Thursday, September 17, 2009

Warning signs you shouldn't ignore

Today we'll wrap up our series on how to pick the right manager for your community. We've already discussed the starting steps in selecting the right company or individual for your association, the calls you need to make to ensure you get all the information you need and what to look for in any management contract presented to you.

The last step in this discussion is the big red flags you should be able to recognize but hopefully won't ever encounter. You might want to pull the plug if you notice the following:

1. As a board member, you have questions or concerns and when you turn to your books and records for answers, you discover your board is not in possession of any books or records, or the checkbook or, in fact, even a copy of the management agreement!

2. You consistently receive complaints from vendors about late or missed payments;

3. You have difficulty getting timely responses to your questions or the responses and advice you do get later turn out to be inaccurate;

4. Your manager hasn't taken a day off in years. This is either the sign of a very diligent worker or someone who is afraid to have others checking the books during their absence;

5. You have been unable to verify that your manager or management company is properly licensed and insured; and

6. You have been getting numerous complaints from owners and not just the "recreational complainers" in the community.

There are many wonderful managers and management companies out there that can help take a lot of pressure off a board of directors. There are also some managers and management companies out there that can unfortunately make your job harder not easier. Make sure you take the time to find out which ones are which.

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