How to Hire a Property Management Company
So, you need to hire a property management company for your condominium building or community, but you don’t know where to start. Don’t panic! This is a common dilemma and we can help.
Often, we don’t know what we don’t know. With that in mind, we’ve created the list of questions below to help fill the gaps as you vet different management firms. You can also download and print this checklist.
General Questions to Ask:
- Is the company ACMO 2000 Certified or a Corporate Member of ACMO?
- What are the company’s experience and accomplishments?
- What is the company’s ownership structure?
- Who is the Senior Management of the company and what are their responsibilities?
- How many condominiums does the company currently manage?
- Who will directly oversee the supervision of your Condominium Manager?
- What are the qualifications of the Condominium Manager being assigned to your site?
- How many sites/units will the proposed Condominium Manager be managing?
- Does the company have experience managing your style of community?
- Request evidence of longevity of management contracts
- Ask for references, both from other clients and professionals (e.g. legal, accounting, engineering).
- Ask to see proof of liability insurance, including errors and omissions.
- Can the company be bonded?
- How long has the company been in business?
- What is the strategic direction of the company?
- Does the company operate any other related business entities?
- What value added services does the company provide and are there any costs associated with those services (e.g. Bulk purchasing, banking, communications, security services, supplies, gas, hydro, etc.)?
- Does the company provide advice on energy or other initiatives in an effort to preserve the environment?
- Has the company had experience with the turnover of documents from the current manager?
- Is the company’s website easy to navigate with useful information?
- Are online requests available?
- Ask to see the company’s written communication policies, including call-backs, return emails and letters, newsletters, resident manuals?
- What communication tools are provided to the Condominium Managers?
- Are community websites available/hosted?
- Does the company have a 24-hour emergency response line? Is it a live service or recorded?
- What costs are over and above the monthly management fee?
- Are there extra costs to attend regular meetings or additional meetings?
- What is the company’s standard termination clause?
- What is the length of term, and are there standard provisions for renewal and periodic increases?
- Review sample financial statements.
- What program does the company use to maintain financial records?
- Is financial administration and payroll done in house or by a third party?
- How often are the financial statements produced and how are they delivered to the board of directors?
- Does the company have a centralized or on-site financial operation?
- How are invoices processed and approved, and who are the signatories on the bank accounts?
- Ask to see the company’s collection policy. What role does the on-site condominium manager have in the collection of common expenses?
- What electronic operating systems are used by the firm?
- What security back up is used to protect the corporation’s records? Does the company have a disaster recovery plan?
- What is Board’s role with respect to preparation or issuance of status certificates?
- Where are the Corporation’s records stored, and how is confidentiality protected?
- Is pre-authorized payment of maintenance fees an option?
- How is vacation coverage handled?
- Does the company have an employee development program?
- Ask to see sample Management Reports and other Board Meeting documents?
- Who takes the minutes (advise the company how often Board Meetings are held)?
- What bank does the management company use?
- How are investments handled?
- If your site has site hours for the staff, how often will the Manager be away?
- Are site hours flexible?
- Are corporation files including suite files maintained on site?
- Does the company provide off-site storage of corporation documents?
- Will any other business be conducted from the site office?
- Does the company have a “firm approved” Trades List?
- How does the company deal with performance issues by Trades?
- Does the company use formal inspection reports? Are they shared with the Board? How often are they completed?
- How many hours will the Condominium Manager be on site?
- Ask the company to describe their quoting process.
- What is the company’s proposed spending limit?
For a complete list of ACMO 2000 Certified companies, click here.