How to Break Up with Your Condo Management Company
Breaking up is hard to do – especially when it comes to your condo management company. Sometimes, though, it’s necessary to make a change, because just like that one boyfriend you had who insisted that flipflops DO SO count as “formal attire,” you deserve better. That said, it’s never easy cutting ties with the folks who look after your building, and it can leave you feeling lost and a bit dazed – but don’t worry, it’s for the best in the end, and we’ll be here not only to give you a hand navigating the ins and outs of firing your current condo management company, but also to help you bounce back and find a new one that will leave you feeling happy and satisfied with their attentive customer service, of course!
We Need to Talk…
When it comes to letting your current condo management company down gently, there are a few details worth considering that will make things easier for everybody involved:
- If you can, give some notice.If you’re firing your current property management company for non-urgent reasons (such as lack of communication on critical issues, awful client service, or just overall poor property management), 60 days’ notice is the industry standard.
- Unless you need to cut ties immediately.However, in some situations, giving notice isn’t an option. If your condo management company is making repeated, disastrous financial decisions, for example, or if you have reason to believe they’re pocketing funds, it’s best to cut ties immediately.
- In that case, be prepared for a rocky break-up.If you find yourself needing to urgently dismiss your property management company, make sure your condo board has enough funds set aside to carry on until the new team can fully come on board – this goes doubly-so if you live in a large condo complex. If month-end is in two weeks and there are over 100 residents in your building, chances are the new guys won’t have enough time to collect everyone’s PAD info in order to charge condo fees that first time they’re due, so be prepared.
- Try to get out ahead of things.All that being said, there are steps you can do ahead of time to make this transition a bit easier. For starters, record as much contact info as you can for vendors and unit owners – this makes things easier for the incoming condo management team. Additionally, do what you can to prioritize any outstanding work. That way, the new company can come onboard and immediately start tackling the issues that are most important to the condo community and will have a clear path to success that they’ll be able to easily follow.
It’s never fun having the “break-up talk” with your condo management company, but once it’s over, you’ll be able to rest so much easier. Firing your condo management company is only half the job, though. Now, we get to talk about the fun stuff: upgrading to a condo management company that will treat you right!
Locking Down that New Condo Management Company
Now that your previous management company is yesterday’s news, it’s time to focus on vetting a new team to look after your building. What sorts of things should you look out for? Why, we’re glad you asked:
- Look beyond the manager-to-building ratio. When vetting condo management companies, folks can often get stuck comparing the number of buildings a company looks after to the number of managers on staff. Don’t be fooled: the quality of client service you get is going to depend more on the actual property manager than anything, so keep this in mind while making your decision.
- Teamwork makes the dream work. Burnout is a big problem in the condo management industry, and the last thing you want is to be running through a new property manager every couple of months. Look for a condo management business that embraces a team culture, and you’ll have no trouble avoiding this issue altogether. Ask yourself who you’re hiring: the person, or the company?
- Response time is key. Take a minute to quiz your prospective condo management company on response times – both with regards to communication and actual on-site service. Lay down your expectations so that you can be sure the new company is able to meet them, and you’ll be off to a great start.
- Above all else? Communication. Find out what your prospective condo management company does to prioritize communication, and don’t be afraid to dig deep. How and when do they reach out to the board, or to residents? Do they take advantage of digital communication tools? Do they follow up to ensure satisfaction after an issue has been resolved? These details will all help to paint a picture and should work to inform your decision.
Cutting ties with your condo management company can be a nerve-wracking decision, but your building deserves a team that puts its residents first – and if you follow these helpful pointers, we have no doubt you’ll find a property management team that’s proud to go the extra mile for you and your neighbours!
Need some additional help finding a condo management company that will treat your condo community right? Reach out to us at Catalyst Condo Management, and we’ll do our best to help you land on your feet after the big break-up.