So the board has finally decided they need some help. Managing the condo has become too much like a full-time job. Now you're just excited to sit back and let someone else handle the messy aspects of the job. Do you know what to look for in a property management company, though?
Property management companies exist to make your life easier. They take care of the day-to-day operations of your building, basically the stuff you don't want to handle or manage. Great property management companies have systems in place to handle most tasks such as rent collection, maintenance, etc. When interviewing potential property management companies, you should look to see if they provide five important turnkey services.
What Services Should Property Management Companies Offer?
1. Automatic Fund Collection: Many property management companies have automated fund collection services readily available to use. Having this service is a very helpful condominium turnkey management solution. This collection is possible through systems designed to make gathering rent easy. Many companies now collect rent online, which makes it easier for tenants and owners to pay, and for property managers to access and oversee. Through these systems, condo owners can pay their fees, and tenants can pay their monthly rent. You may have previously gone door to door reminding people about their payments, but these systems can now make that process much more efficient.
2. Contractor Services: When it comes time to start big projects that require repairs, such as re-shingling a roof, it's the responsibility of the property management company to gather multiple quotes to determine which contractor to hire. Large property management companies will already have a base of quality contractors they use. These contractors may offer them a special price since the company brings them so much business. A great property management company will have taken the time to weed out bad or sub par contractors.
3. Dedicated Controller (Bookkeeper): Paperwork is a tedious, but necessary job. If you give this task to someone who doesn't know what to do and isn't correctly educated in accounting, this decision can end up costing you money in penalties or fines. Property management companies can properly control your records to minimize the amount of taxes you need to pay, to keep cash flowing, and to track accurate expenses. They'll know which deductions to claim during tax time. If they're on top of things, they should also be able to see cash flow problems before they occur and rectify the situation.
4. Responsive Communication: Once you take a step back and let the property management company starting running things, you won't know a lot of what's going on because you're no longer at the front line of things. Thus, you're going to want to hire a company with responsive communication skills. As a condo board, you'll still need to be kept in the loop about issues, especially those that require a decision to be made. Great property management companies will actively respond to your communication inquiries in a timely manner. Additionally, they'll provide you with information when a situation calls for the attention of the condo board. You'll also want to ensure they're responsive to other owners and are promptly answering their requests and concerns.
5. Centralized Finances: Property management companies oversee a lot of money when they manage properties. For condos, they collect rent, fees, and look after the reserve fund. Instead of multiple people on a condo board being in charge of each of these tasks, a property management company centralizes these finances. Only they will look after them. They can use their experience to budget correctly, plan accordingly, and save money for expensive future projects. Having money set aside for unexpected repairs and ongoing needs ensures the condo will keep up its pristine condition.
Managing a condo building can take the place of a full-time job for condo board members. However, if they hire a property management company such as Braden Equities Inc., they can reap the many benefits of having a hands-on company manage their building. A great property management company will have an automated system for collecting fees, quality contractors and controllers, centralized finances, and responsive communication skills. Don't let managing a condo stress you out. Hire a qualified property management company to put your mind at ease.