It is a well-known fact that the majority of co-ownership buildings in the province of Quebec suffer from a chronic maintenance deficiency. Sad consequence for co-owners who did not involve themselves sufficiently in their investment, as a result, they must reach for their wallets more and more often. In the end, the lack of interest in management invariably affects the resale value of all the units in a neglected building. All is not lost! Co-owners looking to improve the value of their investment can take advantage of such a context; here is some advice that should help you make it worth your while.
Management is a science
Management of a co-ownership building comprising many units can be compared to managing a company worth several million dollars. Nothing to do with the management of a house! Such a responsibility requires experience and expertise. Needed are financial and legal aptitudes over and above having skills in building techniques, insurance, contract negotiation, communication, project management, etc. One must also master and apply management functions, planning, direction, coordination and control. Poor management will put you at a disadvantage and will affect the value of your unit.
Rely on a professional
No matter the size of your co-ownership, do not hesitate to seek the advice and call upon a chartered building manager specialized in co-ownership to be well-supported. Before taking a decision on the choice of a building manager, remember this golden rule; if you are offered cheap services, they are not worth the paper they are written on. A professional building manager specialized in co-ownership supported by a multidisciplinary team, should ask more than $85 an hour for his services. In many buildings, the janitor is better paid than the building manager of the property, that is a complete nonsense. Trying to save money by not allocating sufficient resources for the establishment of sound management should never be a goal, you will always lose in the end.
Take advantage of this weakness
Our experience of the market lends us to believe that co-ownerships that suffer from a lack of maintenance have difficulty in installing control processes due to remote management which has become the norm over time. To be present in the building to receive and check the suppliers’ and the employees’ work is crucial. Be present, if it is impossible, ask for help. Without a presence on site, you can rest assured that repair and construction work will always cost you more and that you might have to have the work redone several times. Do not forget the proverb; out of sight, out of mind.
In the current economic context, you have to work hard to access co-ownership. Yet, you only need to attend one annual meeting of co-owners in your life to observe the flagrant lack of interest of a large majority of co-owners for the management of their main asset. Without fail, at the end of the meeting, when it is time to name volunteer directors to protect common property, a total silence suddenly falls on the room. This lack of involvement forces the directors, often tired after having contributed significantly, to be named repeatedly to this thankless but oh so important function.
Through the wringer
It would be a serious mistake to think that adopting a casual attitude by letting things flow thinking that your condo will increase in value without your involvement. The condominium market is consolidating and buyers are better informed. Poorly managed buildings are passing through the financial wringer and this will only increase. The quality of management is becoming the ultimate element of value creation. There’s a great deal at stake, get involved and protect your investment. Do not hesitate to contact me for discussion.
Jean-Francois.Lavigne@ellix.ca / 514-937-2911 ext 100