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The Blame Game – Let's Blame the Property Management Company!



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By : John R Math    99 or more times read
There is nothing worse in the management business than to negotiate, in good faith, a management contract with a new association, only to have them not do what they had agreed to and blame the management company for their failures! It is very difficult to properly manage a community association when your staff is not provided the support, cooperation and especially the time required to do a good job from the association. It is very disheartening to then, in the end, blame the management company for the association’s issues, problems and shortcomings.

How can a management company succeed when there is little or no direction or communication from the President, no support from the other Board members and the association’s staff members do not want to cooperate with the management company? How and why does this happen? From management’s perspective, this type of situation comes from the top and is either allowed or fostered by the President of the Board. It is just easier to blame the management company.

At the time that management is negotiating an agreement, the new prospective client is bad-mouthing the soon to be former management company. Right there, that should be a “Tip Off” on how you will ultimately be treated by this association. As an employer, if I interview someone for a position in my company and they “bad mouth” their former employer during the interview, I don’t hire them, as I know that they are trouble and they will end up bad-mouthing me, too! So why is it any different with a prospective new association client? It isn’t; and I should know better after all of these years. I know in the end that the management company will be blamed for the inherent dysfunction and failures of the Board.

Through all of this, you know that the management contract will soon end but the staff keeps trying and you keep hoping that the Board will see it your way (the right way) and that things will change. Of course, things do not change, the Board of Directors still does not cooperate, their staff is no help and now they go running to the Board for every little issue and even more frequently! It is a downhill slide that accelerates and you try even harder to please them. It still does not work.

Though there is little consolation in this situation, there is some comfort to know, that when you check, the association’s other professionals are also having the same problems and issues with that client that you are experiencing! Then you know you are not alone. The fact that others are having problems also is a confirmation that what you have been doing successfully for 35 plus years is still the way to go, that you cannot do any more than what you have done and that it is not your company that is the problem, but them!

Finally, the letter arrives canceling the contract, and of course, blaming the management company! Though it hurts professionally, you and the staff are relieved that the nightmare situation and dysfunction will soon be over. It is very easy for a Board of Directors to blame the management company in order to take the focus off their own shortcomings.

To ensure a better relationship between an association and the management company, I urge all Boards of Directors who hire a management company do so with open minds, eyes and ears wide and prepare to cooperate fully with the new management company’s policies and staff. Be willing to listen and work with the management company for compromise, not be so quick to blame them – after all, they truly have your association’s welfare and benefit as their number one priority.
As one of the oldest property management company specializing in community association management in Palm Beach County, Florida since 1988. Currently, APM provides management, maintenance, supervision, bookkeeping and administrative services for more than 130 community associations. Our Website www.assocpropmgt.com Our weekly newsletter www.apmnews.org

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