Building Management Service

Building Manager Training

Property ManagementWhat training does your building manager need? How much past experience has your property manager and does he have experience with the systems that you use? For example, if you’re using a new computer system to keep track of all work activities, and reporting of expenses you may want to train him on these items. There may also be training required on specialist pieces of equipment that are used within the building to provide service to customers, heating of the building etc. All of this should be considered as part of the building manager training program.

In addition a building manager is interfacing with your customers all of the time and represents the owner of the building in all things. Customer relationship management, dealing with conflict etc may also be required as training for the building manager. If you are getting lots of complaints from tenants, you may want to find out what the fundamental issues are and initiate some sort of training to deal with it. The building manager really represents you to your customers and as a property owner, it makes sense to hire the best!

Building Manager Training – What is Needed

Every buildings needs are different. High rise vs. townhouse condo Residential vs. commercial buildings all have different kinds of equipment that are used to maintain the property outside as well as to maintain the indoor common elements of property. Each time you purchase or upgrade equipment further training may be required. This could be as simple as making sure that they’ve read all of the instruction booklets and maintenance booklets and have developed and adhere to a maintenance program.

Local by laws as well as State or provincial laws change from time to time. It could be as simple as making sure that they read all of the notices, or for a particularly complex piece of legislation, there may be a one-day seminar training session that should be held and attended by all property managers.

Accounting software updates occur all of the time. A one hour training session could be needed by your property manager delivered by the accounting group to ensure that all expenses are recorded properly.

Building Manager Training – CRM Systems

CRM systems or customer relationship management systems are also upgraded on a regular basis. Anytime there is a change property managers and anyone who enters information into the CRM system should be trained on these systems. It could be as short as a one hour seminar, or you may need a more in-depth session for more complex updates and changes.

Equipment training is also valuable to ensure that the equipment is handled properly, and a safe manner for the operator as well as individuals that may be in close contact with the equipment.

Contract management training maybe also needed it contracts are updated. Contracts may be updated based on legal changes necessitated by bylaw changes, or updates based on issues that have been identified in previous contracts.

Communication skills on the job are extremely important in dealing with prospective clients, clients and owners. If your property manager could use better communication skills in terms of verbal and written activities there are one-day training seminars available.

There are always Special needs of the job that required training from time to time. You have a choice of either letting the property manager or the person operating equipment etc. experiment or you can train them properly so that they will operate it in a safe manner and avoid accidents that could damage the property, the operator, or individuals in the area where the equipment is being operated.

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Building Management Services

Vacant Home Property ManagementWhy do owners of registered condo buildings need to have building management services? For both the condo building and building management services for the rental operation of the same building? This is a situation that is actually quite common. Anyone who is either an investor or someone who plans to live in the building that is a registered condo should know the difference. We will try to explain the difference between the two and why you need separate building management service for each one.

Basically there is a business entity that is responsible for all of the common elements of the building. This is the condo or the strata as it is referred to in some locations. All owners participate and can vote on various issues that the board of directors will bring to them at a general meeting. In addition all owners are eligible to be on the board of directors as well. They are responsible for setting a budget, establishing and maintaining an adequate reserve fund and providing the owners with at minimum an annual report of all financial and operational status. The board will usually hire a building management service or property manager to look after all of these things on their behalf.

Building Management Services and the Board

It is up to the representatives of the building management service to fulfill and carry though all of the boards requirements provided that they are legal of course and comply with the bylaws of the property or condominium. This is a pretty standard example of building management service.

Some Units will be Rented

At some buildings a large number of units may be rented out to tenants. If one owner happens to own these rental units, they may hire a building management service to manage the rental of their units, collect the rent and provide upkeep to the interior of the units. They have no responsibility of looking after the exterior of the building. They work for each individual owner and are responsible for managing the tenant or tenants that rent units in the building they are in. If there are multiple owners who own rental units in the building along with people who own and live in the building, the rental unit owners sometimes will band together to hire one management company to manage all of the rental units in an attempt to reduce their costs overall.

These can be two separate building management services or sometimes they can be the same company, with different people within the building management company responsible for the condo side and the rental side of the business. There is no business or legal relationship between the condo and any tenants that are renting or between the various rental building management services. They are separate entities and all must abide by the condo bylaws etc. Separate financial reports are needed for both entities to ensure that there is no mixing of accounts and payments.

Tenant vs. Owner Issues

Many people find this confusing especially at meetings of the unit owners, however it is important to keep these things separate and distinct. For example if a tenant is causing problems in the building and other owners are complaining, the complaints must be given to the condo building management who in turn will contact the owner of that unit. It is up to the owner of that unit to deal with his or her tenant or the building management company that is managing his or her rental units. The rental building management service will need to then follow up with the tenant to ensure that no more complaints are received.

Hope this helps to explain one aspect of building management service.


Building Management Service

Vacant Home Property ManagementBuilding management service provided by property management companies can vary a great deal. If you are an owner looking to hire a company to provide you with this type of service, there are many issues to consider. We will cover a few of the building management service items that owners of single family buildings all the way up to multiple unit buildings should consider. You may want to prepare a complete list of services that you require. Then request quotes for these services before hiring a building management service company.

