Whether change is good or bad often depends on who you talk to, and even a desired change produces a certain level of stress and adjustment. Personal changes are challenging enough, but for condo and co-op residents, a board’s decision to change property managers or firms will quite literally hit home.
If a board has done adequate research, the impact should be positive, but adjustments will still be required. If a board has done less-than-satisfactory due diligence, there will certainly be unnecessary and unwanted chaos, as well as possible financial ramifications.
English author Arnold Bennett, (1867-1931) noted a century ago that even changes for the better would be accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. Community association boards thinking about changing managers, therefore, would do well to weigh those potential discomforts and drawbacks against their reasons for the change before taking the leap. Finding a resolution to existing issues between the association and management may be a wiser, and less stressful, course of action.
Why Make the Move?
If not completely satisfied with current service, a condominium board may decide not to adapt, but to replace a property manager, or even switch firms completely—a practice that happens more often than one might suspect. Personalities and communication styles will always come into play when a decision to replace a manager or a firm is on the table.
“It’s just the nature of the game,” says David Abel, senior manager in the condominium division at First Realty Management in Boston. “We’ve lost a couple (of associations) here and there; fortunately, we gain more than we lose.