When utilizing a professional property management company, the ultimate goal is to help board members set objectives and reach them. Some things to be addressed may include maintaining a property’s common areas, acting as a liaison to service and repair companies, managing the collection of assessments from all residents, and serve as the primary point of contact when residents have questions or need repairs handled.
 
In other words, community association management companies fully attend to the business of managing a community, thus alleviating a significant burden for a volunteer board that often doesn’t have the time or expertise to continuously resolve issues with little or no support. 
 
But how can you tell the difference between a merely decent property management company from a positively great one? Well, this article should help. 
 

Put simply, great community association management companies...

...Have seen everything.

A good property management company brings a depth of knowledge to your community, allowing it to effectively manage any issues or situations that arise. The team is made up of professional and experienced team members.  It’s unlikely that there’s a challenge they haven’t encountered, or an obstacle they haven’t overcome. Or, if they do come across a new situation, there is a reliable and knowledgeable team available to offer guidance.
 

...Think locally.

Every market is different. Having local knowledge is so important for a community association management company to have. Not only will it be in tune with geographic-specific details such as how to prepare for a natural disaster, but it will also be well versed about the latest legislation changes, and will know whether or not they affects your board and community. 
 

...Know people.

It’s not always just what you know, but who you know. Establishing and maintaining long-standing effective relationships with trustworthy vendors is essential to getting the best rates and getting the job done right the first time. If your property management company has been in business long enough, it will know what it means to deliver quality service, and in a way that’s budget-friendly, too. 
 

...Put you at ease.

A great property management company will have the expertise and experience to erase all the stress that comes from serving on a board. You simply can’t put a price on peace of mind. While serving on the board is always a significant commitment, many members find that working with a property management company saves a lot of time and effort. Issues will be address in a timely and orderly fashion, enabling committees to focus on the big-picture. After all, this is what they were elected to do in the first place. 
 

...Are tech-savvy.

Look for a property management company that offers tools such as online payment options, dedicated web portals and more. Make no mistake; community association management is a people business. But that hands-on service should be elevated by technology that allows you to communicate with your property management team and access the services you need quickly and efficiently.
 

...Are available.

Your property management company should provide around-the-clock access to information and service with trained customer support teams to assist after hours. 
 

...Offer multi-level support.

It’s great to have a familiar face as your main contact person. But that familiar face should also come backed by a complete organizational team – that’s the only way to make sure your day-to-day management professional has the support needed to offer you the best service. These support teams include accounting, administrative assistance, warranty services, insurance services, a new property group, regional directors and more.
 

...Stay updated and educated.

Most states require community association managers to stay current on their continuing education requirements. But remember, this is a minimum requirement. The best community association management company will set the bar higher than that, requiring their professionals to be up-to-speed on cutting-edge technologies and the latest information. As an example, FirstService Residential, North America’s leading property Management Company, requires its team members to complete advanced training at its own School of Development. 
 

...Understand the hospitality perspective.

Great property management companies treat residents in the same manner the staff at a fine hotel treats its guests. They should offer concierge-level service that is professional yet approachable.
 

...Never stop trying to save you money.

Sure, your annual budget happens just once a year, but saving money is an objective for every single day. Your community association management company should leave no stone unturned when it comes to uncovering ways to save. 
 

...Keep the board aligned.

Once a vision has been established and goals have been set, your property management company will ensure all of the board’s actions are focused on attaining those objectives. It’s easy to get sidetracked, especially for committed board members who want to solve every problem, but a great property management company is adept at helping everyone maintain the right priorities. 
 
Now that you know a little bit more about what separates an adequate property management company from a great one, you can find out what one can do for you and your community. For further answers and information, reach out to FirstService Residential today.
Monday May 25, 2015