Since management companies foster a competitive environment, co-op and condominium buildings expect a high level of service from their managing agent. However, when agents aren't showing the care and attention buildings deserve, or some sort of mismanagement is suspected, boards might very well decide it's time for a change.
There are multiple reasons why buildings consider switching from one management company to another. The most predominant include fraud, substandard attention to building systems, resident concerns, negligence, or just flat-out personality conflicts. However, it usually comes down to service and price or the combination of the two.
"It's the fault of the agent in almost all cases," says Michael Brower of Michael Brower Realty in Hackensack. "In essence if the agent does what he's paid for and gets the work done according to the contract, there should be no problems. What causes the agent to lose his job are typically either a slow or no-return telephone call, which is probably the biggest kiss of death.
"Then there are bookkeeping concerns," he continues. "Boards see bills that are paid twice or in slow fashion. With finances, that is a trust you cannot win back."
Sometimes buildings decide to change agents or management companies for virtually no reason other than to just change. A board may have turnover and they decide to just completely redo everything - including the management company - or they may change year to year just because they are always looking for the best deal.