K.M. from Hartford County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Many of my condo neighbors, including myself, do not like the condo manager we have. She is snippy with us on the phone and she never has a nice word for anyone. How did she get this job and how can we get rid of her?
Mister Condo replies:
K.M., I am sorry that you and your neighbors are not finding your condo manager to be more approachable and enjoyable to work with. The condo manager is generally an employee or owner of a property management firm and should be licensed with the State of Connecticut to provide the condo management service you are provided. The property management firm is hired by the association’s Board of Directors and is usually under contract for a set amount of time (one, two, or three years as agreed to in the contract). When the contract is up for renewal, the Board is free to find a new management company. However, most Boards don’t make a decision on which property manager to use based upon unit owner friendliness. They tend to evaluate the manager on the job that is done for the Board which has a wide-range of facets that may include collecting common fees, preparing all sorts of financial reports, managing contractors, distributing minutes from meetings and newsletters, preparing resale certificates, the list goes on and on. Unless you and your neighbors alert the Board to a customer service problem, it likely won’t even figure into the property manager’s contract renewal. One other note to consider, property managers are rarely thanked for the services they provide. Unit owners usually call to complain or talk about a problem. It can create an adversarial relationship between unit owners and their property managers which is unfortunate because a talented property manager can make your condo living experience better. So next time you need to interact with your Property Manager, why not start the conversation with something like “I realize you’re busy but I just wanted to say thank you for all that you do around here”, before you start in with whatever else you need to speak with her about. Once she picks her jaw up off of the ground I bet you’ll be surprised at just how nice she can be when you’re nice to her first. All the best!