time to ask management companies if they have questions about handling any required tasks.
Training – Offer management companies the opportunity to take training on software upgrades. Furthermore, workshops that focus on skills that will help with new time management tips with owners and tenants.
Owner Surveys – Consider sending owners and tenants surveys about management performance. They will appreciate that their voices are being heard, and this will ensure that issues are not going by unreported. Meet with your manager or management company to go over the survey results… the bad, and the good!
Communication – Use the available tools from your condo software to communicate regularly with your property manager. Good internal communication can always prevent problems. And make yourself available to managers if they need to ask questions.