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Seven signs it's time to self-manage your condo or co-op

Expert post by Tina Larsson, CEO of The Folson Group
August 3, 2023
Seven signs it's time to self-manage your condo or co-op

Self-managing a property can cut costs and boost control, but make sure you're clear on the pros and cons. The Folson Group shares seven signs it's time to self-manage.

This expert post is written by Tina Larsson, CEO of The Folson Group, financial consultants and efficiency experts for condos and co-ops, including helping NYC boards free up their time by setting the systems in place for a smooth self-management experience.

Property management is a crucial aspect of running a successful co-op or condo. For years, many boards have relied on property management companies to handle day-to-day operations, financial management, and vendor coordination. However, there comes a time when boards may consider the idea of going self-managed. Making the shift to self-management can be a significant decision, and it's essential to recognize the signs that indicate it's both (a) time to part ways with a property manager, and (b) you're ready to take on management in-house.

1. Rising costs and budget constraints

One of the first signs that it might be time to go self-managed is when you notice a steady increase in property management fees. If the rising costs are putting a strain on your building's budget and affecting financial stability, exploring self-management becomes a viable option. By taking control of the management in-house, you can allocate funds directly and have greater transparency over your building's operations.

2. Lack of communication and responsiveness

Effective communication between the board and the property manager is critical for smooth operations. If you find that your property manager is unresponsive to inquiries, fails to address issues promptly, or lacks transparency in their communications, it could be a sign that it's time to part ways. Going self-managed allows the board to have direct control over communication channels and ensures that concerns are addressed promptly.

3. Board members want more involvement

As the board gains more experience and expertise, they may feel that they are ready to take a more hands-on approach to property management. If board members want to be more directly involved in decision-making and day-to-day operations, self-management can offer them the opportunity to do so. It allows the board to tailor management strategies and policies to suit the unique needs of their co-op or condo.

4. Financial mismanagement concerns

Financial mismanagement is a red flag that requires immediate attention. If there are concerns or suspicions about mishandling of finances, it may be time to take control and ensure that the building's financial resources are managed responsibly. Going self-managed provides the board with complete oversight and accountability over financial matters.

5. Dissatisfaction with vendor services

A competent property manager should have a network of reliable vendors to maintain the building efficiently. If the board consistently experiences issues with vendor services or finds that the property manager's pool of vendors is not up to par, self-management can provide the flexibility to seek and select vendors directly.

6. Desire for customized services

Every co-op or condo building is unique, and the management requirements may vary. If your property manager offers a one-size-fits-all approach and doesn't cater to your building's specific needs, going self-managed allows the board to tailor services and strategies to best suit the building. Your property manager should also operate in a proactive manner, and not reactive.

7. Enhanced community engagement

With self-management, the board can foster a stronger sense of community engagement. By handling management in-house, board members have direct and real-time interactions with residents and can be more in tune with their needs and preferences.

Making the shift to self-managed property management can be a transformative decision for co-op and condo boards. Recognizing the signs that it's time to take on management in-house is essential for the long-term success and financial well-being of your building. By carefully evaluating your building's needs, communication, financial management, and vendor services, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your board's goals and vision. While it is more work, self-management offers flexibility, direct control, and the chance to tailor services to your building's unique needs, ensuring a brighter future for your NYC co-op or condo.

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