- January 21, 2015
- Posted by: @dmin
- Category: Condo Property Management Services
Real estate is a lucrative industry, attracting many novice investors, landlords, and property management companies in Toronto. The latest figures from 2012 reinforce this fact: the rental, leasing, and property management sector generated almost $86 billion in operating revenue in Canada for that year, and 39.1% of that came from Ontario alone.
With all of the potential that the property management sector has to offer, many companies spring up overnight, claiming to offer exceptional service to condo owners and their boards. Unfortunately, many of these companies are inexperienced, and do not have the knowledge or resources to serve clients effectively.
Aside from simple inexperience, some property managers use the Condominium Act as a shield. These managers take advantage of the weak protections afforded to consumers under the act, despite the fact that their purportedly compliant activities still resulted in resident disputes and dissatisfaction.
These weak protections often mean that residents have to resort to litigation in order to get their concerns addressed, even though they may be suffering from immediate problems that impact the quality of life they have in their homes. Litigation can take months or years, during which residents often have to deal with undesirable conditions that can make living in their condos difficult or intolerable.
New legislation is now in the works that could change these situations, establishing a review board and licensing requirements for condominium management companies in Toronto. For some companies, this is undesirable, as it will force them to set a higher standard for customer service and could increase operating costs. For other companies who already follow best practices in the industry, including ongoing education for all property managers, as well as transparent operations and exceptional customer service practices, the licensing requirement will pose little problem.
ICC® has been one of the top condo property management companies in Toronto, having been in business for more than two decades. We have even retained our very first client, managing their property for over 25+ years now. Our success in the property management field can be linked to a few key qualities and values to which we adhere.
One of the few rights afforded under the Condominium Act in Ontario is the right for owners to access condo records. The only limitations on this are personal documents of other residents and employees, and documents related to ongoing litigation.
Unfortunately, up to 33% of the complaints condo owners have about their property management in Torontohave to do with being denied this right, or being charged an excessive fee. While some copying fees may be reasonable, condo owners should always have access to records when they provide a written request for them within a reasonable timeframe.
ICC® is always transparent with condo owners, and we provide clear directions and timelines for individuals wanting to view a condo building’s records. Our processes ensure that owners have access to records as quickly as possible, so that they can understand their buildings’ finances and have a clear idea of the budget, plans, and expenses impacting their homes.
Aside from transparency, the most frequent complaint made by residents about condominium management in Toronto is failure to communicate. Residents often feel powerless when changes occur or spending is approved by the board without their knowledge.
The difference that a skilled property manager like ICC® can make in situations like these is our emphasis on keeping residents involved and informed. Rather than only catering to the board, we make sure residents have all of the information at their fingertips, whether that means communicating through a management communication software like Condo Control Central which ICC® has rolled out in all of its condominiums. Maintaining a community website or providing a regular newsletters also helps to promote transparency through communication.
These best practices may seem obvious, but many residents and boards have been operating without them, tolerating unsatisfactory property management in Toronto for far too long. In an effort to inform people in the GTA of what good property management includes, ICC® has published a comprehensive eBook containing details about what a good condo manager should do. We invite you to download it and take a look, and to contact us to discuss in-depth what the ICC® difference is.
3) Resident-Focused Service.
It is important for a property manager to serve the board effectively, and for both the board and the property manager to be on the same page regarding rules, regulations, and enforcement measures. That said, all too often property managers focus solely on satisfying board members at the expense of true resident satisfaction.
While the task may seem daunting – after all, nearly 500,000 of the last 1.2 million new homes built in Toronto have been condominium units – resident satisfaction is the key to the success of any community. That is why ICC® provides beneficial services geared specifically to helping residents get the most use and enjoyment out of their condos.
One of the practices we employ is having an emergency hotline active 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. When after-hours emergencies happen, like water leaks or problems with heating and air, this hotline is immediately available so residents can get assistance from their property management company in Toronto right away.
As property management continues to grow with the constant new development taking place in the Greater Toronto Area, ICC® continues to offer a high level of service to condo residents and boards. Our experience, knowledge, and care are demonstrated in the way we operate each of our properties, giving residents and boards the quality of living they deserve.
Whether you are part of a large high rise community or a smaller group of townhomes, ICC® can help your development thrive. Contact us to learn more about what we have to offer and the services we can provide, and get ready to experience the ICC® difference.