Building Management Hawaii February/March 2014 - (Page 42)

On Site Men At Work Where does the resident manager fit in? At BMH, we know that managing property in Hawaii isn't easy. For that reason, we've dedicated this page to you! We invite you, and your peers, to use this page as a forum to address common problems and share insights-helping you do your job even better. In this issue, we call on the expertise of Reginald Eubanks, the association manager for Seventeen Seventeen Ala Wai. He is an Accredited Residential Manager® and holds a Master of Business Administration degree. 1717 Ala Wai is currently undergoing concrete spalling and drain waste piping repairs with an estimated cost of $19.6M. Reginald Eubanks Associations are taking proactive measures to repair aging infrastructure across the Islands, which is creating quite a stir in numerous communities. This trend is affecting everyone, including residents, real estate agents and neighboring buildings or communities. Therefore, a resident manager's (RM) ability to find resolution amidst the turmoil that construction creates is essential. Commonly, by the time the project crews show up, months or even years of planning have already been invested in the job. The process can be slowed down by many factors, including costs, financing options and required association majority votes. So, by the time construction actually begins, homeowners and residents may feel frustrated, confused and deeply worried. A good project manager (PM) can help the association's board of directors and managing agent work through these initial challenges, but the PM's role is mainly geared toward being the owner's representative during the pre-construction and construction phases. During these phases the PM coordinates with the RM for resident notifications, contractor mobilization areas, parking issues and contractor utility access. Skilled negotiating tactics maybe required to reach an agreement with the contractor on each of these issues. For most RM's, there is so much more to deal with than meets the eye once construction is underway. Logistical concerns by far top the 42 February-March 2014 BMH list of issues. For instance, when the construction contractor wants to temporarily close a road but does not provide the manpower to redirect traffic and prevent an accident. The burden of fixing the problem in a situation like this is usually left to the RM, with little notice sometimes. Looking residents in the eye and telling them they must park offsite for 4 to 6 months, or stay off their lanai for 30 days, is a challenge for any RM. ~ Reginald Eubanks Another example is when the construction schedule is inaccurate or the contractor simply fails to follow it, causing homeowner communication to become unreliable and untrustworthy. This situation, while not the RM's fault, becomes a nightmare because some owners and residents will view everyone associated with the project as incompetent. The examples of daily construction problems are endless but remedies exist for most logistical and communication challenges. A possible solution is for RMs to develop an internal action plan for the onsite staff to deal with contractor related issues such as construction site safety, elevator usage, worker behavior and site cleanup. The RM should also have a plan to deal with disgruntled homeowners and residents, real estate agents, prospective buyers and neighbors who have numerous questions or concerns about the project. Additional bulletin boards, interactive displays, newsletters and websites that are dedicated to construction information are tremendous resources. The written word is a powerful tool but it can lead to more questions and confusion if the notices/articles are unclear. If the budget allows, some associations hire or dedicate a staff member to assist with the massive amount of homeowner and resident construction concerns and coordinate with the project manager. The staff member also attends weekly coordination meetings with the PM, owner and contractor representatives to resolve problems before they start. Looking residents in the eye and telling them they must park offsite for 4 to 6 months or stay off their lanai for 30 days is a challenge for any RM, but with enough notice, a solid plan (and tough skin), you can prevail. An RM's experience with dealing with construction challenges brings value and expertise to an association. So the next time someone asks, "Who is responsible for construction site security, traffic control, parking issues, rubbish disposal, information dissemination, conflict resolution, swimming pool closures, damages and all other issues related to construction?" Tell them to visit the RM's office for details.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Management Hawaii February/March 2014

Engineered Efficiency: A Holistic Approach
Why Host An EV Charger
The New Age Of Energy Metering
Are You On Island Time?
Time To Stay Cool
Through The Tinted-Glass, And What Savings You’ll Find There
Managing Off-Site
Safe & Secure
HVAC: Top Trends
An Industry Unites At Expo 2014
The (Often Overlooked) Success Factor
On Site: Men At Work

Building Management Hawaii February/March 2014