Every co-op, condo and HOA community is different—each has its own distinctive character, attitude, and expectations. The same is obviously true for the individual people who manage these communities and help them run their day-to-day business.
Some building managers may pride themselves on being hands-on, accessible 24/7, and invested personally in the minutiae of each of their client properties, while others may take a more detached approach, responding promptly when called upon but otherwise letting individual boards conduct their community's business as they see fit, with less managerial interference or input. The best managers are able to assess the needs and expectations of their clients and adjust accordingly.
First Things First
Management companies are just that—companies. They vary in size and scope, but they generally have more than one manager. This means that when a board hires a management company, they are assigned a manager from within that company’s ranks. The first challenge, then, is to assign the manager whose style best fits the property.
“What we like to do is meet with the board, see what kind of issues they have going on, see what personalities the board has, and see who we have that fits the property,” says Gregory Cohen, president of Impact Management, in Queens. “A lot of boards like to meet with the manager before the hire. If they don’t like that manager, we’ll give them someone else.”
Jeff Heidings, president of Manhattan-based Siren Management, takes a similar tack. “When you have a prospective building, you try to bring the person you have in mind to manage it to the board interviews,” he says. “The board usually requests to meet the manager before hiring the company.”