Successfully Finding a New Property Management Firm

By Karen Arena, CMCA
property management firm

Community association trustees, when looking for professional property management firm services, search for partners who will deliver deep industry knowledge and expertise for their community, turning in superior work at a price that matches commitment. With lawyers and engineers, association trustees understand the premium paid for retaining the best in the business. The same level of consideration should be afforded when selecting a property management company. After all, the property management company serves as the association’s agent on all things related to the community.

Great property managers work on everything from the mundane to the critical, and spend the required time on site to make sure the property is managed properly. They see around corners and work to support the best possible outcomes to complicated property issues, interfacing daily with owners, trade professionals, lawyers, insurance agents, and state and municipal government agencies, among others.

So, cost alone shouldn’t be the motivation in finding the best property management firm for your community. Aside from the standard business due diligence, association trustees should ask themselves the questions that only they can answer honestly before searching for a new or different property management firm. Here are a few to consider:

“How much attention do we believe we require?”

“Do we like the idea of a big firm or a smaller boutique that might provide more attentive service and consistency of managers?”

“Are we willing to pay a little more for that consistency and focused resolution of our issues?”

“Are we open to the management firm’s proposals once they’ve done an assessment on our property, or do we have a rigid set of plans we need the firm to implement?”

“Are our financials in order or do we need a firm with an accounting black belt to get us in shape?”

“Which firm has the best cultural fit for us?”

Don’t underestimate that last question, because so often associations overlook a property management firm’s culture and the relationship that it brings. Culture is truly the difference between being satisfied or totally frustrated. Take a little time to fully consider your needs, then find a property management firm with a culture that fits yours. It’s the key to a longstanding and happy relationship.

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