New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



How to Choose a Manager Who Meets Your Needs

The Challenge

Villas on the Bay is a 42-unit condominium located in East Moriches, Long Island. The Villas board was concerned about upcoming projects, so they called Fairfield to discuss management services. They had heard great things about Fairfield from several sources, although Fairfield’s fee was higher. They had major projects pending and needed additional funds.

The Solution

The first thing we did was to competitively bid Villas’ insurance with Traci Ann Schiano from Fairfield Community Coverage. Within the first month of working for Villas, Fairfield had saved the condo $20,000 and increased its coverage, which more than offset the difference in management fees. Following that, we helped with their construction projects, which included complete refurbishing of four buildings as well as a total overhaul of the pool.
Our property manager, Harry Seid, walked the board through all the steps necessary for a project of this magnitude – preparing the project budget, interpreting the engineer’s reports, drawing up contracts and overseeing the day-to-day activity. Villas’ board chose to use Ralph Cusano from Fairfield Mortgage Company to arrange financing for the project. As the work moved forward, Harry communicated every day with the engineer and contractor. He kept the board and management well informed. The information was then shared with unit-owners, and it helped quiet any concerns. The project was successfully brought to completion.

The Lesson

Boards should not be penny-wise and dollar-foolish. When they’re considering management companies, they need to look at the whole picture: what services, what buying power, what resources the company has, and how the company will bring all that to bear in the management of their property. Management is just one line on your budget, but the job of management is to positively affect every other line on your budget. Fairfield’s combined services often result in management that pays for itself.

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