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Can property managers take over our condo association board?

Posted on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 @ 07:15 PM

It is getting more difficult to get volunteers for filling in the 5 seats on the condo board. We have 4 buildings, 30 units per building, a 55+ community. What would it cost us to hire a firm to take over as condo board members?

Unfortunately property managers will not take over as the Condo Association Trustees or Condo Board Members.  Property Managersv work with the condo board to make their job easier and less burdensome. 

The condo board will still be the decision makers and responsible parties to insure that the Condo Association or HOA is run properly.  Property Managers or Condo Association Management should do the leg work and provide information to the  Condo Board for decisions.  Once a decision is made, the property manager will implement and carry out the decision.  

Property Management Fees are typically based on a perceived amount of work that will be necessary on the part of the property management company to run the condo association or HOA.  In many cases property management fees are referred to on a per door basis.  You will find that prices can fluctuate greatly between many property managers based upon their experience and level of services provided.  Condo associations and condo boards should always interview several companies. 

The best way to find property managers is to speak with friends in other condo associations that are happy with their current property management company.  Your current attorney may have suggestions for you as well.  Since the question was how much it should cost, a range of pricing for your association would be between $25.00 per unit and $35.00 per unit; however this may change based upon conversations with condo association management regarding your expectations.

Scott Wolf



This is becoming a common question, desire and a lament. It is my opinion that this is driven by multiple factors, including but not limited to;
- Expectations
Community members have expectations and a desire for a certain lifestyle. The fact is that many communities are managing for unknown expectations or the expectations of a few, usually a combination of both.
It is difficult to place a value on the contribution of volunteer board members and trustees, as well as the other valuable volunteers of the community. As community members demand more for less, the pool of those willing to give their valuable time and effort shrinks.
Volunteerism in our society seems to have risen, but so has opportunities for volunteerism. Churches, synagogues, temples, faith based organizations, health groups, hospitals, veterans groups, charity groups, animal groups, Red Cross, Scouts, Lions Clubs, Kiwana's, civic organizations - the opportunities for our time are endless and this list could reach voluminous proportions. We also have an aging baby boomer population that is taking care of their aging parents and it appears that this poulation is increasingly more mobile. This shrinks the pool of volunteers.
This is something that I believe is not looked at enough in the industry. I can't give any hard date, but I can give plenty of anectdotal evidence that many community members appear to be less reasonable, though I have no hard explanation why. I have been to community meetings where a person will stand up and demand that fees remain the same, and in the next breath will have a laundry list of items that they think the Association should be performing. I have sat in board meetings where members are distraught over violation issues and want it immediately resolved; often which is impratical or impossible. Over half the time, it is not even an issue the Association could or should be involved in.
My opinion is that many boards don't have a Standard Operating Procedure - in the military referred to as an SOP. Most boards could probably meet quarterly. Given proper direction and guidelines, a good management agent should be able to keep your community running smoothly. The Board should be planning the whole next year in advance the end of the previous year. Contracts and services should be bid out on regular intervals and the board does not need to be involved in the day to day or the minutea. Many boards make a mistake of getting heavily invested in the smaller items that they lose sight of the bigger picture and get overwhelmed. Other community members see that and say "Not me!"
Another key part is effective communication with your community. Many communities "nickle and dime" for savings in mailings and newsletters, websites and other effective communication tools that help inform the community and shape expectations.
If a board met quarterly, then they could meet as needed on violation issues and maintenance emergencies. Cutting down on the amount of time needed and having a system that makes the tasks simpler will draw in more volunteers. With education, commuication and managing expectations as well as the community, you can create success where you see problems.

posted @ Tuesday, April 22, 2008 11:38 AM by Joe Schuirmann

NO company can take over your community, you may go into receivership which is expensive, very expensive.
If you are se3eking a cost effective alternative contact us we can help put life back into your community and reduce the time the board must take to spend on Board activities.

posted @ Monday, May 05, 2008 8:22 PM by Condo Specialties

The cost for basic services should be between 10 to 15 dollars per door
A price of 25 to 35 dollars including
accounting is a rip off.
That is why we started condo specialties to help condo associations and stop the rip off

posted @ Monday, May 05, 2008 8:26 PM by Condo Specialties

Dear Board
Please provide your contact info and perhaps we can assist you in your difficulties.
thank you

posted @ Wednesday, June 04, 2008 3:36 PM by Paula

Are those estimates of cost for management services (whether $10 to $15 per door or $25 to $35) MONTHLY or yearly? What impact does the number of units have on the price? For example we are a very small association with only 48 units (24 duplexes).

posted @ Friday, August 01, 2008 7:21 PM by Chad

Costs are per month, the smaller the community the higher the cost. 
A community of say 400 units will pay 8 to 12 dollars, wheras a community of 30 units may pay fron 15 to 50 dollars. 
The difference is based on a number of different factors and the company you are dealing with

posted @ Saturday, August 02, 2008 7:14 AM by Admin

The cost is per month. As the size of the association increases the costs to manage them typically are reduced. You should be able to work with a management company within your area to receive only the services that are needed by the associaiton as opposed to a flat fixed service. You may find that you do not need as many meetings as are being offered or that a Board member likes to work with vendors and management will not need to provide this service. This would greatly reduce the expense of the management company to handle your account. Many variables go into good pricing; Property Managers salary, amount of payments to be made by accounting, etc. These things need to be considered by the property management firm when establishing pricing. Others may disagree and just feel no thought is necessary and flat pricing can be given without actually visiting the site or meeting with the board to truly understand their needs. If a management firm does not need to view the site or meet with the Board prior to giving you a price do you feel they are truly assessing your needs and pricing you appropriately? We have a 4 unit building that currently pays a larger management fee then most 40 unit properties. They are very happy and understand that the fee is based upon their expectations that are being met.

posted @ Saturday, August 02, 2008 7:49 AM by Scott Wolf

Very informative...but should a property manager suggest a loan so as to collect a 1% fee for her company or is this a conflict of interest in representing a h.o.a property for a door fee already?

posted @ Wednesday, April 28, 2010 3:44 PM by Dixie D

Can the propery manager hired by the bank to run failed condo-hotel also be the manager for the homeowners association and force homeowners to pay for most of the operating costs the hotel? The managment company makes money for themselves both by getting 50% of the profit from condos rented and by charging owners a management fee. The bank has taken over declarant control of the board from the developer and refuses to look at competitive bids for a management company. Is this legal? Is this not a confict of interest? Other than hiring a laywer, which we have already exhausted all our groups funds on before the bank took over, is there anything that can be done about this?

posted @ Sunday, September 05, 2010 4:37 PM by Judy Gordon

Can a board member(president) bid for jobs to be done on the complex? It appears to me to be a conflict? I live in Hawaii. 

posted @ Sunday, January 23, 2011 7:12 PM by David

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