What Should you Expect from Residential Property Management
Great Service: Does Your Residential Property Manager Have What It Takes?
To get exceptional service, you need to have an exceptional management team, and it all starts with a strong residential property manager.
As a board member, you want your condo corporation to run smoothly and stay financially healthy. That's why most boards turn to a professional residential property manager to help them. Property managers should provide sound advice, assist residents, take responsibilities off the board members' hands and keep the community running smoothly.
Naturally, you expect your property manager and the rest of your management team to provide quality service, but if they don't have what they need – and what it takes – how can they give your community what it deserves?
Find out if your residential property manager is qualified to provide you with exceptional service by asking these three questions.
Does Your Residential Property Manager Have Support?
Even the best property managers can't do everything alone! The right support is critical for a manager to succeed in delivering the exceptional service your board and residents expect and deserve. Good managers are only as capable as the support they have. The support your manager receives should include:
- Assistance from accounting, purchasing, vendor relations and financial services specialists
- Involvement of human relations professionals for all personnel matters to ensure that you get the right level of on-site staffing
- Ongoing training to develop and improve management skills, keep up with industry standards and be informed about regulatory changes
- A 24/7 customer care centre that can quickly provide your community with needed information and let your manager focus on ensuring everything else is running smoothly.
- Administrative support for day-to-day tasks
- Technology and communication tools
In addition, a residential property manager should also have an experienced regional director with a pulse on the community to provide essential support. Having that structure in place helps maintain institutional knowledge and consistency in management if the property manager leaves for any reason. The regional director should know the building or community well enough to help replace a beloved manager with the right person.
In 2021, we surveyed community board members from coast to coast to get feedback on property managers, board members and the key to a great partnership. We heard about what was most important to residents and board members like you.
Does Your Property Manager Have the Right Personality?
Unless you're familiar with what it takes for managers to excel in a condo corporation, it can be tricky to know what to look for.
Being caring and empathetic aren't taught traits. Naturally caring people go above and beyond for those around them and through their work. Caring managers take ownership of the communities and buildings they work in, doing their very best to serve the board and residents. Having a manager who is hospitality-minded will also benefit your community. Hospitality-minded managers tend to take a personal interest in the appearance of your property - which is also a priority for many residents.
Great managers have a high emotional intelligence quotient (EQ), too, meaning they have an ability to read and assist people – including members of your condo corporation. Their empathy enables them to put themselves in others' shoes and understand their perspective. Other traits of managers with high EQ are that they are forward-thinking, adaptive, resourceful, hospitality-minded, flexible, self-motivated and able to communicate clearly. As a result, they become trusted advisors to your board. Dealing with multiple personality types and resolving conflict are essential skills for a property manager, so you should not underestimate the value of having a high EQ.
Emotional intelligence should extend to regional directors as well. The regional director is the person who needs to match up the right manager to each community or building. This task requires understanding the needs and goals of a community or building and choosing a manager whose personality will mesh with it. Even the most stellar manager won't succeed if they aren't the right fit or don't have the right resources behind them.
In addition, a manager needs to be a strong leader so they can direct vendors, help you keep board meetings on track and, if you have on-site staff, direct them to provide your community with the best service possible.
Do Your Residents Know What to Expect From Your Property Manager?
Residents' awareness and understanding of the role of a manager can affect how they perceive their manager. The most incredible manager ever won't be seen as capable if residents have expectations that are outside a manager's responsibility.
The board is responsible for creating policies based on their vision for the community, while the management team simply executes those policies. However, many residents mistakenly believe that the manager sets rules and policies for the community. Therefore, when they are unhappy with a policy or rule, they respond by voicing dissatisfaction with the manager.
Sometimes residents don't understand what they are responsible for in the community. Does the community pressure wash their front walkway, or is that the residents' responsibility? Is management responsible for helping with storm preparation or snow removal in their driveways? Who pressure washes and cleans balconies on high-rises? New residents need education around the roles and responsibilities of everyone in the community, so they have the right expectations of their management team, their board of directors and their neighbours. It doesn't hurt to remind long-term residents of those responsibilities from time to time either!
Excellent management and exceptional service are essential to the harmony and success of your community. To ensure that you get what you expect, you need a manager with the proper support and the right personality. And, of course, you need to set the right expectations with residents about the role of management in your community. To learn more about what makes an excellent property manager, download our guide, Dream Team: The Key to Service Excellence, today!