With the drop in oil prices, the management of your condo might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but there are four things you should pay attention to:
- Service Contracts
The Calgary economy is not as strong as it was a year ago. If your property manager isn’t renegotiating contracts for service providers this year, they are costing you money. A lot of service providers will take a discount on last year’s prices in order to keep the contract in uncertain times.
- New Condo Management Companies
Be wary of condominium management companies that have only been in business for the last 6 months. Now that the market is slowing down, there are real estate agents that are switching to condominium management with no experience. They may offer you a low monthly price, but you pay for what you get. This is dangerous for your condominium building, as they can be giving improper advice. Always be sure to verify that they are a licensed brokerage, and ask for multiple references.
- Reserve Fund Projects
Now is a good time to start thinking about tackling that large Reserve Fund Project that has been on the books for the last few years. Contractors are available and offering good prices compared to last year. Take advantage, and be sure that your property manager is tendering multiple quotes from different companies.
- Review the Condo Corporation’s Accounting
When real estate sales are slower, it gives the buyer more opportunity to thoroughly review their condo purchase. They have more selection, so if they find something they don’t like in the condominium documents they are more likely to walk away. Ensure that your property manager keeps the accounting up to date, and that they have a system in place to ensure speedy delivery of all condominium documents to buyers. If they have a policy of 5-10 days (or longer) order time to receive condo documents, now is a great time to negotiate this. With the slow-down in sales, they shouldn’t have an issue providing documents quicker. If they aren’t prepared to do this, perhaps it is time to look for a different manager.
Remember, your condo is your investment, and you want to ensure that you maintain its value through high and low periods. If you are looking at buying a condo, ensure that you read the 5 Forgotten Questions to Ask Your Condo Manager