As a board member, having the most capable people managing your building is one of your highest priorities. The best property managers have the support of a structured management team, a diverse network of subject matter experts to provide guidance and mitigate risk, effective communication tools and exhibit the right personality for the job. Carefully evaluating the property manager is a critical component of board business and helps ensure that your fellow residents and the building receive a consistent level of service each and every day.

When evaluating your manager or seeking new management, consider these three questions to help guide your decision.

Does the property manager have the necessary support to serve my building?

Managers are often expected to wear multiple hats, especially if they work independently or for a small company. No matter how experienced, even the best-trained managers can’t do everything themselves, nor can they have expertise in the subtle nuances of running a sophisticated co-op or condominium property. To help your building operate efficiently, the manager should have access to an in-house network of experts with the following proficiencies:  
A successful property manager will also have access to an assistant manager to help with administrative tasks and an experienced team leader or director who provides guidance, training and a point of contact for the board if the manager is not available.

Is the property manager communicating effectively?

Effective communication is what keeps your residents well-informed and connected. It also facilitates alignment between the board and the property manager which streamlines day-to-day operation of the building. Your manager should have access to technology that facilitates instant communication with board members and residents, as well as mass communications for critical building updates or in the event of an emergency.
  • Mass Communications for Boards and Residents

    Your manger should be able to facilitate the distribution of resident communications. FirstService Residential Connect™ is a proprietary tool that helps boards, owners and residents stay informed about building updates, emergency procedures, and upcoming events or activities. Combining an easy-to use interface, self-service platform and mobile app, the centralized system enables us to quickly provide important information to residents via text message, email and recorded voice message – which is especially vital in the event of an emergency.
  • Virtual Annual Meetings

    For the majority of co-op and condominium boards in New York City, virtual board and annual meetings will be the new normal. Your manager should have the capacity to pilot your virtual meetings seamlessly. This includes identifying the best available platform, facilitating attendance and managing the meeting, establishing voting procedures and tallying. 
  • Around the Clock Care

    As an extension of our management team, residents living in buildings managed by FirstService Residential have access to a 24/7/365 Customer Care Center. Our specialists receive in-depth training to prepare them for any scenario, with additional support from a team leader and a quality assurance coach to ensure consistent responsiveness. Fluent in more than 20 languages, our team is equipped to serve the many micro-communities that make New York City the most diverse region in the world. 

Does the manager have the right personality and qualifications to support my building?

Not everyone has the personality to be a property manager. The role involves continuous interaction with board members, residents and vendors, and requires someone with exceptional communication skills and the dexterity to collaborate with a variety of individuals throughout the day. In addition, a manager needs to be a strong leader so they can direct vendors, help you keep board meetings on track and ensure your building staff provide the best service possible. The lack of ability to manage or lead people will impact the quality of everything from your front desk staff and valet service to housekeeping and general maintenance.
Boards should also keep an eye out for management companies that offer in-house hospitality and customer service training programs to resident managers. This demonstrates a clear understanding of the relationship between training and exceptional client service. These companies are typically a step above the rest, especially when rendering services to high-end, luxury properties.
At FirstService Residential, our in-house customer service training program is led by professionals from the world’s most respected names in hospitality and hotel administration, Specialized training provides managers with an insider’s perspective on enhancing the overall resident experience and working with building staff to help maintain a consistent delivery of service, and enables our property managers to deliver a five-star, luxury experience to residents.

What Distinguishes FirstService Residential from Other Management Companies?

FirstService Residential has raised the bar for quality and service excellence and we never stop seeking ways to make our services even better. This commitment begins with empowering each of our property managers with unrivaled resources and support that help your building operate efficiently. Our property managers are organized into small teams, each led by a team leader and overseen by a senior vice president. This built-in support network cultivates consistent and responsive service.
Our management teams are also supported by in-house subject matter experts in compliance, cash management and financial planning, insurance, energy management and procurement, capital project management, apartment applications and closings, new building transitions and more.
It may take time to uncover whether your building will have the support of a management team that has what it takes to give your association exceptional service, but it’s a critical part of your evaluation process. In the long run, making the effort up front to ensure that you have highly qualified people working for you will have a big impact on property values and resident lifestyles.
For in depth guidance on selecting and evaluating a capable management company, contact FirstService Residential today!

Thursday April 15, 2021