Three Things Your Condo or HOA Should Look for in a Property Management Firm
Selecting a good property management firm is one of the most important decisions that your condo or homeowner association will make. Your new firm will be responsible for managing everything from daily tasks, like maintenance and assessment billing, to long-term strategy considerations, such as budgeting and capital improvements. As surely as a complacent firm can detract from the appearance and operation of your property, a proactive firm can add value, leading to satisfied Boards, owners and tenants.
So given the importance of this crucial decision, what should you look for, when shopping for a property management firm? WPM Vice President and Director of Business Development James Dahlgren offers advice about three of the most important things your new firm should offer.
According to Dahlgren, your property management firm should:
Be present and proactive.
Walking the property allows managers to get the true picture of how the property is operating. It also puts the onus on the property manager to make adjustments and repairs, instead of merely waiting and reacting to complaints from the Board or owners.
“You can’t manage from behind a desk,” explains Dahlgren. “Managers need to do regular walk-throughs in order to get a real sense of what is going right or wrong with the property. Properties are tangible assets that need to be seen to be fully understood. If renovations or repairs are taking place, a property manager ought to be a regular presence to ensure that the association is receiving the full benefits of the contracted service. That’s why our managers are ‘out more than in.’ Technology allows them to stay connected while being physically onsite at properties. This is crucial.”
Good management firms utilize existing technologies that allow them to push data, financial reporting and other news to residents and association boards in real time.
“WPM uses the web platform SenEarthCo,” says Dahlgren “It’s a helpful portal that enables owners and property managers to communicate quickly about property information. For example, boards can receive real-time payment status on a resident’s account and have access to financial statements. This technology helps boards to make the most of their volunteer time.”
Provide accurate and timely financial reporting.
Meticulous and timely financial reporting is imperative for several reasons: It enables associations to collect dues on schedule. It gives boards the full financial picture so that they are armed to make good decisions for the community. It helps associations understand the short- and long-term needs of a property, to guide its strategy and budgeting.
“At WPM, we take our fiduciary responsibility to our properties very seriously,” says Dahlgren. “Our accounting team boasts extensive experience and training. And as we manage many institutional clients, which require the highest level of financial statements, that standard of excellence translates to our clients across the board.”
Filed Under: Associations, Commercial, General