Q: We are the first members of a newly-installed condo association in a new condominium building. We are unhappy with the building management company selected by the developer.
Can you provide any advice for the board in its quest to find a new management company?
A: The first thing to do is analyze what it is that you don’t like about this management team. Are they late with reports? Do they seem too cozy with the developer? Do they not respond in a timely way to requests for repairs? Do they mismanage the employees of the building?
Once you figure out what you don’t like, you can focus on companies that do those things (plus all the other stuff) better.
Here’s how I would go about finding a new management company: Find out who manages other condo buildings that are similar to yours in size. Have these companies prepare a proposal explaining what they would do for your building.
After evaluating the written proposals, invite the best companies to come in and do a presentation to the board. You can then talk to the board of directors of their other client buildings to figure out which management company is going to be a good fit.
Remember, condo and co-op building managers don’t always do everything right. Each company has its strengths and weaknesses. You can choose a different company, but don’t be surprised if the grass seems greener on the other side.
Here’s a final thought: If you are intent on getting rid of the current management company, you may need to talk to a lawyer as to how to fire the company. Some management companies enter into long term management agreements. In some cases, the new board may not be able to terminate the agreement, or there might be state laws that would allow you to terminate the agreement even if it has a longer term.