Management

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Gyms as an Amenity

By Jonathan Barnes

Way back when, having a “gym” in your building usually meant a windowless room with a forlorn-looking treadmill, some mismatched free weights, and maybe even an old Soloflex bequeathed by a former neighbor who didn’t want to take it with him when he moved from the building down to sunny Florida. Read More

Upstairs, Downstairs

By Greg Olear

Because of resident turnover, the city’s practice of requiring real estate developers to devote a certain percentage of units in new buildings to market- or below-market rate in order to fortify the city's stock of more affordable housing, and just the sheer fact of 8 million people living in a very concentrated geography, many of New York City’s co-ops and condos are home to people of differing income levels. Read More

Making Lives Easier

By W.B. King

Regardless of region or market, a mélange of personalities, preferences and expectations comprise any homeowners association. Part of that diversity includes folks who may need special accommodations in order to fully enjoy and participate in the life of their building or community. To this end, boards and management companies must adhere to guidelines set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA). Read More

Multifamily Laundry Options

By Paula Castner

Ask people to list the household chores they dislike most, and chances are, doing laundry will consistently rank among the top ten. The need and appreciation for clean clothes gets overshadowed by the inconvenience of constantly having to wash and dry them. Read More

The Annual Meeting

By Edward T. Braverman, Esq.

If winter's here, can spring be far behind? This old adage is particularly meaningful in relation to Read More

Property Management Performance After Sandy

By Paul Gottsegen

More than a year after “Superstorm Sandy” wreaked havoc along the East Coast, many communities throughout the region remain focused on recovery efforts. The storm was catastrophic and the ongoing media coverage highlights the fact that there is still a long road ahead to total recovery for many in our region. While Sandy was a storm unlike any we’ve seen in recent years the intensity of nature’s recent events is becoming a larger part of the dialogue for building’s Board of Directors and management companies throughout the region. Read More

Uniform Appeal

By Anne Childers

According to the old admonishment, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and that’s sage advice in just about any situation; but when it comes to how your building and its on-site staff present themselves to residents, visitors, and prospective buyers, the ‘cover’ matters. You wouldn’t dream of using mismatched carpet samples and second-hand black-light posters to decorate your lobby, so it stands to reason that you wouldn’t be up for outfitting your front desk staff in jeans and ratty T-shirts. Read More

Pay Attention to the Details

By Steven Cutler

There’s no such thing as a small job. Whether a minor lobby repair or a major capital improvement, whenever a contractor is hired to work in a co-op or condominium, if the contractor or one of their employees gets injured, the corporation or association could find itself as a party in a lawsuit. Read More

The Construction Next Door

By Jonathan Barnes

Whenever a new residential building is proposed in any New York City neighborhood, people inevitably object to the project. Their reasons are as varied as their neighborhoods, and range from concerns about gentrification and retaining the socioeconomic or architectural character of the neighborhood, to the more imminent worries of noise and other issues that are part and parcel of having a major construction project on the block. Read More

The Importance of Curb Appeal

By Lisa Iannucci

An old time-worn saying ‘that you’re only as good as your first impression’ is paramount in how your co-op or condo building is perceived at street level. The curb appeal factor cannot be discounted when people pass by your building and see that its awnings are a little weathered or outdated, street garbage and debris is piling up on the sidewalk, and maintenance has been woefully neglected. Read More

Spring is Just Around the Corner

By Enjolie Esteve

With a light sprinkling of freshly fallen snow blanketing your building's landscape, its easy to be lulled into thinking your property really is "pretty as a picture. Sure, the occasional snowfall New York City experiences transform the Big Apple into a beautiful winter wonderland. But keep in mind that when the snow melts, an array of blemishes created by winter's harsh blasts will be revealed. Read More

Managing Amenities

By George Leposky

Whether a building is a luxury high rise with an in-house movie theater, rooftop pool, and climate-controlled wine cellar or a much more modest low-rise or townhome community with a simple community room or gazebo, managing common amenities is just another function of co-op and condo administration. Read More

