Today’s condo corporations handle all aspects of managing their residential condo corporation. This can include general office work such as administration, accounting, accounts payable and receivable; ensuring that infrastructure is properly maintained; managing employees of the corporation; dealing with resident concerns and inquiries; complying with legal requirements of the Condo Act; and building management.
To handle these responsibilities a condo corporation may adopt one of three approaches.
Most condominium corporations employ a property management company to handle their day-to-day operations, under the leadership of their boards of directors.
Working with a property management company provides professional management skills, and often additional support services, to the condo corporation for a fee.
Complete Management for a condo building comes in many forms. A single property manager plus an administrator may work together to manage a condo corporation. In other buildings a condo
corporation may do without an administrator and require that all aspects of condo building management be handled by the property manager.
Limited Complete Management
Increasingly, condo corporations are opting for a less costly form of Complete Management where the services of a property manager are not provided on a full-time basis.
The property manager may work at the site a couple of days per week or for a few hours each day.
This approach can provide a high and possibly superior level of accountability and service by utilizing technology for improved record keeping, building management and building communications. Such technologies cost a fraction of the cost of employing one or more individuals to do the same tasks and can potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Such technologies include Condo Management Software (see Condo Management Software Communications Solution and Condo Management Software Features) and online voting technology (see It’s Time for Online Voting in Condos). For keeping track of a building’s infrastructure, Stylusoft offers a product that facilitates ongoing maintenance and replacement of components. Articles are available in the Condo Archives under Condo Building Management.
A self-managed condo corporation is one that chooses to manage itself without the use of an outside property management firm. Such corporations may be managed by their board of directors or volunteers who carry out the day-to-day tasks of management.
Self-management of a condo corporation can be a way to save money and is more popular when the condo corporation is relatively small.
Self-management works best when those involved are savvy business or building management professionals with extensive skill sets.
Benefits of self-managed condo corporations include reduced costs, tighter control of financial assets and expenses, and greater awareness of condo management issues.
Self-management of a condo corporation can be too much for a volunteer board of directors or single individual. Many condo corporations will pay a stipend to an individual tasked with managing the affairs of the condo corporation. They may also avail themselves of outside expertise to deal with accounting, legal, compliance and other issues.
Self-managed condo corporations may have alternate agendas when dealing with governance, greater risk of conflict and more opportunity for financial impropriety. They can be challenged when unable to find volunteers with knowledge of building maintenance, budgeting, insurance and legal issues, and who can devote enough time to the condominium’s day-to-day business. They can suffer from a lack of continuity due to volunteer turnover plus a weak system of checks and balances when lacking strong business skills.
Full time condo property managers can earn $45,000 to $80,000 per year. Administrators can earn about $50,000.
Part-time managers can charge $1,500 per month or more.
While self-management of a condo corporation may be a way to save money, it should only be undertaken after proper consideration of what is involved. Professional property management of condo corporations provide a solution to financial problems and conflicts that occur among condo board members unable to independently manage their condo corporations.