Long-Term Planning Is Essential for Co-ops and Condos

Many co-ops and condos take a narrow approach to long-term planning in an effort to keep a lid on maintenance or common charges, says Ira Meister, president and CEO Matthew Adam Properties, a leading New York property management firm.

“Boards fail to maintain adequate reserve funds and delay or give short shrift to preventive maintenance and neglect making repairs when necessary, or doing just the minimum,” Meister says. 

Boards often smaller ignore repairs resulting in much bigger repairs in the future

He believes this approach can cause the slow deterioration of a property and create more expensive major repairs down the road. When that occurs, the reserve fund is usually too small and a major assessment or significant double-digit increase in monthly charges is necessary.

“This situation can be avoided if the property is forward thinking and develops a long-term capital improvement plan,” Meister says. “In most cases, this is a five-year program that identifies projects that will be required, prioritizes them and identifies funding sources. In fact, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has recommended that co-ops and condos include information on the useful life and replacement costs of the building’s infrastructure in financial statements.”

The property manager and team must coordinate to create a long-term plan of repairs and projects.

Preparing a long-term plan requires the coordinated efforts of the property manager, an accountant, the superintendent or resident manager and an engineer. The first step is gathering as much information about the physical plant and systems as possible. Effective superintendents know their building and can pinpoint areas that would require work; in many instances, small matters that could lead to larger projects unless attended to. The engineer would perform a complete inspection of the building including the exterior, the roof, public areas, and systems such as the boiler, HVAC if the building has central heating and cooling, etc. Once this information is gathered, the team needs to prioritize the work based on need and spreading out the cost over a period to lessen the impact in any given year.

Once projects are identified and a cost estimate is determined, the accountant working with the property manager and the board can determine a financing plan. .

“Sound planning with an eye to the future and making the most of the opportunity find improved ways of providing services not only keeps costs down for shareholders and unit-owners, but makes the building more desirable and increases the value of apartments.” Meister says.

Important Tips Every Property Manager Should Know

Many individuals refrain from purchasing property even if they are in a healthy financial position to do so simply because they are not confident that they can manage the property effectively. Property management in NYC will require individuals to incur some expenses, but delaying maintenance or hiring unprofessional services will ensure that these expenses rise significantly. A property that has a poor maintenance history will be extremely difficult to sell on the market. There are some important things to keep in mind when dealing with the realty market.


Keep yourself informed about everything

As a property manager, it is your responsibility to educate yourself on the various laws and regulations that your property is subject to. You will also need to keep yourself up to date with any changes in property legislation that may affect your own property. Identify and update all the legal documentation required to prove ownership and sell your property.

Other things to keep in mind

Create systems and procedures for maintenance so that you can measure progress effectively and quickly identify deficiencies and faults in your property.

Be honest to your clients and give them a full history of the property when trying to sell. Your reputation in the market may depend on this.

Create a routine and stick to it. This not only ensures that you use your time in the best way, but will ensure that all tasks will eventually become like muscle memory.

Keep a proper track of all documentation, even if it extremely unimportant. It is often difficult to anticipate when a document may be required and for what.

Top 5 iPhone and iPad Apps for Property Managers

With the increasing competition in the real estate market as well as the ever-escalating prices in NYC, it is important to stay on top of the changing trends. One easy way to keep abreast with the latest developments as a property manager is to use to the right apps. If you are using an iPhone or iPad to carry out everyday tasks for work, installing a few free apps can go a long way in ensuring that you stay ahead of the curve.


Free real estate apps for your Apple device

One of the most popular apps designed for an iPad or iPhone is called Homesnap Real Estate. With this app, you can find everything you need to know about a property by clicking a picture. Scan the image through the app you can download the current value as well the price of the last sale. You can also get essential information including number of bathrooms, bedrooms, locality, schools etc.  If you are interested in local real estate, you can try Smarter Agent’s Real Estate app that helps you enhance your search for residential property. It offers information with 40 POIs including local establishments, ATMs, entertainment and restaurants.


Get all necessary information with a single image

Property Capsule is an app designed to create a commercial property portfolio in cities like NYC with a few easy clicks. You can present your commercial portfolio in real time to potential tenants with your Apple device. Cartavi is another simple app that allows real estate professionals and property managers to share and manage essential documents through their iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. You can also try other Apple apps like MagicPlan, Happy Inspector, and Ten Eight 2.0