Cars, Cars Everywhere

By Enjolie Esteve

Suffice to say, parking is a big deal in New York City. On any given day, you will find hoards of people swarming the densely populated city streets in hopes of getting a good parking spot—or any spot, for that matter. Tourists circle madly around Manhattan in hopes of finding a spot within a five-mile radius of the bars, art galleries and restaurants they patronize; locals heading home from work prowl their neighborhoods, trying to squeeze into the limited parking spots while others camp out in their front seats for hours to avoid losing their spot for street cleaning. Read More

Secrets of Successful Managers

By W.B. King

As jugglers of multiple and oftentimes complex tasks, property managers must be adept at mediating between board members and unit owners, as well as resolving all manner of maintenance and legal issues. To this end, property managers don’t have 'typical' days, but rather varied and challenging ones that are often complicated, and require a particular skill set to navigate. Read More

Knowing When to Call Your Manager

By Greg Olear

Olivia Pope, the main character on ABC’s Scandal,is a professional fixer. If you have a problem—any problem—she can fix it. Over the past two seasons plus, she’s rigged elections, covered up murders, employed professional hit men, exposed secrets, made and ruined countless lives, and played hard to get with the President of the United States. But the most amazing thing about Olivia Pope is that she’s always available. Walk into her office, she’s there. Call her cell, she’ll pick up. And when she answers, she can make even the biggest problems disappear. Read More

Changing Managers or Firms?

By Anne Childers

Whether change is good or bad often depends on who you talk to; even a welcome change produces a certain level of stress and adjustment. Personal changes are challenging enough, but for co-op and condo residents, a board decision to change property managers or firms will quite literally hit home. Even if a board has done adequate research, and the change is for the better, adjustments will still be required. By the same token, if a board has done less than satisfactory due diligence, there will almost certainly be unnecessary and unwanted chaos, as well as possible financial ramifications. Read More

Who Goes There?

By W.B. King

While crime rates are steadily decreasing nationwide—even in the Big Apple—multiunit dwellings are often more difficult to 'police' due to the number of residents, visitors, delivery personnel and third party workers such as contractors. As a result, determining how and when a person accesses a building becomes a top priority for board members and management companies. Read More

A Rental State of Mind

By Jonathan Barnes

Winston Churchill once said that “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference,” and that couldn’t be more apt for those who live in multifamily buildings. Read More

SuperMen & SuperWomen!

By Lisa Iannucci

Every day, resident manager Peter Grech runs a building systems check, makes himself available for the residents to ask questions or let him know if there are any problems, and holds brief meetings with his handymen and other staff members. Once this is done, he makes his necessary phone calls and then visits apartments that are under construction to make sure they are compliant with the local laws. He also holds weekly meetings and is responsible for numerous reports and paperwork. Read More

If They Only Knew...

By Lisa Iannucci

Someone once said that "People who say that small things don't bother them have never slept in a room with a mosquito." Read More

Rules on Records

By W.B. King

It’s no secret that helping to run a board of directors or board of managers of a co-op or a condo association is quite often a thankless task. There are a lot of issues to take care of, and board members are strictly volunteers. While there might be some unofficial perks for taking the job, one of the core responsibilities that can bog people down is keeping official records. It’s hard enough to produce them, be the ones to read them closely, and make major decisions based on them at board meetings. But, even with the help of a property manager, the storage and guardianship and past records can be confusing and easily overlooked. Read More

Having Too Much Stuff

By Lisa Iannucci

In March 1947, a group of nearly 600 onlookers gathered on the sidewalk in front of the home of bachelor brothers Homer and Langley Collyer on Fifth Avenue and 128th Street in Manhattan. Residents of the neighborhood had speculated and gossiped for years about the two eccentric shut-ins and their crumbling brownstone, which was rumored to be crammed floor-to-ceiling with treasures and curiosities collected by the Collyers over the decades. Read More

Drip by Drip

By Jonathan Barnes

Stretching from upstate and leading all the way down to the Big Apple, New York City’s water system truly is a modern marvel. The system, which includes huge supply tunnels, makes it possible for millions to live and work in New York City. But like so many other utilities these days, the cost of that life-giving and business-sustaining water is constantly going up. Depending on who you ask, compared to the cost for water just a generation ago, fees for water usage in the city are either sky high or downright unreasonable. Read More

