Over the years we have been blogging about Mississauga condos by mainly offering tips for buyers and sellers. This special blog is being dedicated to all condo property management companies in Mississauga. The purpose of this blog is to shine a different perspective on what Realtors and the public feel is the role of a condo property management company, and how to increase overall condo owner satisfaction within any given building.
As an active Realtor, I have seen it all; the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to condos and the property management companies that run them.
The “good condos” are simple; the buildings are clean, the guidelines are strictly enforced, there are updates made in some of the older buildings, issues are addressed and fixed quickly.
The “bad condos” have a few problems, that can be fixed relatively easily. Minor things that need to be addressed, such as outdated gym equipment, burnt light bulbs and constantly broken elevators. There may also be a need to change a contract for landscaping or the window cleaners, but generally speaking, these condos still have hope.
The “ugly condos” are the ones that everyone tries to stay away from. These condos have a reputation which has been damaged during the years and it is very hard to restore confidence in these buildings. These buildings may have special assessments issued to some owners, which caused an increase in the condo fees. These condos may also show major signs of wear and tear even though they are only a few years old.
In this blog post, we will address four categories in which every single condo property management company should exam and look for ways to improve them. These include:
Security / Concierge
It is amazing what kind of an atmosphere a security company can create inside a condo building. Most square one condos do have security and it is up to the property management company to hire great concierge people.
The word “concierge” means service in French. Every person coming to the building should be treated the same, with a common courtesy. There is no need to be rude and unfriendly, it makes people not want to visit or live there. Need not to mention, the residents of that building pay for the salary of both the concierge and the property management company.
What is ironic is that real estate agents often get treated like criminals by the concierge in certain buildings, while showing the building to potential buyers. Buyers do take notice of rude security and it ultimately affects the likelihood of a potential sale for owners of the condo units.
There are some buildings that are two years old but look like they are twenty years old, while other buildings do not show that they age much. The upkeep of any condo building has a direct correlation on the values of the units within that building. To ensure good upkeep, the following should be considered:
– Routine patrols by the security staff of the entire premises at least every 24 hours.
– Making it easy for building residents to report problems.
– Ensuring building repairs don’t take a long time to get addressed.
As a side note to all property management companies, please ensure that the cleaners do not put the elevators in service to clean the condo during busy hours. Having one elevator in service during rush hour can be bad for residence.
Be Fair and Consistent
One of the best traits of a well-run building is that the condo management is fair and consistent with every resident and visitor in the building. It might be tempting to sometimes grant a favour or exception for a resident, however, this may lead to greater dissatisfaction should another resident notice this.
Being fair and consistent also means that property management is responsible for obtaining the best service contracts for that building. In the past, there have been cases that were reported to us, in which the condo management was negligent and got overpriced contracts, which in turn cost the residents money. In a more serious scenario, a condo management company was involved in fraud and used the money in the reserve fund in an inappropriate way.
A well-run management company should be particularly concerned about the policies which are in place. Numerous times residents voiced their opinions that the policies and procedures within their building are either inefficient or ineffective. These may include:
– Forcing visitors to get parking passes even if they are staying for 15minutes
– Requiring residents to obtain certified deposits for moving in/out and deliveries
– Not having a suggestion box, that allows for feedback.
– Not having a designated, easy to find an indoor spot for Realtor lockboxes.
– Security refusing parcels or keys on behalf of condo owners/tenants.
– Not allowing Realtor Photographers to take pictures of building amenities.
In conclusion, property management companies which constantly evaluate their own role in the condo building and the level of satisfaction they bring to residents of that building have a higher chance of succeeding in the long run. Websites such as MySquareOneCondo allow residents of various condos to write positive or negative experiences in any particular building. This transparent process ensures that the condo property management are ethical, consistent and always serving the best interest of the residents.
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