While every strata corporation has its own unique needs, and every property management company has a unique way of serving them, there are a handful of qualities that any great company should have. And if they don’t, steer clear.
The right management company will deliver exceptional service while enhancing your property values, improving resident lifestyles, optimizing your budget and minimizing risk to your strata. The wrong company might not be able to service your community to expectations or have relationships with a network of vendors who can provide the most for your money. As a strata council member, your obligation is to preserve, protect and enhance your community, so it’s important to get the right information to make this important choice.
Check out top qualities the right property management company should have.
1. Depth of resources
When interviewing potential property management companies, ask who will be supporting your strata manager. A skilled team of experts in various fields, including human resources, building warranties, technology, maintenance and accounting should support each strata manager with advice and best practices to deliver the best service for your property.
2. Standard operating procedures
The best property management company should have proven operational procedures which have been developed through years of experience. Ensure that the company has standard practices for every community or building they serve. These operating procedures should include preventive maintenance programs, regular audits of all contracts and vendors and a transparent financial system and safeguards, as well as solutions that enhance the value of your property and lifestyle of your residents.
3. Financial transparency
Look for a residential management company with an internal financial management team led by chartered accountants. The best management companies will follow rigorous internal review and accounting protocols to promote financial health and stability of your strata corporation.
4. Vendor relationships
A property management company that has strong, long-held partnerships with quality service providers will be able to negotiate savings such as discounts on community purchases and lower rates on regular maintenance, while still maintaining a superior level of service.
Weak communication is one of the most often complained about issues in property management. Look for companies with a 24/7 call centre and technology that allows you to get answers to your questions when you need them.
6. Attention to detail
The right residential management company will provide you with a strata manager who knows that the little things can mean a lot. Paying attention to details about small things can make the difference between average and extraordinary service.
A variety of issues can come up in a community. The best managers know how to respond to issues big and small, from a problem with the gates at the front entrance to a weather emergency to an internal water leak and everything in between.
8. Commitment to training
Expert property management and exceptional customer service can only be provided by a knowledgeable, unified and superbly trained team. Look for property management companies that are committed to providing continual educational and development programs for their associates at all levels, including hands-on training and seminar learning sessions.
It is also important that your residential property management company operates in full transparency. The company should be able to provide you with disclosure on any affiliated companies it does business with. You should also ask this company about their financial controls. Your property management company should provide an internal ethics hotline for associates to report and record unethical activities.
Great residential management companies will be open-minded, collaborative and continuously looking to improve their service offerings and customer service. Ask if your company will obtain candid council member feedback on a regular basis about how they are performing – and whether they will act as a result of that feedback.
11. Ability to listen
Some companies may assume that because they have been in the business for years, they already know exactly what your community needs. A company with the ability to really listen and collaborate with your council will be able to customize their full-service strata management solutions and value-added services to meet your needs, achieve your goals and realize your community vision.