Management Companies Play a Vital Role

February 15, 2010

Residential

Importance of Communication in Propety Management

Importance of Communication in Property Management

Community association management companies play a vital role in both the financial and physical health of client buildings. Their role has become increasingly more difficult, and increasingly more critical, in the recent weak real estate market. Achieving success as a community association manager ultimately comes through proactive management and effective communications. However, many community association management companies fall short when it comes to meeting the expectations of their client associations.

The era of not listening to the customer is gone. Effective association managers must partner with the association, become more flexible, and have an open mind. Associations? problems have changed and increased with the recent economy – budgets are tight, and community boards have become much savvier about their arrangements with management companies.

Technology is Playing a Large Roll

New managers should observe their communities and consult with experienced industry professionals to help them gain a better sense of how to adapt their personal business style to accommodate different clients. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to understanding each community. No matter how large or small an association might be, they all have essentially the same problems.

Frequently, a community manager will contract with a new association under an all-inclusive flat fee arrangement, then charge additional fees without regard to the impact on the association?s budget. This approach will cause nothing but trouble in the relationship. Management firms should also keep associations up-to-date on critical technologies and practices. Rapid technology growth has contributed to the continual evolution of the industry, and companies need to stay current and utilize technological tools such as paperless records and electronic planning and organizing. Firms must be open to utilizing new systems and embracing change along the way.

Involvement is Key

For community managers, patience is a virtue. Don?t always look for the short answer ? a better understanding of why things are done a certain way may take more time and effort, but will ultimately result in a better solution. Always encourage the board to participate in the solution process. When everyone works, learns, and grows together, they contribute to a more thorough, shared knowledge of the community association management industry. Buildings, boards, and management firms will benefit from this outcome.

As an association board member or building resident, pay close attention to how your association is being managed. If your management company is lacking these virtues in any way, participate in meetings and on committees to help guide the management approach. It is very appropriate to ask the tough questions. Is your management firm being proactive? Are they effectively aiding you in the day to day management? Are you as a board member spending too much time with association headaches? Finally, this should not be your second job, but a very part time effort.

We?d like to thank Paul (Dex) busy@ work’s photostream for kindly sharing today?s photo via the Creative Commons? License.
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About Phil Burnstine

Phil is a life-long resident of Chicago with over 20 years of award-winning commercial and residential real estate experience. He is well versed in the comings and goings of the city and active in the arts community. Trustworthy and a natural salesman at heart, he has an innate ability to make others feel at ease while, at the same time, he gets the deal done. I am especially adept at working with first time buyers who are ill at ease with getting into the market. There are so many ins and outs with the real estate market today, that it takes someone who knows the areas and financing innuendos. Phil recently joined Chicago Property Services and concentrates on helping associations become more efficient with professional management services throughout the city of Chicago. He started in the commercial real estate arena in 1986 in the River North area in Chicago and became the fifth ranked agent in the North Side Real Estate Board which is now CAR. He will still make real estate deals in the residential and commercial community as well.

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