To an outsider the condominium manager’s job appears easy. All they need to do is provide their best advice to condo directors while ensuring professionals are retained to maintain or repair building infrastructure as quickly as practical. The job is much harder when one considers day-to-day details and interactions too numerous to mention.
Professional condominium management incorporates an impossibly long list of duties and responsibilities that include:
- Oversight over hired staff to ensure they do their jobs.
- Maintaining and reviewing repair records.
- Utilizing professionals for work in the building rather than residents.
- Vetting experts and professionals to avoid succumbing to sales pitches.
- Avoiding costly mistakes and errors by focusing on regular maintenance intended to minimize emergency repairs.
- Working with directors to establish annual budgets in line with community priorities.
- Relying on internal employees for work not requiring outside expertise such as filter replacement, clearing roof drains and touching up painted areas. These are ways to save money while providing comparable quality.
- Balancing necessary work with financial constraints of a reserve fund that may not be adequately funded.
One of the greatest challenges is to ensure that small problems don’t become big problems. This requires an adequate operations account and reserve fund that can support maintenance, repair and replacement of integral building components to ensure failures don’t become costly emergencies.
Effective condominium managers treat a condo building like their car. It requires regular service and maintenance to avoid more frequent and costly repairs later on. Failure to properly maintain it means earlier replacement of expensive parts.
At times it may seem that self-management can be a path to financial savings for condo corporations. This becomes less evident when one considers how much work and knowledge is necessary to maintain a residential community.