Periodically all management should be evaluated. This includes the condominium manager employed by a condominium corporation.
Evaluations are most effective when the condominium manager’s role and responsibilities, and condo board expectations, are clearly defined. This makes it easier to identify when something has gone wrong, or the condo board is not receiving the service paid for, and to make corrections. The condo board, to whom a condominium manager reports, should not wait until problems arise or a manager fails to perform at an expected level.
Condo boards and condominium managers should have a close working relationship. Volunteer condo boards rely on an experienced manager with access to their sensitive corporation information to guide them in managing the corporation. When the relationship breaks down things can go badly for the entire community. Identifying and resolving any problems is the best way to avoid long-term disappointment.
Management contracts outline core responsibilities, some expectations, financial compensation and termination provisions. Many contracts lack the detail required to establish and evaluate expectations. A job description can better detail condo board expectations and should exist prior to signing a management contract.
Performance can be evaluated on many levels. Major issues, misappropriation of funds or physical confrontations are rare. More likely concerns are subtle and occur over time – resident complaints, slower response time on issues, important deadlines missed, late payment of invoices or failure to provide useful reports. This reduces the confidence a condo board may have in their condominium manager. A condo board doing what they expect management to handle is a clear sign of problems or miscommunication.
Communication about performance, positive or negative, and expectations should be shared on a regular basis. Concerns should be resolved before conflict is irreversible.
A semi-annual performance review is the time for both the condo board and condominium manager to address concerns that, ideally, have been documented in writing. For a new condominium manager quarterly reviews help establish expectations and contractual terms. Dissatisfaction by either party should be openly discussed and mutual expectations clarified. Each performance review should be summarized in writing.