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Even though a condominium is owned by an individual and not rented directly from the condo board, it's still part of a complex of units that share common areas and services. Condo boards often take on management duties, but these can become overwhelming, especially in big condo complexes. Engaging the services of a condo association management firm lets the board, which is usually run by volunteers, focus more on policy decisions and steering the complex through whatever history decides to throw its way. The management firm handles issues like maintenance and landscaping, as well as financial issues. If your complex decides to hire one of these firms, make the management firm accessible to all residents and not just the board.
Onsite Manager and Maintenance Contacts
Your condo complex might have a main office where people can drop off dues and make requests regarding condo business. If you haven't already, turn that main office into a full-fledged manager's office, similar to what you might find in an apartment complex. Have onsite staff members whom the residents can speak with during a wide range of hours that the management staff observes (to avoid complaints about staff never being around). Make it clear to residents which duties are the management company's responsibility and which need to be taken directly to the board.
If the management company will handle dues and fine collections, let residents know whether the name which they're supposed to make checks out to will change. It may help to find a management company that offers online payment systems, too, if you don't have that option in place already.
Condominium and HOA boards suffer from an image issue that is unfortunately true in some cases: Sometimes the boards are filled with allies who are at odds with many of the residents. Getting anything done and avoiding complaints becomes a battle between the board's allies and people who are on their bad side for one reason or another. When a third-party condo management company is thrown into the mix, however, that company can provide a buffer that allows condo maintenance and business to proceed without worry that any resident animosity is going to interfere. If you are the head of the condo board and see this rivalry starting to form, handing most day-to-day duties like maintenance and dues collection to a third-party management company is a good idea.
Condo management firms have their own lists of what duties they can take on; look for one that is able to handle more duties than you're planning to assign it initially. That gives you some room to assign more if you feel it's appropriate.Share