Maintaining a solid rapport with your condo management company is no different than managing any other sort of ongoing relationship in life: it takes work, communication, trust, and mutual, ongoing respect. Sometimes, though, things can take a turn for the worse, and your condo board might make the decision that it’s best to make a clean break with your current condo property management company in favour of starting fresh with a new company. The key to finding success with your new condo management company is not repeating the same patterns you made in your last relationship.
Remember, they too started off shiny and super dreamy at one point. Whatever stage of condo management courtship you might find yourself in, there are steps you can take to build the foundation for healthy, long-term success – and wouldn’t you know it, but we’re about to share them with you today.
The Honeymoon Phase: Starting off Strong
We wrote about cutting ties with your old condo company by comparing the experience to a break-up, so it only seems proper that this article – its spiritual successor – be written within the framework of building an exciting new relationship! Just like any fresh relationship, when you’re getting to know a brand-new condo management company in Calgary, Edmonton, or anywhere else in Alberta, it’s important to start things off on the right foot. In order to set your condo corporation up for a successful partnership with that hunky new condo management team, you’ll want to take the time to properly layout expectations.
This often requires your board to do a bit of soul-searching and figure out what’s most important to your team as a whole before moving forward. Is the consistency of support and service a deal-breaker for your board? If so, take the time to find a condo management company with high levels of experience and low turnover. Does your board value responsive service above all else? Then you’ll want to take a moment to level-set with your new prospective condo company – “responsive” to them might mean a 48-hour turn-around time on requests, while your board might be hoping for a timeframe closer to 24 hours or less. In a case like this, all it takes is a quick initial conversation to avoid months of frustrated phone calls and back-and-forth emails that are all simply the result of mismatched expectations.
That said, a relationship takes give-and-take to work properly – it’s not all about you! Take the time to understand what your new condo management company’s expectations might be of your board and be sure they align with the way your board works and what you believe your team can reasonably deliver in terms of responsiveness, collection of condo owner information, communication support, and so on.
Finally, take a moment to establish some clarity around what is or is not reasonable in terms of contract expectations – the last thing you want is to find yourself in a situation where you’ve drunk the wrong Kool-Aid, after all!
Going Steady: Regular and Consistent Communication
If “location, location, location” are the most important three words in real estate, then “communication, communication, communication” are the three most important words in an ongoing relationship.
Turn your short-term fling into a long-term thing with your new condo management company by putting processes in place to ensure communication is always a key focus between your two parties. A good way to go about this is to centralize information storage in an accessible, digital databank, enabling all key players to have access to critical documents anytime, anywhere. This will help you and your condo management company to operate along a mutual “what we know, you know” policy, keeping the flow of information free and unhampered between each respective team.
The contract you sign with your new condo management company should be built up around constant communication and transparency, too. All fees should be clearly outlined, and there shouldn’t be any hidden details or surprises that you have to dig in deep to find. Further, each specific role and responsibility of your condo board and the condo management company should be clearly highlighted and defined, along with a detailed breakdown of services offered complete with the processes and systems the company has in place to support those offerings.
With strong communication processes in place, you should find your board enjoying ongoing success with your new condo management company, no problem! That said, even the best-laid plans can run amok, and no matter how exceptionally your board communicates, you can still find yourself in disagreement with your condo management company. Don’t throw in the towel just yet! We have some tips to help you through those rough spots.
Don’t Break Up: Make Up!
When you’re locked in a feud with your condo management company, the knee-jerk reaction is often just to call it quits and move on to the next one. As we’ve mentioned before on this blog, though, breaking up is hard to do, and more often than not, it’s a far better alternative to manage the dispute and move forward than to call it quits.
How do you go about finding a solution in the midst of an ongoing dispute with your condo management company? Well, first and foremost, we always recommend going back to the contract. Nine times out of ten, whatever you and your condominium management team end up bickering about can be put to rest by simply referring to the original signed agreement. In the event that doesn’t solve things, our best advice is to simply move forward by engaging in professional, respectful dialogue with your condo management company. So long as each party is conversing in good faith with the intention of finding a fair resolution – which you both should be. If you’ve focused on building a strong, communication-based relationship in the first place, you should find that, more often than not, you’re able to see eye-to-eye and put any differences or unpleasantness behind you both.
In the end, maintaining a solid relationship with your condo management company comes down to one thing: effective communication, particularly when it comes to setting and managing expectations. Ultimately, it shouldn’t be too tough to keep things sailing along smoothly; your condo management company wants your business, after all, and is there to keep your condo living experience stress-free and pleasant. That said, if you’ve got more questions about building transparency into your condo management relationship, we’re more than happy to chat – give us a call at Calgary Condo Management today!