Learn How to Transition from One Property Manager to Another

Sooner or later, most community associations face staff changes. If your community has a great manager, you probably want them to stay forever. But how realistic is that?  

If your beloved property manager is ambitious and high-performing, they may seek growth opportunities within a company that prides itself on training and upward mobility or may be promoted and assigned to a different location.  

This can be unsettling for board members and residents alike — change brings challenge! However, if your management company has a proven process that internally transfers property manager duties with ease, it doesn't have to be.  

Avoid Losing Information

Switching managers can pose a lot of questions: How long will it take our new manager to get up to speed? Who do residents contact in the interim? How will finances and records be maintained? Who will oversee ongoing activities and capital improvement projects?  

Although board members often view a manager transition as a strike against their management company, transitioning manager duties are common occurrences within the industry. 

That doesn't have to be the case, says Stephanie Parker, vice president of operations at FirstService Residential. "Board members see the value of their management company through their manager," Parker explains. "Of course, the relationship with their manager is a key piece. But the broader support that both your manager and your community get from the company is just as, if not more, important."   

A regional director who works closely with your manager will also have a relationship with the board and works closely with the management company’s client accounting, technology, administrative and customer care departments. This means they are very familiar with your community’s needs and projects while your new manager gets settled in. That's the "dream team" approach!  They understand those relationships nuances of the community. 

A leading property management company should also provide your community with answers and peace of mind during this transition process. A strong support system should include: 

  • Community accounting team 
  • Community support teams 
  • RD, operations team 
  • Client accounting team 
  • Specialized admin team 
  • 24/7 Customer Care Center team

To learn more about the value of a management team approach, see our guide, Dream Team: The Key to Exceptional Service. 

A company can also make it easier for management teams to communicate by using a secure technology platform to centralize residents’ accounts and financial information. This way, even when your current manager isn't available, you will have a team of equally informed associates at your service to keep your community running smoothly and efficiently. 

How to Hire the Right People

When you need a new manager, your property management company can teach you how to transition from one property manager to another by finding the best candidate suited for your community’s specific needs. It's all about having a "dream team" led by the regional director, backed by trained experts and supported by its management company’s resources.  

When the regional director stays aligned from beginning to end, they truly understand your community's expectations and personality. They can also match you with the ideal manager.  

Great property management companies have consistent onboarding procedures for managers, extensive resources to train and develop their skills and a communications strategy to alert residents, vendors and other stakeholders. Training resources, such as online courses, hands-on training and mentorship programs are advantageous for managers to familiarize themselves with the company and gain extensive knowledge and insight from experts in their position.  This method alone can reduce community disruption and ensure you receive the same level of exceptional service no matter who you trust as your manager. 

Ensure Effective Communication

Effective communication is essential especially when staff transition is in full swing. An effective property management company should keep you in the loop throughout the process. It’s important to advise your community on staff changes through mass communication channels. Keeping your community updated through various platforms ensures a better chance of the message reaching residents. During this time, providing a virtual meet and greet for residents to meet their new manager is a great way to get them acquainted. Utilize these channels to communicate the staff transition process from start to finish. 

  • Community website or Message Board 
  • Text Message 
  • Email 
  • Virtual Events 

When your association is searching for a new manager, the transition of property management roles and responsibilities lay the groundwork for the future success of your community and the ongoing relationship with your management company. Change happens, but when handled properly, it can be a welcomed opportunity that revives residents' energy and builds a new sense of purpose that will benefit your entire community. Hiring a new manager with the right expertise, skill and knowledge set can positively influencer your community. It’s important to remember that a fresh perspective can also bring a lot of value to your community and residents.  

Thursday November 05, 2020