Property Management Service List

The list of possible service items that you may want to consider are as follows:

  • Rental of all units
  • Tenant selection
  • Place advertising to fill rental units
  • Collection of rents and collection of overdue rents including small claims courts
  • Review and check of all units pre-occupancy and post occupancy
  • Administration of damage deposits and last month rents
  • Repair and maintenance of all interior items to the unit
  • Repair and maintenance of all exterior items of the building
  • Preparation of an annual budget
  • Report on monthly revenue and expenses
  • Emergency response to maintenance items
  • Hiring of on site managers if needed
  • Management of on site managers if needed
  • Other specific services to the building that you may require

We suggest that owners who are planning to hire a Building Management Service company to provide these services receive very explicit contract guidelines. They can review and understand them, prior to hiring a company of this type.  The contract should state the specifics of what will  be done in as many specific situations as possible. You may require the company to contact you prior to spending any money over $50 for example in an effort to control the costs. You might provide them with specific guidelines for the kind of tenants you want to have in your building. They will attempt to carry out your instructions provided that they meet local and state laws. Specifics such as time frames, cost and actions to be completed by  a specific date should be included as much as possible.

Property Management Reports

Building manage service and contracts covering these services can be very general. It is always a good idea to check with the company providing building management service to you on a regular basis. Request status reports and monitor financial reports on a monthly basis at a minimum. Once you gain confidence with the company you have hired, you may consider relaxing this level of vigilance. In our experience it is a good habit to get into where you monitor the expenses and status reports once a month. Letting the building management service know that you review the reports etc will also help to keep them vigilant as well.

Less specific items should also include your rental strategy. For example what is your rent level going to be, how much will you increase rent each month? Will you rent to only seniors or people with kids or people with pets. There are all kinds of rental strategies to consider. You may decide to leave a unit vacant while you hold out for a tenant willing to pay a higher rent and take care of the place. This can mean less damages and lower cost to you the owner and to the property manager as well. Discuss all of these sorts of items with your manager and write them down so that everyone is clear on your strategy.

Building management service can be provided for individual homes, for apartment buildings that are condos. Also for rental units that make up the total building or part of a building. There are lots of combinations and we will discuss one example in our next post about the services that property managers can provide.


Apartment Manager Training

.Property ManagementApartment manager training can cover a very large set of responsibilities for building maintenance which can include all outdoor facilities, indoor common areas and tenants units. Depending on the size of the building, this work may be split between several people or one person may be responsible for everything. Some training courses will be generalized and cover all aspects while others will focus on specific functions. Then there is also lots of on the job training as well that covers the companies processes and customer needs. Whatever you do, always use common sense when making decisions about managing an apartment and if you do not know, ask someone for advice. There are lots to learn and you really never want to stop learning.

Apartment Manager Training – Managing the Apartment Grounds

Outdoor apartment management training would include setting contracts for all landscaping activities, monitoring these activities and verifying the quality of the work. This would also include garbage removal and disposal, snow clearing if applicable and keeping the entrance area and parking areas clean and free of any debris. the apartment manager may also complete some of the on site repairs as well as perform some of the regular maintenance activities.

Indoor apartment management training also must cover the heating systems, arranging for elevator maintenance, cleaning of all common areas and any painting or repairs that must be arranged for. The apartment manager may do some of this work themselves or they may be responsible to hire contractors to do the work on the behalf of the building owners following applied guidelines.

Managing Tenants in Apartments

Tenant units are tricky in the sense that no one but the tenant can enter the tenants unit unless arrangements are made ahead of time with appropriate permissions. Repairs and upgrades must be booked with both the tenant and the contractor who is scheduled to do the work. All processes of this type must follow appropriate local bylaws as well as federal and local state or provincial laws.

Another area that is often neglected is the interface and reporting to the owner or owners of the property. depending on how involved the owners are with their property, this can take a great deal of time to provide status updates, reports and discuss issues the owners may be concerned about. Most property management companies provide monthly cash flow reports and tenant occupancy reports to the owners. They may also provide a brief status report as well to the owners to keep them informed regarding any issues the owners are concerned about.

Apartment Manager Training – Attend Board Meetings

Attending board meetings and annual meetings are another area that property managers must do. Their duties at meetings such as these is to provide budgets, based on input from the directors, provide updates on current cash flow and alignment with the current year budget, provide updates on various situations that are of interest to the owners and the board. They may be requested to assess various improvements, request quotes and report back to the board with  recommendations. They may also be requested to keep minutes and issue them to the board or the owners in general.

This is an entire different area of skills that are required including everything from public speaking, preparing reports, budgeting, requesting quotes and dealing with complex situations. In some situations there will be conflict between the board and the other owners about various policies. It is usually up to the board to set the policy and the property manager to implement the policy.

If something is unclear,  you may want to refer the issue back to the board for clarification. Skills in dealing with conflict may also be required when owners or the board are at odds with each other. These skills can be developed on the job, but then training in public speaking etc can be obtained separately and independently. These skills will add many benefits to the current job as well as all future job opportunities.

