If you plan to hire an outside company for the management of your condominium association, it is helpful to know what to expect in the hiring process. Finding the right condo manager can take some time so be prepared that this may not be a quick process.
The first thing you will do is have a meeting as a board and determine what everyone wants or expects to find in a management company. While you may not get everything on your “wish list,” you want to have some clear-set goals to meet. You will also need to appoint a committee to begin the hiring process and report back to the board as a whole on their progress.
Your next step will be to choose some companies to approach. You can do preliminary research by checking these New Jersey management companies through the Better Business Bureau. You can expect to find complaints, which is often a normal part of doing business. It is in the way these companies handle the complaints and respond that give you a feel for how they will work with your tenants.
Looking at Management Companies
As you approach the companies that are on your list, you will ask them to submit a proposal if they are interested in working with you. The proposal will tell you about the scope of their work and what services they provide as well as how much it will cost. They may ask what you have in mind so that they can create a tailored proposal.
If you are interested in having a condo manager on-site, you will want to express your specific requirements. You should give the companies as much information as possible to get an accurate quote. If you are flexible on the hours, days, or amount of time needed in general, you should also mention this.
The proposals should also include references from other companies that they currently work with as well as any from the past. Contact the president or vice president of other associations to ask them about the management company.
Once you receive the proposals, you will review them and narrow your prospects down to two or three choices. You will then set up interviews with a representative from the company and the manager if you are requesting someone to be on-site.
It is during the interview where you will get to know the company and how they handle things. This will help you determine if you like how they do business and if you can work with them.
After You Hire a Condo Manager
Once you decide on a company, you will need to draw up a written contract with all details of duties and responsibilities as well as costs. You should also appoint a member or two from the board to interact regularly with the manager and report to everyone else. This allows you to keep an eye on what is going on without getting too involved.
There should also be a time of review periodically. It may be once a year or quarterly to decide if the manager is working out or if the contract needs changed. However, the board should not be involved in the daily activities of the association. This infringes on the management company’s activities and hampers their efforts.
Hiring a condo manager to run your association is an important decision. It is advisable that you do not attempt to do the job yourself since many boards are not equipped with the skills or experience in managing the association nor do they have the time. Find someone you can trust and allow them to take care of the rest of the job.
Paul Santoriello is President of Taylor Management Company specializing in property management in New Jersey.