Condo Media - November 2020 - 40

The Region

NEW HAMPSHIRE

The Art of
Managing
the Manager

Expectation, Communication, Preparation
[by Gary M. Daddario, Esq., CCAL]

In this "management" issue of
Condo Media, I suspect there will be
much discussion of the performance of
property managers and the variety of
tasks they undertake. There may also
be discussion of the decision to retain
a property manager. I wish to address a
less popular topic, but one that I believe
is of use to board members and managers - how to manage the manager.
So, you've decided to hire a property
manager and now, in exchange for
compensating them, you no longer need
to worry about the association's affairs,
right? Not quite. Property managers
are agents of the board. Therefore,
they are limited to the authority and
the tasks assigned to them by the board.
For this reason, step one of managing
the manager is, in my opinion, to make
sure the board and the manager have a
clear understanding of the expectations
on each side and the tasks the manager
is expected to perform.
ONGOING AND EFFICIENT
COMMUNICATION
Assuming you've got the first step
down, I believe the next most important

40

CONDOMEDIA November 2020

aspect of the relationship is the ongoing
communication between the board and
property manager. Here, I would caution boards that any property manager
(with the exception of an in-house
employee) has multiple properties
to service. Therefore, effective and
efficient communication will be appreciated by the manager and will make
the manager more useful to the board.
I recommend attempting to establish a
schedule for routine communications
and also for the board to designate a
liaison to the property manager. The
easiest way to waste time and resources
on both sides of the relationship is for
multiple board members to have repetitive discussions about the same issues
with the property manager. Worse yet,
sometimes multiple board members
will express different points of view to
the manager. The board should develop
its strategy for handling a situation and
the assignment it intends to issue to
the manager by the requisite vote of the
board. Thereafter, the liaison should
provide a single communication with
a clear and consistent message to the
manager. This will not only improve ef-

ficiency, but also increase the likelihood
that the task is completed to the board's
satisfaction. After all, it simply isn't fair
or reasonable to expect that a property
manager who receives mixed messages
and conflicting points of view can proceed to tackle an assignment properly.
MEETING PREPARATION
AND COORDINATION
Next, I recommend making the most
of your time together when the board
and property manager meet. For the
manager, this means sending the meeting packet in advance with the relevant
information. In my experience, property managers typically do this. For the
board, this means reviewing the packet
and coming to the meeting prepared for
discussion. Some board members do
this regularly; others can be seen opening their meeting packet at the meeting.
If everyone comes prepared, the stage
is set for success. Other best practices
include having (and following) an
agenda and reasonable time limit and
setting policies for appropriate conduct
for all in attendance (no interrupting,
no shouting, etc.).



Condo Media - November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - November 2020

Contents
Condo Media - November 2020 - Cover1
Condo Media - November 2020 - Cover2
Condo Media - November 2020 - Contents
Condo Media - November 2020 - 2
Condo Media - November 2020 - 3
Condo Media - November 2020 - 4
Condo Media - November 2020 - 5
Condo Media - November 2020 - 6
Condo Media - November 2020 - 7
Condo Media - November 2020 - 8
Condo Media - November 2020 - 9
Condo Media - November 2020 - 10
Condo Media - November 2020 - 11
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Condo Media - November 2020 - 19
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Condo Media - November 2020 - Cover3
Condo Media - November 2020 - Cover4
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