Agent vs. Contractor
- Expect your Managing Agent to be aware of their fiduciary responsibility to the Association and to do what is in the best interest of the Association.
One of the first things to recognize is that the Managing Agent for your Association is most typically not a Contractor. There are distinct legal differences between Agents and Contractors which impact the relationship and the expectations between the Board and its management firm. Unlike a Contractor, an Agent has a fiduciary responsibility to do that which is in the best interest of the Association.
- Expect your Managing Agent to professionally advise your Board on issues within their scope of knowledge and alerting the Board when consulting other professionals is prudent.
Your Managing Agent should be knowledgeable about your governing documents as well as local state laws affecting common interest communities.
- Expect that your Managing Agent and the Board will conduct business in a professional manner.
You should expect that the manager and his firm will be professionally credentialed as an active principle broker in good standing with the Department of Commerce Division of Real Estate for the state of Utah. Expect professional demeanor, appearance and attitude from the management staff.
- Expect your Managing Agent to work with you to develop an annual work plan that provides clear direction to the management team and demonstrates strong leadership to the community.
The Board of Directors and the Managing Agent represent the leadership of the community. See the big picture and lead with a strategic plan! Planning. This process also includes a comprehensive and detailed “Reserve Study”. This is not only helpful for future budget planning; it is also a new state law here in Utah.
- Expect your Managing Agent to establish and promote effective communications with the Board and between community leaders and the membership.
Establish and maintain good methods of communication between the Board and the Managing Agent! Promote it, encourage it, expect it. To facilitate this important component of effective management; Western Management creates an email group made of up management committee members so that the flow of information is immediate. What your manager knows, you will know.
- Expect your Managing Agent to be a valuable resource for quality goods and services.
The needs of Associations are extraordinarily diverse. You may need assistance with finding good contractors, volunteer education & training, bids for services, insurance coverage, etc. Although the management company may not directly provide many of these services, you should look to your management company for contacts, options and resources to obtain whatever services and goods the Association needs.
Trust and Confidence
- Expect your Board members and your Managing Agent to protect privileged Association information and executive session confidentiality.
In order to be a productive and mutually rewarding relationship, the relationship between the Board and their Managing Agent must be one of total trust and confidence.
- Expect your Managing Agent to be flexible and willing to revisit service levels as Board or community needs dictate.
To minimize misunderstandings, be honest with the Managing Agent about your Association's needs and articulate what you expect the management company to do. Remember, management is not a cookie cutter product. One size does not fit all! Different communities have vastly different needs that change over time.
Quality Customer Service
- Expect your Managing Agent to establish and maintain a high quality customer service program for your community.
Knowledgeable competent staff members who are approachable and responsive are the foundation for quality customer service. Client satisfaction is most often measured, not by how many tasks were achieved, but by what level of customer service was provided to homeowners by the management team.