The last few years have been stressful and uncertain for many in the real estate game—developers have had to adjust projections and expectations for certain projects. Likewise, sellers and brokers have had to acclimate to a market that, while perhaps not as bleak as in some other parts of the country, is not seeing quite the blaze of activity that characterized the early part of the last decade. Managers and board members have been up against a wave of foreclosures, residents in arrears with fees and assessments, and other recession-related and non-recession-related challenges. Boards are fighting, and there have also been many legislative changes that make it difficult for managers to plan projects the way they once used to, giving them a real challenge on how to address issues that were once a breeze.
But with a new year comes fresh, new opportunities—and some managers are hoping for some positive changes in their industry so that they can get back to business as usual.
Cut Our Costs!
Money has been extraordinarily tight for a while now, and many condos and co-ops have had to figure out how to make ends meet with more and more limitations. John Lipuma of JAL Diversified Management in Brooklyn says many federal and state regulations have caused operating costs to soar, making it very hard to keep fees down for residents.
Gregory Cohen of Queens-based Impact Management hopes that expenses start to stabilize more and fluctuate less in the new year. “Barrels of oil have been ranging from about $45 per barrel to about $150 per barrel,” he says, illustrating the wide swings in cost. He says prices have gone down to $80 per barrel for now, but he’d like it to stay that way for a while.
For Anton Cirulli, director of management for Manhattan’s Lawrence Properties, it's all about finding ways for boards to spend less money. “The question [for them] is how do we hold costs if not reduce them?” he says.