Common Management Issues:
  • Poor communication.
  • Lack of visibility/transparency.
  • Deferred or missed maintenance.
  • Poorly tracked maintenance requests, if at all.
  • Lack of experience with project management.
  • Unhappy owners and board members.
  • Poor follow through of requests.
  • Major events missed such as AGM’s or inspections.
  • Mismanagement or poor financial planning.
  • Unable to answer questions about financials.
  • Kickbacks or vendor mismanagement.
Qualifying the Right Company
 
We understand hiring the right management company to assist with corporation affairs is both an extremely difficult and critical task for any Board of Directors to undertake. Hire the wrong one and it could cost you not only financially but the trust of your community members as well.
When deciding to hire a management company, the board should consider the following:
  • Is the manager and management company easy to approach?
  • Do you feel comfortable with how they present themselves as a professional?
  • Who will be assisting with your building and how many properties are they currently managing?
  • Does the company have support and structure in place to assist your assigned Manager? What is it?
  • Ask for references and make contact.
  • Engage professionals and other corporations for their opinion.
  • Is the management company proactive on educating themselves with current changes? Test the company by asking questions about new regulation changes.
  • Is the management company current on technology and looking forward? Are they able to provide full and honest transparency and accountability or proper communication with both the board and its community members?
  • What do their monthly financial statements look like? Ask for a sample copy to ensure that they are easy to follow and understand and provide all the required information.
  • Does their contract lay out the duties of both the manager and board in an easy to read format that does not hide important information or costs? A clean and honest contract will allow the board to easily negotiate and opt out of items should they feel the need to.
The industry has had years to work towards providing the best value and service standards to its ultimate clients, the homeowners, and this has simply not happened. Now, the government is releasing changes to the Alberta Condominium Property Act and Regulations to improve and implement controls to restore order. What remains from these changes at this moment is Condominium Management licensing and a tribunal system. More is required and we expect it will. What you want to look for in your prospective management company is where they have set their bar. Are they operating at the bear minimum or do they have best practices and processes in place to facilitate effective and consistent growth and governance opportunities with current and long term strategies?
Select multiple companies and create a list of what you want your management company to do for you and compare their value, resourcefulness and expertise for a successful corporation that an ownership base will be proud to be a part of and an envy of others.
 
As a final word, for some additional tips, see our article on vendor management that will assist you and your board to ask your “why” and to create and set those expectations.
If you enjoyed this article and have any topics that you would like us to research and share, reach out to us as we are always happy to educate our fellow condo community.
Blueprint Condominium Management Inc.