Effective property management requires many skills. From the ability to mediate disputes to the keen attention to detail needed to keep records and files straight, certain qualities are a must when it comes to being a good property manager.

The same is true of your tools and technology; condominium management in Toronto is a multi-faceted industry, and you need the right tools, technology, systems, and processes to be able to manage properties effectively. Here are some of the top recommendations that we have at ICC® Property Management.

1) Integrated Security Solutions

Top Property Managers in TorontoMany people choose to live in condo communities for safety reasons. Condos can be very safe places to live, due to the presence of on-duty security guards, having neighbours nearby in case of a problem, and having added security in communal places, like cameras in the hallways and elevators.

The concern with safety may seem exaggerated to some property managers in Toronto, as the city is one of the safest in the world, but crime still occurs, as it does in most large cities. From the 2012 annual report, the last year for which data is available:

  • Almost 155,000 crimes were committed in Toronto for the year.
  • Approximately 92,000 of the crimes reported involved property, as opposed to crimes against the person.
  • Breaking and entering statistics were as follows:
    • 5,166 house break-ins
    • 2,912 apartment break-ins
    • 2,861 business break-ins

It is clear that multi-family, communal living arrangements tend to be safer, and a good property management company can make it even better. You can hire qualified security guards to monitor the premises, and ensure that all security systems are easy for the appropriate people to access and manage while keeping out unwanted intruders or hackers.

Having integrated security solutions is a way for you to monitor each property carefully while having all data readily available to you in case of an incident. We suggest working with experienced professionals to find the security solutions that work best for your properties, and for your overall book of business.

2) Affiliation with the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario (ACMO)

In addition to the tools you need for the day-to-day management of properties, you also need systems and processes for staying up-to-date on the latest news in the world of condominium management in Toronto. This includes regular training and continuing education, to ensure you are following industry-wide best practices.

ACMO offers this training, and provides guidelines for condo managers to follow in delivering services to owners and residents. They also offer certification processes for both individuals and condo management companies, including the Registered Condominium Manager (RCM) designation and the ACMO 2000 program. These are trusted industry designations that show clients the property managers commitment to quality.

With the opportunities for networking and education and the industry knowledge you can obtain just by being part of ACMO, it can quickly become one of the best tools you have available in becoming a skilled, highly qualified condo manager.

3) Comprehensive Software Suite

pcManaging a property involves a number of moving parts. You often have many irons in the fire, including collecting fees from owners, paying vendors, handling resident questions and complaints, ensuring maintenance and repairs are being completed in a timely manner, and a variety of other major and minor tasks.

The best way to handle these items is often to have an integrated software package specifically designed for property managers. These packages can help you track finances more easily, maintain your schedule, and stay on top of maintenance and repair needs. Many pieces of software also come with synchronized apps that can be installed on tablets and smartphones, so you can handle many transactions even if you are on-site or travelling.

Do you have a particular software suite that you use? Tell us about it in the comments and what functions and features you find the most helpful.

4) Reliable Phone System

While this may seem like a fairly basic, routine item that every office should have, it is surprising how many businesses in a wide variety of industries put little value on a good phone system.

With 30 wireless service providers offering products in Canada, and coverage of more than 99% of the Canadian population, it is possible to find a solid telephone provider. It is important not to select a provider simply on the basis of budgeting, as this is one area where property managers simply should not cut costs.

The reason for this is that, despite the extensive use of text messages and email, a phone call is still the best way for many people to reach you, especially in the case of a building emergency. At ICC®, we have a 24/7 emergency number available to residents at all times, so that we are always standing by in the event of a problem.

5) Effective Vendor Management Structure

Hand-in-hand with a reliable communication system is the need for a good selection of vendors, who are readily available, fairly priced, and trustworthy. From cleaning crews to a skilled plumber, as well as electricians, energy providers, and the various other skilled trades it takes to keep a building in good working condition, it is essential to have these people right at hand in the event you need them.

By managing your contacts effectively, you can always deliver good service to your owners and residents, and save them money in the long run through your well-established relationships.

What other tools do you think are important in effective property management? Do you already follow some of these best practices? Then you may be an ideal fit for joining the top condo management firm in Toronto. Contact us at ICC®. We are always looking for talented property managers to join our team.

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