Co-op and condo buildings don’t run themselves. Their owners and shareholders rely on board members to make important decisions about the buildings they live in, and board members count on their management companies to provide them with the information needed to make smart decisions.
For some buildings, a management company isn’t enough. Some co-ops and HOAs prefer to be self-managed—that is, to handle their own affairs by hiring a manager to run their building and their building only. This isn’t for everyone, but with the right team in place, a self-managed building can often save money and do more with their property.
“We handle everything in-house,” says Rochelle Captan, who’s been managing Amalgamated Warbasse Houses in Brooklyn for 30 years. “From the management and the bookkeeping department, maintenance department and security department, our own power plant. We do it with me as the manager, and I have an assistant and a staff of about 90 people.”
Amalgamated Warbasse is a large community, with 2,585 families, a power plant and a shopping center. A co-op of that size can benefit from being self managed. Captan says having more direct contact with the board of directors and handling almost everything regarding the building’s operations within (plumbing and electrical repairs being among the exceptions) is important for Amalgamated’s success.
“We don’t have the red tape of going through a management company,” Captan says. “It’s a day-to-day situation where I’m in touch with the board members as much as they need to talk to me…. I think it’s a more intimate relationship. I think the thoughts and desires of the [residents] are better-served because the person that’s here is the person.”