Does your property manager negatively affect the values in your complex?
Kind of a strange question, isn’t it. Most people would not think to consider their property manager even having an effect on the value of their property. I myself never really considered it until a recent encounter with a local property manager regarding the sale of a condo I had listed in North Surrey.
My sellers and I received an offer mid November on a well-priced condo that I had listed for just over 20 days. We decided to accept the buyers offer and were happy to know that we had an accepted offer. The market for selling a condo is TOUGH right now, where you have just over a 10% chance of selling your unit. I approached the property management company to retrieve some key information and get access to some less accessible areas of the building for an inspection that are very important in a strata transaction.
The property manager was slow at best to return my phone calls, if even at all. It was after 4 calls over a 3 business day period and threatening to call their supervisor that I even began to get responses. We were not able to access information important to the sale, nor were we able to access critical areas of the complex. I had even made a phone call for an important document that did exist, which I was not given, nor did the phone call come back in time for the deadline dates on our contract. We ended up closing the deal and my sellers are happy, mainly because they sold their home. I proactively ordered and accessed as much info as I could get before we even had an offer, making the transaction as smooth as possible. However, I got to thinking with the co-operating Realtor after the fact though, that this property manager could have cost my sellers the sale due to pitiful response times, lack of care, organization and lack of knowledge. Had the buyer of the property not been extremely motivated, the average buyer would have been frightened off and the unit would still be for sale.
Here are some questions to think about your property manager and to get the answers to…
1) Are they quick to respond to an inquiry? – If you or anyone for that matter have an issue or need something timely, do they respond in a reasonable amount of time. In the fast paced business world, anything over 24 hours is unacceptable. Not receiving critical information in any sale could crush a deal no problem.
2) Do they have experience in property management? – Any manager relaying crucial information back to strata members had better know what they are talking about. If not, this could lead to huge assessments, collapsed sales and an unkempt building.
3) Do they have their information accessible? Do they know what they need?- A property manager not knowing how the parking situation in a condo building works is not okay, would you purchase a property without knowing where you get to park your car? Most people wouldn’t either. Also, items like when the roof was replaced, boilers, garage gate and more are crucial information a property manager should have knowledge about.
4) How long does it take to order strata documents?- In this case, I pre-ordered all of my needed documents, and thank goodness I did. I had to open a 3rd party account, get my credit card on file and wait 24 hours to be accepted into a 3rd party provider, BEFORE I even was allowed to place an order. For anyone that would have left this to the last minute, they would not have received the documents in time.
5) What does it cost to get strata documents?- Many strata companies charge an arm and a leg to send out documents to realtors, who represent the property managers clients. To get a rush order of documents can cost up to $200 extra, on top of fees per page printed and a $35 maximum charge for a two page document called a Form B. The average cost paid for rushed documents can be as high as $350.00. (This particular strata company would not email the documents either, an archaic way of doing business in today’s world. They can take up to 10 days to print of documents as simple as monthly meeting minutes, files saved on a computer which they just have to turn on to access.)
So how do you know what kind of property manager you have? A great way to start is by placing a simple phone call to them. Are they in the office? Are they accessible? Did they call you back in a reasonable amount of time?
For every condo and townhome that goes up for sale in today’s market, it is extremely competitive and a challenge to sell any unit. When an offer comes along, a property manager who is not on top of their game can crush a sale. An interesting thing to consider is that no property is EVER guaranteed to sell, any home owner could literally own their property forever as no one HAS to buy it. When someone does come along, you need to hold onto that purchaser as hard as you can to make the deal work sometimes. If your property manager is holding back or interfering with a sale in your complex, whether it be yours or someone else’s, they could be doing some serious damage to the prices in your complex. If the condo I had listed had not of sold, we likely would still be on the market and looking at reducing our price to attract more buyers.
This is a great time of year to check in on your property manager to make sure they are delivering. Good luck out there and for any questions regarding property managers or companies, please call me direct at 604-374-6145.