This change of propert management firms occurs more than you expect because some boards may decide to switch residential property management instead of accepting less than complete satisfaction. Many times, the change coincides with a new board election or the retirement of a preferred property manager. This change makes sense only if a better fit happens with a different real estate management firm.
If the board is thinking about changing managers or management firms, the board should make a pros and cons list. In addition, the board should communicate with the current property management company to look for a solution. If no solution can be reached, the board should look at no more than three companies and should narrow down to two management firms. The board should plan each company’s presentation for separate board meetings.
A professional property management firm enforces the house rules and affects the residents’ daily life. Changing firms can disrupt continuity and continuous change does not reflect well on a board. A new board can want change but be mindful of the timing. It comes down to trust and if there is a loss of trust, the board will want to replace the property manager.
If the board has agreed to switch firms, everything needs to be planned. The existing contract needs to be reviewed and the new firms need to be researched.
Once the board decides on the new apartment property management firm, the existing firm needs to be notified and the files and information get transferred. This process should be fairly fast due to technology and most records being electronic.
After the new firm takes over, the vendors and shareholders need to be informed. The vendors want to get paid and will send the bills to someone else. Residents may have an opportunity to give an opinion but the final decision rest with the board.
After gaining a new property, the real property management firm will work closely with the board to determine short and long term goals and priorities, review policies, do a walk-through and ask the board for a specific wish list. Some firms will use a summary transition list to see where the biggest changes can be made in order to save money.
Most professional property management companies agree that when faced with changing a firm, it is crucial for the board to be very hands on and pay close attention to details, consult with legal and accounting professionals and to check references.