Old Man Winter's Coming

By Pat Gale

A cold, wet spring turned quickly into a hot, humid summer rife with thunderstorms and localized flooding throughout the northeast. As autumn starts to paint the region’s foliage, building community and association boards and managers are looking at long-range forecasts and, in their annual ritual, wondering what winter will hold this year. Read More

All in a Days Work

By Anne Childers

 Property management, in the broadest of terms, is defined as the operation,  control and oversight of real estate. Most property managers would agree that  definition is just a starting point.  Read More

Crowd Control

By Jonathan Barnes

 Out of nowhere, someone is regularly using the parking space you have had for  years. And strangers are appearing regularly in your building’s hallways, though you’re not sure where they belong or if they should even be there. Strangely, you  hear children crying at all hours, though your community doesn’t allow kids under 16 to live there. Read More

A Mighty Wind

By Greg Olear

 People living along the Gulf Coast have long accepted hurricanes as a fact of  life—one that brings with it torrential rain, howling winds, and devastating  hailstorms. The Mid-Atlantic has been hit with a few big storms over the past  two centuries—some of which caused major damage and even death—but historically, most of us here in New York haven't considered ourselves to be  residents of 'hurricane country.' That nonchalance changed in 2012 with the  impact of Superstorm Sandy. With billions of dollars in damaged and destroyed  property, thousands of displaced residents, power outages affecting hundreds of  thousands for days on end, and loss of human life, that epic weather event was  unlike anything most New York natives had ever experienced. Read More

Staff Management 101

By Anne Childers

 Management of any property requires a varying degree of resources and skills.  Materials, capital, and personnel are required for everything from ordering  supplies to the complete overseeing of a multi-unit, high rise co-op or  condominium. Above all resources, human resources, are typically considered the  most important asset of any business or company, and managing those living  resources is an art, a science, and a very necessary skill set. Read More

That's Criminal

By Greg Olear

 Mention “problem residents” in the context of a co-op or condo building, and chances are most people will  think about the noisy kids upstairs, the perpetually grumpy /litigious guy on  the third floor, or the lady down the hall with 12 cats. Read More

Fron Truck to Transfer Station

By J.M. Wilson

 Twice a week whether it is on Tuesday and Thursday or Monday and Friday, in  every neighborhood throughout the city, you can hear it. Usually before first  light you are roused from a sound sleep by the rumbling, beeping and crushing  sounds of the garbage truck sent to retrieve your block’s mountains of sorted trash. Read More

The Artful Dodger

By David Garry

 The signs “Post No Bills,” “Active Driveway” and “Alternate Side Parking” are all fairly common and relatively self-explanatory in urban settings. Other equally common signs we see in suburban communities throughout the U.S.  related to pets are: “Curb Your Dog,” “Please Clean Up After Your Dog,” or “All Pets Must Be on a Leash.” Read More

Pet Peeves

By Keith Loria

 Time was, if you said that a co-op or condo building was 'going to the dogs,' it  was a bad thing. These days however, that's not always the case. According to  the American Pet Products Association, 39 percent of all U.S. households own at  least one dog, and 33 percent own at least one cat. This is why many co-ops and  condos in New York have started to change their rules regarding pets and it’s a much more welcoming atmosphere for animals. Read More

Back to School

By Jonathan Barnes

 With multifamily buildings, who is in charge of the property and how well those  people are trained are critically important factors in the successful operation  of the community. Board members are a part of this management class, which is  often shepherded by a competent property manager. But all property managers are  not equal in their abilities and knowledge, and the smarter ones try to bridge  the gap. Read More

A Tale of Two Buildings

By Greg Olear

 Physically, there’s really no difference between co-ops and condos. The savviest property manager  in the five boroughs could not walk into a lobby and say for certain if it’s one or the other. When co-ops are converted to condos, or vice versa, the  result is not visible to the naked eye. And yet, if two buildings that are  exactly the same in every way, and two identical apartments in those buildings  are listed, the condo will fetch a higher price than the co-op. Read More

A Management Checklist

By George Leposky

 How can you tell whether the on-site property manager at a cooperative,  condominium or homeowners association community is doing a good job? And what  is a 'good job' anyway? Whether a manager is well-liked and whether he or she  manages well may not be the same thing. How do you distinguish one from the  other? Read More

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