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Property Management vs Condo Management: Wait, There’s a Difference?

Even if you’ve been an avid, dedicated reader of our blogs since day one – and if you have, kudos – chances are, there are still some things about condo management that you still might not be quite aware of. For example, did you know all the ways that condo management differs from property management – or, how about the fact that these two practices are different in the first place!

The terms “condo management” and “property management” are often used interchangeably (sometimes even within the Edmonton condo management industry!), but the fact of the matter is that these two disciplines are quite distinct from one another, with each involving its own set of considerations, responsibilities, and expertise.

The Big Difference

We’ll get in-depth concerning all the details regarding property management and condo management and how they compare to one another in a minute here, but first, we wanted to cover off the one question that’s surely burning in every reader’s mind right now: what the heck is the difference, then, between condo management and property management?

Well, it’s simple!

Condo management involves the management of the condo community, complex, or building as a whole. Property management, on the other hand, is more closely tied to individual units, tenants, and renters.

Now that we’ve cleared the air and set the record straight, we can dig a bit deeper into what, precisely, makes these two managerial roles unique.

First Thing’s First: Let’s Talk Condo Management

We’re a condo management company – so, of course we’re going to chat about condo management first! When it comes to responsibilities, Edmonton-based condo management companies are accountable for the following considerations:

  • Exercising condominium corporation powers,
  • Collecting condo fees or levies,
  • Enforcing condominium bylaws and rules,
  • Enlisting (and supervising, if necessary) contractors for condo-related maintenance,
  • Reporting to the condo board, and
  • Providing support to the board of directors in order to keep the condo building safe and financially sound.

In addition to these roles, condo management here in our province needs to adhere to the standards laid out by the Real Estate Council of Alberta (or RECA, for short). These guidelines are currently under review and in ongoing consultation to ensure that there exists a province-wide benchmark across the board for condo managers. When concluded, these regulations will lay out specifics such as licencing details, educations recommendations, professional liability insurance recommendations, and more. Ultimately, these standards will come together to ensure that there is a strong common foundation for condo management here in Alberta, adding a layer of trust and accountability to the process, strengthening the industry and the relationship between condo community and condominium management service for the better.

Keeping in line with what we’d mentioned earlier, you’ll notice that all of these duties tend to fall on the “big picture” side of things, having to do with building or property as a whole versus any individual unit or owner. Property management, on the other hand, is a wholly different animal.

Next Up: Property Management

Now that we’ve covered off the ins and outs of condo management, we thought it worthwhile to dig into the details associated with property management. When it comes to responsibilities, property managers most often concern themselves with:

  • Working with individual property owners,
  • Advertising, negotiating, and leasing/renting real estate for an owner,
  • Collecting and holding payment on an owner’s behalf,
  • Working with owners to keep their property leased to a quality tenant, and
  • Organizing tenant undertaking documents and other related paperwork.

Decidedly less in-flux than the provincial condo management guidelines that we detailed above, there also exists within Alberta a set of provincially-mandated requirements for property managers, too – also put forward and upheld by RECA. You don’t necessarily need to hold a license to call yourself a “property manager” here in Alberta, but if you want to perform certain tasks on behalf of those you represent – for example, managing or holding money in relation to the lease or rental of real estate – then you’re required to go through the extra step of becoming licenced and certified.

When broken down into roles and accountabilities, it really is quite clear what a misnomer it is to refer to condo management as property management, and vice versa. While both disciplines might concern themselves with real estate in some form or another, likening the two is really just the same as comparing apples and oranges on the basis that well, they’re both fruit, right?

Armed with this new-found knowledge, if you find yourself in need of condo management services in Edmonton call us at Catalyst Condo Management today – we won’t be able to help you out with your individual unit, but we sure will be able to help manage your condo community as a whole!

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