Top 2 practices to profit from Toronto’s $85.7 billion real estate industry

The real estate and rental industries generated $85.7 billion in total operating revenues in 2012 alone, highlighting how lucrative this industry really is. Establishing the best practices to keep this industry growing is beneficial not only for property owners but for Toronto property managers as well.

For property owners, often one of the most challenging tasks is dealing with a condominium or building’s board of directors. The lack of communication between board members and private property managers often poses a challenge, preventing both parties with the ability to serve their tenants as well as they should. Therefore, transparency and efficient record management are often difficulties landlords and property owners face when it comes to managing their property. In this case, it is often beneficial to turn to property management companies in Toronto.

Two main areas of focus for successful property management:

 1) Transparency:

In order to maintain open communication and trust between property managers and the board of directors, transparency needs to be established. There is a vital need for financial transparency and open communication between board members and property management companies.

This can be established as long as property managers respond quickly and effectively to any legitimate concerns posed by the board. As long as you are able to clearly outline all the costs associated with maintaining the property or the use of any outside contractors along with a proper timeline, your board of directors and tenants will be satisfied. Keeping those timelines are of the utmost importance to build trust.

 How do I reinforce financial transparency?

Communicate with your board of directors and answer any questions they may have. If asked for invoices, provide them with documentation to avoid any confusion. This is a two-way street as board members must be transparent with stakeholders or the tenants.

As long as management fees are the only revenue collected by your Toronto property management team, your board knows to trust you. Beyond any doubt, establishing a transparent process where another expenditure is shared with the board will clear any confusion about spending.

As a board, making your meeting minutes accessible to tenants helps you clearly communicate your activities to tenants. This will keep board members and unit members in the loop about what is going on at the property, so they are satisfied with high-quality services and value for their money. This level of communication can be easily established on management communication software, such as Condo Control Central, used by ICC®. The use of such software encourages the condo’s board of directors to communicate clearly with tenants, thus ensuring all parties involved in the process are satisfied.

 2) Record Management:

Another key task property owners are unable to efficiently attend to is record keeping, which is a fundamental activity in property management. Without clear records, there can be no accountability. Records provide a reliable, verifiable source of evidence of decisions and actions. They document compliance or non-compliance with laws, rules, and procedures.

Therefore, any discrepancy in record keeping can result in poor management. It may be in your best interest to allow Toronto property management teams to develop a record management plan. In case of any miscommunication or lack of accountability, records and keeping track of invoices,

 How do I improve my record keeping habits?

In the case of property management, ensuring that you have a system in place to record invoices, transactions and communication with tenants and board members is extremely important for both financial and legal reasons. Poor management of these records will cause you a headache later on in the management process. Regardless of whether a tenant is current or old, or a condo building or property is one you may not be managing any longer, hanging on to certain documents helps.

 What kind of documents should I hang on to?

  • Personnel
  • Tenants
  • Property-related information (both your properties and your clients)
  • Financial Transactions
  • Insurance
  • Legal documents
  • Audit documents

Establish a records retention schedule to determine how long you will need to hang onto each document for, regardless of the media type (hardcopy or electronic). How long you retain a document depends on the nature of the document: whether it is legal, regulatory and operational requirements. While meeting minutes might be a document you store for one year, holding onto transactions with tenants and financial transactions can provide useful for three years or more. By establishing a timeline for how long documents should be kept, you ensure an organized approach towards document retention.

These practices can help you overcome the two easiest poor management habits exhibited by property managers. High-rise apartments represent more than half of condominiums in Toronto (67.4%), reinforcing the condo boom in Toronto. This only means that as property development rises, so will the demand to manage these properties. Therefore, to benefit from this lucrative market, Toronto property management must ensure resident satisfaction through all of its practices. If you are unable to manage your properties with a focus on transparency and efficient record management, contact ICC®. ICC® services provide beneficial services geared specifically to helping residents get the most use and enjoyment out of their condos, while maintaining transparency and clarity in terms of our management practices.


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