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Building Management Training

Building Management TrainingBuilding management training covers a lot of subjects that superintendents and rental managers need to know while on the job. Property managers must learn all of the theory as well as the practical side of doing the job. These courses cover everything from looking after garbage disposal to dealing with tenants who do not look after their units and skip town without paying the rent. There are processes to use in these situations and laws that apply. Often these laws are local in nature by state or province. In addition property management will vary greatly depending on whether the building is a residential building or whether it is a commercial building. Security, heating, parking etc to name a few will be significantly different for these types of buildings. Property management also involves the management of contracts for work that is completed by outside contractors. Grounds maintenance, snow removal, heating plant annual checks and so on will need to be monitored and checked for quality work.

Building Management Training – Rental Management

Rental management is part of a building management. Advertising for tenants, qualifying tenants based on income and records from other locations, with or without pets and children and a host of other criteria that come into play without breaking any prejudicial laws is complex. Bad decisions cost money for the tenants as well as the owners and must be carefully considered. Most jurisdictions will not allow for discrimination in any manner at all, so property rental managers must be well aware of the laws in this regard.

Building Maintenance

Buildings must also be maintained. Systems need to be monitored and budgets prepared to help ensure that repairs are completed on time and that there is money in the budget to handle both known maintenance items as well as emergency repairs. All of these things and much more is covered as part of building management training. Routine maintenance plans should be drawn up and prepared. Each plan will depend very much on the type of building, whether it has elevators or not, underground parking, exercise rooms, pools, etc. Every building is unique and while many activities will be the same, many will also be different. A good property manager will be on the ball and make sure that they have captured everything that needs to be done to maintain the building properly.

Insurance

Building managers must also carry liability insurance to cover them in case there are situations that develop leaving them liable for claims by tenants or the owners if they are under contract to the owners. Many owners will hire a property management company to manage a building on their behalf hence the reason to make sure that the property manager has adequate liability insurance. Building construction is also different depending on whether you are dealing with a high-rise condo, townhouses or single family homes. The technology is also different as well, all of which must be managed by the building management team.

Building Management Training – Security

Another aspect of building management which training should cover is security of the building. Malls are property management situations which need to have a security team in place to deal with everything from stealing to pick pocketing to loitering. Apartment buildings have much different requirements and the really expensive places will have a concierge who provides services to tenants such as calling taxis as well as providing soft security for the building.

These requirements must be managed by the property management company based on the requirements of the owner as well as the type of building that is managed. Experienced property managers will be prepared to recommend the appropriate level of security based on the area the building is in, the history of the building and the needs of the tenants.

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Building Management Training Courses

Building management training courses are well worth the effort it takes to study and pass the courses. After all if you are going to be looking after a building that is worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, and this is a huge responsibility. Many investors, tenants as well as guests and people working at the building depend on you doing your job properly, being able to deal with routine issues as well as any emergencies that may occur. This is an important job and requires a person who takes responsibility seriously and will keep their building looking it’s best.

Training courses will cover everything from real estate services, to professional ethics to professional liability. There actually are so many items to cover that the course we reviewed was over 16 pages in length just for the table of contents. It is important for property managers to understand the different laws that apply to commercial buildings, to condominiums, to co-operatives and residential buildings. Owners have rights as do the tenants of the building. The local bylaws may also vary by town and city even in the same site.

Building Management Training as a Diplomat

Often the property manager is caught between the owners and the tenants in many issues. They must be able to keep both parties satisfied while staying within the local laws that protect tenants as well as owners. They have to strike the right balance, know the laws and know when to push back to keep both sides working in a fair manner. They also must be able to manage the expenses and stay within the budget set by the owners of the building. If there are emergencies, they must have the expertise to know how to deal with these emergencies and manage the cost of repairs.

There are also laws that deal with renters and how you need to manage situations involving rent increases, vacancies, renting units, expelling units and collections. As a property manager, particularly if you are managing a large building, there may be multiple people in your organization each managing an element of the overall job. There could be a rental manager for example, while another person looks after maintenance etc. Each will be an expert in their particular field, however someone must be able to cover for them while they are on vacation or away on training.

Ultimately there is one person responsible for everything and this person must also ensure that all of the people in the organization receives the appropriate building management training to allow them to do their jobs properly and legally.Time management, people management, relationship management, are just some of the soft skills that property management teams must take into account in order to be successful. Leadership skills, communications skills and writing skills are also important to ensure that these managers not only know their subjects, but they can also communicate what they need to when reviewing a dispute for example.

Training Updates

Property managers who have been on the job for some time can also benefit from training. These people have a great deal of experience and can be relied on to do a good job. However they need training updates from time to time on changing laws, technology changes and perhaps computer courses to adapt to new software programs.  Most people will appreciate the value of keeping up to date.

This training is well worth the effort and money it takes. On the job experience is also very important. You can learn from the experts and from managers who have been in the business for some time. Set up a weekly review meeting to go over issues, concerns you may have and to discuss general guidelines for your property. In creasing communication can only help you when you are responsible for large buildings.

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