Page 15 - New England Condominium February 2019
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NEWENGLANDCONDO.COM  NEW ENGLAND CONDOMINIUM   - FEBRUARY 2019     15  YOU’LL LEARN SO MUCH  YOUR HEAD COULD EXPLODE.   (Our lawyers said we had to warn you.)  SEAPORT WORLD TRADE CENTER, BOSTON — WEDNESDAY, MAY 22, 10-3:30    FREE REGISTRATION: NE-EXPO.COM  THE NEW ENGLAND  CONDOMINIUM  EXPO  2019  WHERE BUILDINGS MEET SERVICES   Another recurring management item  seeing these things as well.  is purchasing and bookkeeping. Own-  ers send in monthly payments for main-  tenance and common charges, and bills  a lot of work – and they are. In a large  like   must get paid out of those collected  complex of units where owners share the  they might find what and who they are   funds. This recurring item is handled by  management fee at affordable levels, it’s  looking for.”  the management company’s bookkeepers,  pretty clear that it’s well worth it to have   who work hand in hand with other man-  agement company employees to make  alternatives for smaller properties?  sure a property has everything it needs to   function, from paper towels to light bulbs  Folson Group, a New York City-based  not true. “Purchasing power – managing   to cleaning supplies.  There are also non-recurring or occa-  sional items like various building inspec-  tions; supervision of occasional work or  managing agent does. How do we vet con-  scheduled projects for improvements; and  tractors, for instance? Managing agents   ownership transfers for units. The man-  aging agent has the responsibility of over-  Effective Self-Management  All those responsibilities sound like  done.  We  also  direct them  to resources   professional management. But are there  ing agents who represent multiple prop-  Tina Larsson is the Co-founder of The  vidual properties don’t? Larsson says it’s   company that helps co-op and condo  agents say they have it, but if you call a   properties self-manage effectively. “We  specific vendor, you can ask for the same   set up policies,” she says, “the same way a  discount the managing agents get, and   have requests-for-proposals, or RFPs. We  a thorough review of their expenses –   set up something similar, only easier and  something  a managing agent generally   simpler. We guide the client on how to use   this system. It’s specific to the work to be   \[New England Condominium\],   where   And what about the idea that manag-  erties have purchasing power that indi-  most of the time you’ll get it too.”  Larsson’s firm also offers its clients   doesn’t  do. The  firm  searches  for  ways   to  save  money  and  earns  its  fee  based   on those savings. Larsson explains that   whereas a managing agent’s job consists   of bookkeeping, compliance, closings,   complaints and inspections – a self-man-  agement consulting firm finds sources for   these services for self-managed properties   and sets up systems to track and manage   them. Records and documents are kept in   the cloud to reduce or even eliminate the   need for off-site storage of paper docu-  ments and files. Consultants will also   often set up online applications for the   self-managed association or corporation,   such as building links, etc., as part of an   overall plan.  Real Life  Keith Emmers lives in a four-unit con-  dominium in Brooklyn, New York. Prior   to living in this very small and intimate   association, he was both a resident and   board  member  at  Park  West  Village,  a   large and established co-op on New York   City’s Upper West Side. According to him,   “This is a totally different experience. A   small building is totally ad hoc.”  “We hired the cleaning woman of one   of the owners to clean the hallways once   a week. That unit owner pays her, and   we  reimburse  the  unit  owner.  Each unit   has its own HVAC, so there’s a very small   common area utilities which we pay to-  gether. We also have a cable bill for fire   monitoring for the common areas. Our   maintenance  payments  go  into  a  com-  mon account from which the association   treasurer pays the bills. We keep a spread-  sheet on Google, which can be viewed by   anyone in the group.   “Responsibilities are divided up among   us,” Emmers further says. “The president   of the association works from home, so   when we need someone here for an in-  continued on page 21  ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

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