Smallsociation: The Unique Problems of Tiny Condos and Co-ops There Are Issues in Managing a Smaller Property

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One likely looks upon a towering high-rise shining upon the Manhattan skyline, and assuredly thinks to oneself, “that building must be quite the endeavor to manage, should it be a condominium or co-op residential property.”

And that hypothetical person would not be wrong; a lot of elbow grease goes into the day-to-day maintenance of such a building. But what one may not consider is how much work is necessary to keep even the smallest residencies running on all cylinders. Tinier associations even have problems unique to them, issues that the giant developments never even consider.

Small Business

One major problem with managing a smaller condo or co-op, especially in New York City, is the lack of managing agent options available in the first place. Depending on the size of your association and the array of management companies in your area, many may not see you as a profitable client.

“I don't find managing small properties to be cost effective,” says Jeffrey Stillman, vice president of Stillman Management in Harrison, New York. “I usually charge a minimum fee of at least $20,000-$25,000. That typically breaks down to $300 per unit at our buildings. But take a 50-unit building, and $300 per unit is only $15,000. So my minimum would be a problem, for them.

“That said, I manage a 30-unit condo where the units go for a $1,000,000 each,” he continues. “They pay me a lot of money because they can afford it. Every building wants TLC, but the question becomes whether or not they can pay for it.”

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