Ask Mark Weisman, the president of Brownstone Real Estate in Boston, what makes a good managing agent, and his answer is simple: "You should be able to solve small problems before they become big problems—that's basically it."
This describes, in the proverbial nutshell, what every manager strives to accomplish. But how they go about solving the small problems varies from manager to manager—and, often, from client to client. Every management company and individual agent has their own management style. Some are very hands-on, very involved, while others prefer to act promptly when called upon, but otherwise let the boards of the buildings and associations in their portfolio handle the day-to-day work unencumbered.
How do good managers communicate? How do they stay organized? What challenges do they face in their day-to-day jobs? Let's take a look.
The managing agent is, among other things, a liaison between the board and residents, the board and vendors, residents and vendors, residents and residents, and even, occasionally, board members and other board members. The same skills that serve an ambassador in an embassy overseas apply to the managing agent's job.
The first and most important of those skills is the ability to communicate—not just with certain specific people, but to a whole range of different people.