12C — February 19 - March 12, 2021 — Property Management — Owners, Developers & Managers — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal


Property Management

By Michael A. Feltenberger, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Barkan Management Exceeding Expectations: Building and nurturing an effective management relationship


ow many marriages could have been saved if the two people in

up to our expectations. That’s because we probably never told themwhat we expected or had unrealistic expectations in the first place. Unless we learn to communicate effec- tively, misunderstandings will occur, and expectations will never be met. Future Board Member? Every manager knows someone in their community they felt was being unreason- able. However, after looking at the situation objectively, they might admit that the home- owner was simply trying to get answers. With the responsibil-

ity to educate homeowners and board members, manage- ment staff must be open and responsive to all inquiries. If an immediate answer is not available, they should always tell homeowners when they’ll get them an answer and stick to it. Remember, today’s disgruntled homeowner is to- morrow’s board member - one who may have joined with the purpose of making a change in management. Management Report After signing a manage- ment agreement, the real work of building a relation-

ship starts. The community manager must keep the board abreast of all transition activi- ties and carefully review the association’s governing docu- ments to fully understand their goals and objectives. Whether or not the board meets, the community man- ager should provide the board with a monthly management report, including the follow- ing: • Review of financial state - ments explaining all budget variances • Results of community inspections

• Correspondence • Administrative calendar • Action item report • Items requiring board action or review • Other items of interest Mana g emen t r e p o r t s should be submitted in ad- vance of any scheduled meet- ing, giving board members ample time to review. At the meeting, assigned action items should be reflected in the meeting minutes which are the official record of the association. Doing so will greatly reduce misunder- standings as well as serve as proof of the manager’s productivity. Preventing Crises Although themonthlyman- agement report tracks the work performed by staff, it doesn’t necessarily reflect if the needs of the community are being met. An excellent community manager may help carry an ineffective management company while a poor manager can bring down the best of firms. On occasion, when a man - ager fails to live up to the expectations of the associa- tion, they should meet with the board to discuss any is- sues – an important first step in preventing a crisis. Since personality clashes do occur, sometimes only a change in the community manager will solve the problem. Such a change will be easier if, prior to the onset of any problems, a management com- pany executive has established a strong relationship with the board by maintaining routine contact with them and making a concerted effort to periodi- cally attend board meetings. Finally, to ensure expec- tations are met, communi- cation must be clear and constant starting with the interview process and con- tinuing throughout the rela- tionship. To succeed, a man- ager must understand what their client expects, and the client must understand how services will be rendered. Once everyone clearly knows what’s required to achieve the goals of the association, the foundation is set for a long and mutually rewarding relationship. Michael Feltenberger, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, is se- nior VP, Barkan Manage- ment, leading Washington, DC operations. MAREJ

the marriage talked when- ever they felt s l i g h t e d ? How many l a w s u i t s avo i ded i f both parties fully under- stood the de- tails of their agreement?

Michael Feltenberger

All too often, we go about our lives frustrated because some- one, or something, doesn’t live

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