What Misconceptions about Condominium Property Management Do You Have?

Here at Catalyst, we love what we do, and to us, our services are pretty straight-forward: we offer condo management services that put an emphasis on sticking up for the little guy, advocacy, and generally just treating condo boards and residents with the most exceptional, awesome service we can muster. That said, though, it’s surprising how frequently we run into situations in which people aren’t quite sure about what it is we do as a condo management company, the services we offer, or the industry in general.

To that end, we thought we’d dedicate today’s blog toward clearing up some of the most common misunderstandings and misconceptions regarding condominium management. It’ll be just like Take Your Kid to Work Day, only more like Take Your Reader…to Blog…Day? Either way, buckle up, and get ready to have your burning condo management-related questions answered!

So, condo property management is just like property management, right?

No, actually! Despite both of these roles having the word “management” right there in the name, there are some key differences between the two. We wrote an in-depth blog on this topic, but the general big difference to keep in mind is that property managers are often responsible for individual units / homes, the collection of rent, and the maintenance of these distinct dwellings, whereas condo managers are generally responsible for the whole of the condo building and do not usually rent out or lease individual units.

Condo managers don’t really have a governing body, do they?

Yes, they do! Well, to a point. Right now, anyway. It’s kind of confusing. So, the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) maintains its status as the governing body of condo management companies here in Alberta, but it currently doesn’t have any sort of requirements or curriculum of education in place to guide condo management within the province. These details are in the works as the Alberta government irons out and finalizes the Condominium Property Amendment Act, at which point RECA will have the roadmap it needs to step forward and fully assume its role of governance within Alberta’s condo industry.

My condo management company keeps telling us to get a special assessment done. This is just a cash-grab, right?

No, not at all! Special assessments are a very necessary means of collecting funds in order to help your building prepare for an imminent maintenance need that is verging on turning into a crisis. You should trust your condo management company enough to follow through on any special assessment recommendations they give you – and if you don’t, you might want to consider finding a new condo management company!

We just updated our Reserve Fund Study. It’s Good for Another Five Years, Right?

Yes…mostly. While you’re generally fine to go a full five years between RFS updates, your condo management company should be encouraging your board to review this plan at least once annually to ensure everything is on track and that there haven’t been any sweeping changes to surprise you down the road. To learn more about the ins and outs of Reserve Fund Studies, visit here!

We got great bang-for-our-buck by hiring the cheapest condo management company out there. We did good!

Ummmm…maybe? You’ve got to be careful here. Saving money when it comes to your condo management company’s fees might seem all well and good, but your board may be practicing some false economy here. Yes, you want to avoid paying too much for any condo-related service, including condo management. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you often get what you pay for. If you hire a condo management company with the goal of saving money on fees, only to bring on a team that’s inexperienced, undedicated, and generally lousy at what they do, it’ll only end up costing you in the long run. Far better to spend a few extra bucks up front and hire a condo management company that will have your back than to let a poorly-equipped business drive your condo corporation into the ground through bad management.

Hopefully, this has cleared up a few misunderstandings! As a leading condo management company in Calgary, Red Deer, and Edmonton, we know that the large range of services we offer can sometimes get a bit confusing. If you’ve got further questions you’d like sorted out about what it is exactly that we do here at Catalyst Condo Management Ltd, feel free to give us a call today – we’ll be eager to chat with you about how we might be able to help your condo community. And, if you have any other misconceptions, we’ll be happy to chat about them, giving insights into why the misconceptions there!