Sooner or later, most community corporations face staff changes. If your community has a great manager, you probably want them to stay forever. But how realistic is that?
If your beloved property manager is an ambitious and high-performing individual, they may seek growth opportunities within a company that prides itself on training and upward mobility. This means they are more likely to be promoted and would need to leave your community.
This can be unsettling for boards and residents alike — change brings challenge! However, if your management company has a proven process that internally transfers property manager duties with ease, it doesn't have to be.
Changing managers raises a lot of questions: Was there adequate onboard transition period with the previous manager? How long will it take our new manager to get up to speed? How will our new manager learn everything our old manager knew? Is there critical work that needs to be prioritized? Will this transition affect any upcoming board/annual general meetings? Who do residents contact in the interim? How will finances and records be maintained? Who will oversee ongoing activities and capital improvement projects?
It’s important to understand that transitioning manager duties is a common industry practice for property management companies. Change can also be a great thing for your community! Although boards may view manager turnover as a strike against their management company, it doesn’t have to be!
That doesn't have to be the case, says Phil Swaile, vice president of operations and strategy at FirstService Residential. "Boards see the value of their management company through their manager," Swaile explains. "Of course, the relationship with their manager is a key piece. But the broader support that both your manager and your community get from the company is just as, if not more, important."
A regional director who works closely with your manager will also have a relationship with the board and work closely with the management company’s client accounting, technology, administrative and customer care departments. This means they are very familiar with your community’s needs and projects, and will make sure everything stays on track while your new manager gets settled in. That's the "dream team" approach!
A good property management company should also provide your community with answers and peace of mind during this transition process via a strong support system that includes:
When your corporation is in search of a new manager, the transition of property duties sets the tone for the future success of your community and the ongoing relationship with your management company. Hiring a new manager who has the right expertise and skill set can positively influence your community. It’s important to remember that a fresh perspective can also bring a lot of value to your community and residents.
Change may be inevitable, but when handled properly, it can be a welcomed opportunity that revitalizes residents' energy and builds a new sense of purpose that will benefit your entire community.