11 Qualities of a Great New York Property Management Company

Posted on Friday May 13, 2016

qualities of a property management company

Choosing the right New York property management company is no simple task. And finding out they’re not a good fit after you’ve contracted with one just isn’t an option. So what if there were a few qualities you could look for that made it more likely you were partnering with the best management company for your property?
Well, you’ll find such a checklist in this article. And while every community is different, you can boil down the basic requirements into these most useful traits. With that said, here’s what you should look for in an excellent New York property management company. 
1. Leadership
They say leaders are made, not born. The best property management companies believe this, too. That’s why the leaders choose to groom talent with ongoing training and developmental courses – it’s a great way to teach professionals how to lead communities to the successful future they’ve envisioned. A proactive property management company will invest in their associates by offering in house professional development courses, creating learning centers with building system simulations and coordinating training seminars. Having these tools is a great sign you’re partnering with an industry leader.   
2. Standard Operating Procedures
Standard Operating Procedures, or SOPs, are those activities within property management that have been formalized and scheduled. The best property management company will be one that is familiar with SOPs and has continuously developed and implemented them for communities or buildings similar to yours. When you ask about SOPs, listen for details on preventive maintenance programs, contractor and vendor audits, and transparent financial systems and budgets. 
3. Financial Stewardship
When assessing your candidate’s abilities in this area, look for a property management company with an internal financial management team led by certified accountants. Beyond internal review and accounting protocols, some companies go above and beyond by leveraging relationships to eliminate bank fees for your association and secure above-average interest rates on reserve, capital improvement and escrow accounts. Having these types of external relationships, and being able to leverage them to benefit your community, is highly indicative of successful financial stewardship.
4. Vendor Relationships
You want the best from your vendors. And that comes from strong relationships. Look to property management companies that have these longstanding relationships built on courtesy and trust, which gives them the power to negotiate better terms for work. The leaders in property management take it a step further and use independent credentialing firms to certify vendors for proper licenses and insurance to ensure you are protected every step of the way. 
5. Communication & Responsiveness
Property management is by no means a 9 to 5 occupation. After all, a water heater can rupture any time of day or night, right? That’s why it’s important to find a company that offers 24/7/365 customer care. Beyond that, look to companies who know how to maximize technology for better communication. For instance, FirstService Residential, New York City’s premier property management company, offers FirstService Residential Connect™ – an online portal that facilitates communication by connecting board members, residents and the property management team any time of day, at the touch of a finger.  
 6. Attention to Detail
You know every detail of your building or community. Turns out, your property manager should, too. That’s really the only way to deliver the best service in a way that anticipates challenges and quickly resolves issues. Pay attention during the interview process – you’ll be able to tell if your candidate team has a discerning eye for detail, or if they’re likely to let things slip through the cracks.  
7. Commitment to Training
The last thing you need is a company with a culture of stagnation. Look for property management leaders with robust and modern training programs, both for their team and your building or community personnel. A great property management company will find ways to offer a variety of learning opportunities, from government regulations like OSHA to panel discussions and symposia on hot industry topics and more. 
8. Transparency
Full transparency is integral to a healthy relationship with your property management company. Ask the company to disclose the affiliated companies it does business with, as well as whether or not they are subject to Sarbanes-Oxley. This is about more than information – it’s about ethics. In fact, the company should also have an internal ethics hotline that can be used to report actions that violate standards. 
9. Focus on Sustainability
Sustainability and resiliency are an important part of life in New York City. Your property management company should get that – and take a proactive role in green efforts. An eco-conscious management team should be adept at not only adopting sustainable practices and technologies because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s a smart way to save your building or community money. Good companies will make this actionable through training sessions, special programs and services, and extensive knowledge of local codes and regulations that may offer rebates for green initiatives that will result in substantial savings for your building. 
10. Accountability
Your board should have the ability and freedom to give your property management company open and candid feedback – and what’s more, the company should be more than open to it. Look to the management company who is open, willing and steadfast in providing metrics for their success so you can hold them accountable for their performance.
11. Ability to Listen
Your relationship with your property management company should be characterized by collaboration. That means hearing your input and your ideas – and then taking action. This spirit of partnership will result in services that are tailored to your specific building or community. Selecting a management team who is capable of turning your community visions into reality is crucial. Together, you’ll be able to face challenges more effectively and consistently achieve goals.
Searching for a property management company? Dissatisfied with your current one? Explore your alternatives and see how FirstService Residential, New York’s property management leader, can best serve you. 

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