10 Condo Management Questions You Can’t Forget to Ask

Karen King & Associates Inc. Condo News 10 Condo Management Questions You Can’t Forget to Ask

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10 Condo Management Questions You Can’t Forget to Ask

Posted By josh

Choosing a Condominium Manager is a tough task in itself, but if you don’t prepare yourselves for the interview, you and your board may not be able to select the best fit for your property. Here are 10 questions you must ask during your interview process. Any prospective Condo Manager worth their salt must be able to give impressive answers.

  1. Are you a licensed condominium manager with the Real Estate Council of Alberta?
    • Regulatory licensing is important to you as a client. If you have issues with your condominium manager, you want to know that there is an organization watching out for your best interests that you can report the issues to for resolution.
      If so, for how long? What is your complaint history and have you ever been disciplined?
      Knowing how long they have been regulated and whether there have been any issues in the time will allow you to learn about experiences other clients have had with the brokerage. Don’t take their word for it. Go to www.reca.ca and check their licensing status. Use the search bar to look up their names and see if they have a discipline history. You can also call RECA and ask for a through search. Your board can also pay a fee to have a formal search done by  completing the form on the RECA website.
  2. What education and training do you have?
    • There is traditional post secondary education, profession specific courses and specializations and mentorship programs available. If licensing or education is brought up, it is always good to ask what type of evaluations were required? There are many certifications and programs, where no evaluation or testing is required, just a fee for a course. You want to make sure there is value in the training or certification, not just the ability to pay for it.
  3. What experience do you have? How long has your brokerage/company been around?
    • If you are running a casual interview, ask them a funny story of a condominium they took over. It’ll be entertaining and informative. Ask them what made them shake their head in the past. You want a condominium manager that has had experience with various types of people and outrageous stories. You’ll learn about how they’ll handle difficult situations.
    • This the company that is presenting your board with options and the rules, following your board’s instructions and often holding your funds. Stability is key.
  4. What do you know about the Condominium Property Act, Real Estate Act, Real Estate Act Rules and Regulations? What about other legislation?
    • Knowledge is also key! Give the interviewee a copy of your bylaws and ask them about a scenario. They should point to the relevant parts of the acts and regulations and tell you what is applicable. Second, ask them about something as simple as trust account rules and reserve fund studies. They should be able to refer you to the section in legislation, if they can’t – don’t hire them!
  5. Can you include condominium documents in our monthly fee?
    • Some condominium mangers can be flexible in this regards and your owners often like having free access to the condominium documents. It also let’s you know how rigid their business model is. This is also a good time to ask about specialized services that your condominium is looking for.
  6. Do you charge for extras? If so, what? Do extra charges apply for stamps and faxing or just project management?
    • Some condominium manager may “hide” the true cost of their services by moving certain line items into “extra services”. It is fine to pay for extra services, but make sure you know what you are paying for and can verify it. Are you going to go to the brokerage’s office and count stamps and faxes? Probably not, so adding another $100/mo in fees is something you need to be aware of so you are comparing apples to apples when evaluating condominium manager quotes.
  7. Ask for references.
    • …and call them! This is obvious, but worth stating. Make sure to ask about their relationship to the condominium manager. My mom and best friend give me the best references too!
  8. Who answers your phones? If I call at midnight on Saturday, who will answer? Will they know anything about my condominium?
    • Often 24 hour service is advertised, but it is contracted out to an administrative service that has never seen your condominium or it’s blueprints. They have the ability to call a contractor on overtime, but do they have the information and judgment on whether they need to spend your money?
  9. Do you know your clients? Are you able to name the owners in the buildings you manage?
    • Service level is important. Ask them to write down 5 owners and what building they are in. Then ask the second person they brought to the interview. Most won’t be able to do it, but if they can, that’s the company you want to hire.
  10. How many clients do you have? How many hours do you expect to spend on our condominium?
    • An overloaded property manager will not have the time to address your condominium’s needs. It may seem obvious, but without asking you’ll have no idea whether your manager will have the time to give you quality service.

Written by josh

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