What are Your Property Manager’s Responsibilities
Do You Know What Your Property Manager’s Responsibilities Are?
It's important to know what a property manager's responsibilities are and what you should expect of them when you are looking for a new property manager or reevaluating your current one. By asking yourself the following questions, you can help determine if the property manager is the right fit for your community.
Does Your Property Manager Have Their Condominium Management License?
As part of the Real Estate Amendment Act 2020, regulation of condominium managers now falls to the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA). Moving forward, those licenses are to be renewed on an annual basis.
Increasing consumer protection is important and can be achieved by requiring all individuals and companies that provide condominium management services to follow the same criteria and meet the same standards. This is something that all members of your community would deem valuable.
There are a couple of ways you can confirm that your property manager is licensed. Of course, the most direct way is to ask, however RECA also has a search tool available on their website. Through the Licensee Search Tool you can search for a property manager by name or by brokerage to ensure who you are working with or who you will potentially be working with is licensed and in good standing. It should be noted that the condominium management licensing will not appear in the search tool until December 1, 2021.
Once you’ve determined that your property manager meets the mandatory requirement, you can start to take a closer look at what else the property manager can and should do for you.
Great Service: Does Your Property Manager Have What It Takes?
As a board member, you want your community or building to run smoothly and stay financially healthy. That’s why most boards turn to a property manager to help them. Naturally, you expect your manager and the rest of your management team to provide quality service, but if they don’t have what they need – and what it takes – how can they give your community what it deserves? Find out if they are qualified to give you exceptional service by asking these questions.
What are Your Property Manager’s Responsibilities? Do Your Residents Know Them?
Residents’ awareness and understanding of a property manager's responsibilities and their role can affect how they perceive them. Even the most incredible manager won’t be seen as capable if residents have expectations that are outside a manager’s responsibility.
The board is responsible for creating policies based on their vision for the community, while the management team simply executes those policies. However, a lot of residents mistakenly believe that the manager sets policy for the community. Therefore, when they are unhappy with a policy or rule, they respond by voicing dissatisfaction with the manager.
Sometimes residents don’t understand what they are responsible for in the community. Does the community pressure wash their front walkway, or is that the residents’ responsibility? Who pressure washes and cleans balconies on high-rises? Is management responsible for helping with storm preparation or snow removal in their driveways? New residents should be walked through the roles and responsibilities of everyone in their community, so they have the right expectations of their management team. It also doesn’t hurt to remind long-term residents of those responsibilities from time to time either!
Does the Property Manager Have Support?
Even the best property managers can’t do everything! The right support is critical for a manager to succeed in delivering the exceptional service your board and residents expect and deserve. In other words, good managers are only as capable as the support they have. That support should include:
Assistance from accounting, purchasing, vendor relations and financial services specialists
Involvement of human relations professionals for all personnel matters to ensure that you get the right level of on-site staffing
Ongoing training to develop and improve management skills, keep up with industry standards and be informed about regulatory changes
24/7 customer care centre that can quickly provide them and your community with needed information
Technology and communication tools
In addition, an experienced regional director with a pulse on the community provides important support. The most capable managers leverage their regional directors. Having that structure in place helps maintain institutional knowledge and consistency in management if the property manager leaves for any reason. The regional director should know the building or community well enough to help replace a beloved manager with the right person.
Does Your Property Manager Have the Right Personality?
Caring can’t be taught. People who are naturally caring go above and beyond for the people around them and in the work they do. Caring managers take ownership of the communities and buildings they work in, doing their very best to serve the board and residents.
Great property managers have a high emotional intelligence quotient (EQ), too, meaning they have an ability to read and assist people – including members of your condo corporation or HOA. Their empathy enables them to put themselves in others’ shoes and understand their perspective. Other traits of managers with high EQ are that they are forward-thinking, adaptive, resourceful, hospitality-minded, flexible, self-motivated and able to communicate clearly. As a result, they are trusted advisors to your board.
Emotional intelligence should extend to regional directors. The regional director is the person who needs to match up the right manager to each community or building. This requires understanding the personality of the property and choosing a manager whose personality best connects with it. Even the most stellar manager won’t succeed if they aren’t the right fit.
Great management and exceptional service are essential to the harmony and success of your community. To ensure that you get what you expect, you need a manager with the proper credentials, the right support and the right personality. And, of course, you need to set the right expectations with residents about the role of management in your community.
To learn more about what makes an excellent property manager, download our guide, Dream Team: The Key to Service Excellence, today!