Are you a board member looking at firms to potentially manage your condo corporations? If your answer is yes, this post is for you.
Selecting one a firm to manage your condo corporation is one of the biggest choices you can make as a board member. Your duty is to evaluate the available options, and select the firm that best meets the needs of your community. Our experience shows that these 5 factors are some of the most important you can consider.
Are they licensed by the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO)? This is one of the most important questions to consider. On Nov 1st, 2017, a series of changes to the condo act came into effect, one of which is the requirement for licensing. There are two licenses required: one for the management company, and another for (at least 1) person who works for that company. Ask your condominium management firm if they are licensed, and ask who on their team is licensed. A good clue to look for is the Registered Condominium Manager (RCM) designation. RCMs have taken all the courses to be licensed, and it should be an easy process for them.
2. Depth of team
Is the management firm a 1-person company, or are they backed by a team? The smaller the team, the bigger your risks as a board member because the more you will be affected if someone at the property management company quits. We recommend having 3 or more qualified staff members that can run a corporation in any company.
3. Experience in property management – have they run buildings before?
This is an important point. Property management is not easy. It takes a long time to develop the right skills to be able to safely and effectively manage a corporation’s physical assets like the elevators, roof systems, fire safety, and general repairs and maintenance. Look for senior leaders on the team to have 5 or more years operating large communities.
4. Use of technology
The condominium world is changing quickly. New regulations have come, and they will keep coming. More and more of these requirements require a firm to have robust online systems. A board member’s job is to ensure that the manager they choose can keep up with the future.
Things to look for:
Do they have a company website?
Are they offering your corporation a community website?
Can you easily find the board meeting minutes online?
Is there an easy way for you to find all the forms you need to access online (New Owner Information Certificate, Periodic Information Certificate, Information Certificate Update, etc.)
Is there an easy way that the community can post and share things with each other on an online web portal?
Does the management firm you are looking at act like professionals? Do they pick up the phone? Do they write clear emails without spelling mistakes? Do they treat you with the respect that a board member is due? Are they friendly and helpful? Do they seek to educate and train the boards they serve?