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Dirty Little Secrets

Five Dirty Little Secrets: What Your Management Company Will Never Tell You – Secret #2

Friday, February 25th, 2011

When choosing a company to manage your Condominium or Home Owners Association, there are several important considerations. But first you need to know the 5 dirty little secrets your management company will never tell you….

#2 “We make money when you use our vendors”

One of the advantages of using a management company to administer and maintain your Association is that they can introduce you to professional and trade service providers such as electricians, plumbers, landscapers, roofers, accountants, engineers and other companies that your Association will need.

Your property management company should provide you with independent, third party service companies; businesses that can be held accountable by the management company and the Board of Directors to provide the highest level of service at competitive rates.

Unfortunately, many vendors are not independent contractors but instead work for the management company…for which some management companies benefit financially. The dirty little secret is that your community is a profit center, and some vendors will “pay” to provide services to your Association.

Some management companies also provide services to your community by pushing their own “in house” service companies on your Association. Often repairs and general maintenance in your community are provided by the management company’s “handy man” or “service technician”, who is allegedly making the repairs at a cost “significantly” below the rate of an outside vendor. Do you believe it? Competition among service vendors produces lower pricing…and when service providers compete for your Association’s business, your community benefits. When there is no competition, you always pay more than you need to.

Sandcastle Community Management has a pure, single focus business plan…we manage Associations. Period. We do not own, operate or have any financial relationship with ANY of the vendors that we work with…and we do not employ any professional or service trades. We are 100% independent of the companies that work at your community. We will not force painters, plumbers, pool companies or handy men on you. The companies that work for your Association are your choice….not ours.

Now you know the 2nd Dirty Little Secret that your management company will never tell you. Stay tuned for Secret #3!

Five Dirty Little Secrets : What Your Management Company Will Never Tell You – Secret #1

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

When choosing a company to manage your Condominium or Home Owners Association, there are several important considerations. But first you need to know the 5 dirty little secrets your management company will never tell you….

Secret # 1: “We are always here to help you…if you can find us”.

Many Condominium and HOA management companies tout their 24/7 availability to their Associations…but what does that really mean? Do they really receive phone calls, no matter the day or hour, and respond to each call?

A management company’s claim of 24/7 availability can mean many things. Most Association Board members know the aggravation of trying to reach their management company during an after-hour emergency, or on weekends and Holidays. Many management companies simply shut down after 5 PM and your Manager is unavailable until Monday morning.

Some management companies utilize a pager system that requires the caller to leave a “voice message” on an answering device. The caller is then left to wonder if their call will be received or answered. If the message was not audible or if an incorrect phone number was provided (which frequently occurs during high stress emergency calls) …the call may never be returned. Often a maintenance employee or administrative individual is assigned to be “on-call”…and tasked with picking up messages from the answering machine when they are “paged”. This individual, whom is seldom a licensed manager and perhaps not familiar with your community, must try and help the caller….if they respond to the call at all. This system was “high tech” in the early 80’s, however not very effective in today’s instant communication world.

At Sandcastle, we believe that when an Association member has a problem, it needs to be responded to now. Fast, effective communication is the key. Sandcastle utilizes a national answering service that quickly and professionally answers every call with a live operator via Sandcastle’s toll-free emergency number. The answering service then immediately dispatches the emergency call to a CAM (Licensed Community Association Manager), not a maintenance tech or other non-qualified individual. The CAM then contacts the Association member to assist with resolving the problem. At Sandcastle, your Association is managed at all times by a licensed professional…day and night. No phone call to the toll-free emergency line ever goes unanswered…this is 24/7 availability and service!

Even non-emergency calls are important to Sandcastle Community Management. Not only do we promise a return call within 1 business day or less for messages left after-hours at our Offices, but Sandcastle also utilizes a digital phone system that automatically forwards each answering machine call to the Manager’s Blackberry…eliminating the need to “call in” to the office to pick up phone messages. Sandcastle also boasts a professional company web site that allows their clients the ability to submit service requests and general inquires 24 hours a day.

In addition, Sandcastle Community Board members have access to their CAM 24/7 via a dedicated cell phone and email…which are NEVER turned off.

Sandcastle Community Management clients are accustomed to a high level of communication and know that they can count on us to always be there to help…24 hours a day, 365 day per year. Call us today to see how your Association can also enjoy this type of communication and service!

The 2nd Secret is coming soon!……