Our property management team helps build stronger communities by listening to owners and working with condo boards to help them achieve their objectives.
Communication, coaching and caring are the three pillars of our success, most companies don’t take the time to teach and mentor the condo boards–those owners are a valuable resource; volunteers with a vested interest in the success of their community, so listen to them, and help them get involved!
Tell us about yourself?
I’ve never stopped dealing with people and communicating with them at whatever level is required to be effective. In my first career, I spent 25 years in retail as a manager and an owner of mostly furniture stores. During that time I gained a really good understanding of human behaviour.
After that, I got into real estate as an investor, and as a landlord. What I learned in my first career helped me become very successful in that field. I became good at vetting tenants, and opened up a service to help people with that. It still exists today. I also sat on boards of directors of the condos that I owned, sometimes as their leader, and saw first hand that there were only a handful of caring property managers serving the small condo communities in my area.
These communities were mostly small townhouse condos and therefore didn’t have the budgets to pay the exorbitant rates that high rise condos with elevators and underground parking paid. To save money, some of these corporations were using unlicensed property managers and at that time, new laws were being introduced to make those managers have to go back to school to get the proper credentials in order to work.
The problem was, most of those managers were ready to retire anyway. So I saw an opportunity, and took the time required to get those credentials myself, and by partnering up with others who already had been licensed with many more years of experience than I had, I was able to start a property management company that could fill the needs of the owners of these smaller communities, and build the reputation that we were property managers who listened and cared. Because we did. And still do today.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Things that you thought were good ideas and were scared to do and didn’t do would have worked out, and hey, eventually you did do those things, so don’t be afraid to not wait: venture into new waters now and tread new paths that haven’t been trod before, you’ll be fine, your family will be fine, you don’t have to be afraid.
What problem does your business solve?
We solve the question of “who will best look after our condominium corporation?” We can’t be everything to everyone and we’ve chosen to specialize in small and medium sized low rise and townhouse condominiums. We have caring communicative property managers who will take care of all the management details, while coaching boards and owners so they better understand all the processes that are required in this kind of community.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Condo owners. I was inspired because by being an owner of condos. And being on boards.
I still sit on some and I’m president of one. In those capacities I’ve dealt with property managers who’s companies didn’t provide them adequate time and resources to properly look after the client. I’ve felt their frustration. I also want to help property managers do the jobs they are so well trained to do. We give them the time and resources to do it and we choose our team wisely.
What is your magic sauce?
We focus on an under-served market. There is so much room for improvement, just by showing up to a meeting on time and coming through on a what we say we’re going to do, we’re already ahead of much of the competition. If expectations are that low in the industry, a company with people like ours who go the extra mile will excel.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We’d like to expand our model and partner with more amazing property managers and continue to help more communities. We’d like to expand beyond Ontario and even beyond Canada. There are great communities all over that have it even worse that we do, and we’d like to find them and help them too.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
There was one point in our infancy where we had to say no to helping a community because we didn’t want to lower our level of service by spreading our management team too thin. This was particularly difficult because I happened to already be involved with that community and I believe they thought I would be their new property manager.
At that time we felt it was best to not help this community based on their size and our staffing abilities. Today I still sit on their corporation’s board of directors and I remember that I was involved in the vetting process of the Management company we did go with, and today, if there was a need to change management, we would have no problem serving their needs, but at the time that difficult decision was the right one, and I’m pleased to say it did work out.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
By showing up on time. By picking up the phone when it rings. By being kind, logical and not sugar coating things. By facing challenges without procrastination and by using common sense. Life can be tough at times and we can all learn from the difficult things that we sometimes go through.
By surrounding yourself with and by being a person who exhibits tolerance, acceptance and is someone who puts people and their families first. If you are and do those things, you’ll always have a clear conscience and a mind available to work on the task at hand, rather than being someone who just sits around wondering “did I make the right decision……”