looking for a new condo manager or management company? Want a better
understanding of what they do and how they charge? Here is a helpful guide to
choosing a new company that will solve your needs. Condo management fees depend
on size, the needs of your community, how many meetings you have, and how much
maintenance you require, etc. Fees in Central Ohio range from about $13 to $20
per unit per month.
does a condo manager do? Well, we can break condo manager duties down into six
major management areas:
The easy part is to set up the dues collection system
and collect from those willing to pay, which includes setting up bank accounts,
software to track payments, cashing and depositing payments.
TIP: make sure your management
company offers several ways to pay, as owners have different needs, and make sure
there are no hidden fees to the association for this. For example, we offer payment by
check, money order, credit or debit card, cash card, ACH, online check…surely
this appeals to everyone’s needs-all at no cost to the Association.
The hard part is collecting from those who do not
pay for one of a variety of reasons. Since managers are not debt collectors,
there is a limit to what can be done before an attorney must get involved. Make
sure your manager’s solution is not simply to turn over all collections to an
attorney or you will get huge expenses, especially if a check was lost or
someone forgot. You should ask you manager a few pointed questions here, such
What’s your recommended collection
Do you tack on a delinquent fee to the
owner who does not pay in addition to the late fees?
Do you attempt to call them or send a
warning letter? What is the cost of that?
questions here are how much, how often, and when? Key reporting is vital to
managing an Association. Here are a few suggested questions and possible
Ø When do we get reports? We get them to you mid-month, every month-with
a goal of by the 15th.
Ø What reports do we get? As a minimum we give balance sheets, profit/loss,
delinquencies, bills paid, bank reconciliation, general ledger, journal
entries, and copies of supporting documents, as needed
Ø Is this included or extra? We include it
Ø Do we pay for checks, bills paid,
envelopes, copies? We charge postage only
on bills paid.
Ø Do we get online access to our
accounts? We provide board access to all
reports and accounts for access online-full transparency.
where it gets tough. Your neighbor, and friends, start parking where they
shouldn’t, or not picking up after their pet, or install a tree where it’s not
allowed, what to do? Do you stay silent, or ruin your friendship by saying
something? It’s a dilemma!
we come in! We can handle it discreetly, justify it with the bylaws and rules,
and leave you out of it. Our twice per month inspections deflect it from you
policing your neighbors to us doing it, complete with violation letters, fines,
and an appeal process.
If you do
not have a current rules handbook, we can help you design and publish one.
Every community needs rules and enforcement and a process that makes it
consistent and enforceable.
Working with contractors:
Many of you
have years of experience working with contractors, from cleaning to concrete to
lawns, but many do not. Plus how many do you know? Do you know what forms are
needed? And what if they need to meet you and you have a job or commitments?
handle that for you! From drawing up the statement of work, to getting bids
from contractors, to awarding bids, to supervising the work, to paying the
invoice-we are there every step of the way.
And what if
the contractor makes an error or forgets something? Do you have the time to
follow up? And the patience? We handle that for you as well!
So an owner
wants new windows, or to stain their deck, or satellite TV installed…now what? It’s
a frustrating position for an owner to be in, as they simply want to get
approved and don’t know how-is there a form, a plan, a fee, an approval
process, a person to contact, or what?
So how can
we help? Well, we give them a form, and a place to send it, along with a
process and paperwork provided. And for you, the board? We work with you to
design forms, processes, contact points, and timeline so owners have an idea of
what happens and when. We make it a snap for you, and provide a history of
approvals so when new members get on the board we have a history.
Maintaining the community:
maintenance will keep values high, complaints low, and if you fix small stuff
now-bigger stuff will be averted lower. So how do you do that, and how do you
find contractors to do small one hour jobs-without going broke?
We have in-house
maintenance for small and large things both, and proactive managers that will
find small items before they turn into large items. And for those things that
we can’t fix we have a plan and contacts to outside contractors who can do what
is needed. There are very few things we haven’t experienced or repaired, and
that experience means savings for you-in time, money, or future repairs.
condo manager that is a partner and not just a clerk will take care of
everything, in advance, and keep complaints lower and values high. At the end
of the day well maintained and managed Associations sell for higher prices, and
isn’t that the end goal? We have the experience and skills to make your life
better and managing your condo easier for you.
Dennis Swartz at email@example.com or call me at 614-538-1717.