Condo Media - July 2014 - (Page 34)

VENDOR SPOTLIGHT The Dartmouth Group Partnering With Trustees to Provide Full-Service Property Management by Pamela Schweppe T hat Aesop knew what he was doing. The genius of his fables was their ability to tell a story that illustrated a larger truth. The same might be said of The Dartmouth Group's success at The Green at Shrewsbury, which tells the story of how a management company working in partnership with a board of trustees can really turn a property around. The board began interviewing property management companies who would do just that. Among the firms they approached was The Dartmouth Group. Founded in 1987 by Robert McBride, who still serves as CEO, The Dartmouth Group is a full-service property management company specializing in condominium/residential communities. Headquartered in Bedford, Mass., the company today manages roughly 80 as- Turning Over a New Financial Leaf The first issue to be tackled was the property's financial picture. It wasn't a pretty one. A pair of loans topping out at close to seven figures was draining the capital reserve fund, and the previous board had adopted a pattern of imposing a special assessment every year, in addition to high monthly fees. "Our No. 1 priority was understanding our expenses and getting The Backstory in place a very firm and, in my Located in the central opinion, conservative budgetMassachusetts town of ing process, so we wouldn't Shrewsbury, The Green at have to go back to 378 unit Shrewsbury faced enorowners and ask for more mous challenges back in money," Rocheleau says. the early days of this cen"The first thing we had to tury. The property consists do was match the needs of of 378 residential units the property with a realistic housed in 35 buildings, as financial plan that the unit well as common areas that owners would also accept," include a clubhouse, pool, agrees Jim Stento, The and fitness center. Dartmouth Group's senior A 10-year member of vice president and controller. the board, Dave Roche"Management and the board leau recalls that "there have to agree on goals and New awnings, new paving throughout the complex, and a totally refurbished pool are just were some pretty onerous deadlines and make decisions. a few of the improvements The Dartmouth Group has achieved, working in partnership with the board of The Green at Shrewsbury. challenges we faced" when That doesn't always happen, his board assumed the but this is one where things reins. Among these were an enormous sociations, representing more than 9,000 really all clicked." debt, staffing issues, and a tremendous units, throughout the greater Boston First came a review of all the operatamount of deferred maintenance on area, from the New Hampshire border ing costs within the budget - line item a 40-year-old complex that was, as he to Cape Cod and Rhode Island, and by line item. "This is a large property puts it, "nearing the end of life on some west to Gardner, Mass. Employing about with a large budget, and if you can recritical components," including building 100 full-time staff plus seasonal employally hone in on the expense line items, exteriors, parking facilities, and general ees, the company is well equipped to you can do a lot of good for the owninfrastructure. "We had and continue to handle the full gamut of issues confront- ers and for the board," Stento says. have a good board," he says. "We just ing condominium associations. Units at The Green at Shrewsbury needed a partner who would look at the In 2006, they were retained by The are not individually metered, so gas challenges we faced and work with us to Green at Shrewsbury, who put them to used for heat and cooking is part of address them." the test. the overall budget. Not surprisingly, 34 Condo Media * Advertisement

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - July 2014

Condo Media - July 2014
Table of Contents
From the CED’s Desk
President’s Message
CAI News
CAI Regional News
Asked & Answered
Homeowner’s Corner
Looking for Alternatives
Vendor Spotlight
Volunteer Spotlight
2014 CAI-NE Financ-Reserves Directory
Classified Service Directory
Advertisers Index

Condo Media - July 2014