Board members take on a lot of responsibility when the community is self-managed, and maybe things are going just fine. But it’s possible that things could be better and that this could happen through a partnership with a full-service property management company.
And although a small investment may need to be made, many boards find that what they spend comes back tenfold in greater value to their community.  Here are a few surprising ways the cost of hiring a great property management company can morph into a money-saving benefit. 

1. Your other costs should go down.

A good property management company will be able to identify if the rates you are paying for vital services are competitive and can support renegotiating contracts at your community. A leading management company would have the experience, knowledge and expertise to benchmark costs against other similar properties. This could result in across-the-board savings on everything from cable to waste management to utility costs and beyond, as well as ensure your association is receiving the value and service it deserves. 

2. You’ll maintain residence values.

Aproperty management company will more easily handle the day-to-day operations. Responsibilities will be designated to specific personnel. This will support prioritizing any longer-term projects such as painting, street resurfacing and other kinds of building maintenance or upgrades.

3. You could save in ways you didn’t anticipate.

An excellent property management company will analyze your entire operation, often uncovering surprising cost reduction strategies that protect quality of life. One such strategy is energy efficiency; property management companies are often able to find low- or no-cost ways of improving efficiency. This could include fine-tuning boiler systems, replacing outmoded air conditioning units or other equipment with more energy-efficient ones, or recommending strategies to upgrade your lighting systems, all of which will result in effectively saving thousands of dollars in utility bills for your association. 

4. Delinquencies turn into revenue.

This is one of the great obstacles for self-managed associations: collecting on delinquent dues. That’s partly because it can be an unpleasant job, especially when you’re dealing with neighbors (and potentially, your friends). A property management company keeps it purely objective and professional, and can help facilitate debt collection services.  

5. Your in-house team gets stronger.

Often, the property management company will retain your existing employees. Your property management team can recommend ways to strengthen the skills and service level of your association’s staff. You might be amazed at the staff performance enhancement realized with consistent and professional staff training programs and accurate job descriptions provided by a professional management company. Employees typically enjoy more benefits than they have ever had before, and value the ability to learn more in their jobs. Finally, employee pride may skyrocket as they become more efficient and learn new skills. Give them what they need to grow!

6. Your residents will feel more connected.

A forward-thinking property management company can offer dedicated staff that focus on enhancing the lifestyles of your residents. They’ll assess your current culture and the personalities in your community,  and initiate programs and activities tailored to your residents’ likes and wants. As a result, your residents will feel more connected to one another – and within the neighborhood too.

7. You may not know how lucky you are.

Perhaps one of  the most effective tools to mitigate risk in your community association is to cease being an employer. Workers’ Compensation, improper termination, harassment and unemployment, among other employer-related issues, can quickly become very expensive. 

Self-managing communities are a lot of work and the board certainly deserves respect for the hard work they put in. It is indeed a vast commitment to make.  At times, hiring an expert may be one of the best ways you can service your community. Oftentimes, boards find that it’s money is well spent and the dedication they put in will reap the benefits for upcoming projects. For more on transitioning from a self-managed community to one managed by a professional company, or for real case studies on communities that have done so, contact FirstService Residential.
Tuesday September 01, 2015