Who You Gonna Call? Response to Calls is an Essential Part of the Manager’s Job

Olivia Pope, the main character on ABC’s Scandal, is a professional fixer. If you have a problem—any problem—she can fix it. Over the past two seasons plus, she’s rigged elections, covered up murders, employed professional hit men, exposed secrets, made and ruined countless lives, and played hard to get with the President of the United States. But the most amazing thing about Olivia Pope is that she’s always available. Walk into her office, she’s there. Call her cell, she’ll pick up. And when she answers, she can make even the biggest problems disappear.

In another life, Olivia Pope would be a terrific property manager—the best property manager who ever existed. After all, if she can rig presidential elections, she can handle complaints about noise and leaky pipes. But Olivia Pope is fictional in more ways than one. No one answers the phone every time it rings.

Whenever a problem arises in a condo or homeowners association—whether it’s a leak, a noisy neighbor, or some procedural question that has come up—it’s the impulse of many trustees, board members and residents to pick up the phone and immediately call their property manager. Most times, this is the right thing to do: the manager is first in line in an HOA’s administrative hierarchy. That said, there’s a right way and a wrong way to call your manager—and sometimes, it’s not appropriate to call at all.

When to Call

Property managers and management companies work for condos, co-ops and HOAs, which operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week But that’s doesn’t mean it’s okay to call your property manager at 2 a.m. because of your neighbor’s yapping Jack Russell terrier. If it isn’t urgent, use a little discretion.

“Everyone’s busy and we’re no different than anyone else in the world,” says Ian Gopin, president of G&G Management in Newton, Massachusetts. “But normally the best time to reach a busy property manager is after 10 a.m. and before 4 p.m. because most of the time when we get in, in the mornings, we are dealing with emergencies or dealing with something from the night before.”

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