1. Non-competitive Projects Bids
For new projects, are your condominium managers bringing you at least one quote from someone they haven’t worked with before? Are the companies they are getting quotes from appropriate for the size of the job, your condo or their company?
Suggestion: Make sure you are getting suitable quotes that are appropriate for your building and job. Including one contractor the manager hasn’t worked with before increases the likelihood of finding a contractor that will match the job (and not just the condo management company).
2. Bad Contract Negotiation
Does your manager get a spec list of what the board wants before going to get the quotes?
Are they able to predict issues prior to those expensive change orders coming in?
Suggestion: A condominium manager with project management experience will map out the job from start to finish and ensure the quote matches the requirements.
3. Charging for Stamps, Faxes, Envelopes, After Hours Calls, etc.
These seem minor, but they add up quick. If you have $100/mo extra why not use it as a base fee. You aren’t going to audit a company to see how many faxes they sent, so why pay for it and not know?
Suggestion: Don’t pay for what you can’t anticipate, and can’t verify. Better to get an inclusive fee that you feel is reasonable, or include limits on extras in your contract.
4. Letting Contractors Get Away with Murder
Does the condominium manager call to check if you are happy with the work before paying the contractor? Your final OK and test of the finished project is very important. You use the end result, so you should be sure it is what you want before the contractors get paid.
Suggestion: Verify the work on large projects before payment is sent.
5. Not Knowing Your Building
You can’t order and verify work on a building you don’t know inside and out! Does your condominium manager know what type of piping and structure your condominium was built with? Do they know the implications of dealing with that building? You can’t get a detailed scope of work if you don’t know what tools you are working with. Please check out our article about using your condo drawings to save money.
Suggestion: Quiz your manager on what they know of your building. See if they ask for a tour before quoting the contract.
..and there is more, just call and ask us!