By: Cristina Chowath
Let me tell you a little story. Almost 5 years ago I became a “real adult” and bought my first property, a cute little condo in a condominium complex really close to downtown. Naïve as I was, I was more concerned about what colors to paint my living room than who was handling the books of my community… fast forward to now, the beige on my living room needs retouching but man oh man, I rather put my efforts in talking and listening to my Community Manager and what he has to say.
A Property/Community Manager is basically someone that is in charge of your house and keeps a neat record of all its expenses: from the gardener to the water bills, from taxes to taking the necessary precautions before a hurricane, your manager is responsible for the wellbeing of your home or community, taking that responsibility off your shoulders.
The role of this manager is often overlooked when residing in your home on a full time basis. But what happens when you live here only part of the year and when you have no eyes and ears on the ground representing your interests? Or when you live in a community and someone has to manage several units and look out for everyone’s best interests? That’s when a Property Manager comes in, a role whose main job is to keep you informed, paying fees and safeguarding your investment as if it were their own. You are already too busy working and enjoying life to have to deal with the everyday struggles of these extra responsibilities, don’t you agree? And if you promote your home as a vacation rental you need a Property Manager to oversee the maintenance and care of your property with any guest you receive.
The pros of having a PM can simply sum up to easiness of living – let’s face it, no one really likes having to run around errands, paying vendors… or dealing with issues from your neighbors.
As from experience, these would be the basic things to evaluate when looking for a PM:
- Communication skills. We are not only looking for someone who’s fluent in your language, but someone that has the charisma and enough patience to listen, to be sympathetic and to be a mediator between people when things go south.
- Waiting for something to happen is bad for business. A true PM is anticipating events by being prepared ahead of time.
- Well organized. It is vital that payments are done in time, documents filled and kept properly and every single process is follow up in a timely matter.
- Results and transparency. You should be getting a monthly report of both expenses and things that have been done: what is the advance of pending matters? What actions are currently taken place? It is your responsibility to ask, to evaluate, and to let your PM know that you are watching him and expect results.
Your house is your home, yours and your family’s sanctuary, whoever you choose as your Property or Community Manager will be welcomed in. Feel free to ask, to evaluate and then, choose wisely.