Reader Mail: Condo Management

Good property management companies in Hoboken hard to find?

One thing that is almost as constant in Hoboken as parking issues, flooding and nutty politics – is the ongoing quagmire involving property management companies who maintain condo buildings.

Seems that that there is always someone having trouble!

Hoboken411 reader Brian asks the age old question:

“I’m a Hoboken resident and a few condo owners in my building are having major issues with a local Realtor/Developer/Management company. Can anyone recommend a reputable, honest and competent company?”

Need help finding good Hoboken Property Management Co.

2/4/2008:

After posting the terrible story about how one resident is getting bludgeoned after the La Scala fire, another 411 reader Jason wanted to know what people’s experiences were with condo management companies.

Anyone have a company they’re very pleased with?

Hoboken Condo Management Companies: Any suggestions?

6/28/2007:

hoboken-brownstone-small-image.jpgA few days ago, a reader sent this email in requesting some tips from other Hoboken411 readers regarding who they use as their condo management company/association.

They’ve since found a solution, but if you’d like to add your 2 cents in, and to help people who might be looking for some advice in the future, please feel free!

“Hi Hoboken411,
I read your site practically everyday and have found it very useful and entertaining each time. I was wondering if you could reach out to your readers and obtain some info for me. I recently moved into a condo building and we are looking to find a replacement for our current management company who runs our association. The building (a total of 12 units) converted to condos three years ago and we are looking for someone who is experienced and on the ball as our current person has been slacking. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks!”

115 Responses

  1. Tiger says:

    I **STRONGLY** recommend Bermeo Property Management Corp, their phone number is: 201-866-4204/4205 and their email is bpmcorp (AT) verizon (DOT) net. I lived in Hoboken for over ten years, lived in a unit managed by the owner (horrible) a rental managed by the owning company, and a condo managed by a management company, and hands down Bermeo have been the best!

    They are very professional, always notify residents of issues and alerts, very prompt, and indeed answer your email or phone regardless of how busy they are. I highly recommend them (and no I’m not affiliated with them).

    • mookie says:

      Bermeo – the owner is nice, but lazy. Things never get done and you have to keep reminding and reminding and reminding him.

      Julip – is a true disaster. They go all out for the 1st 6 months, put you at ease and then will bleed you death with bs costs and questionable bills, but ironically will do work for board members for free so they won’t question anything. They charge you $0.07 per copy to receive copies of your OWN bills. Plus they use sketchy contractors and don’t get competing bids. They are based in Long Island and charge you for the commute to Hoboken for emergencies – why would you hire a Long Island based company?

      In response to Tiger who said:

      I **STRONGLY** recommend Bermeo Property Management Corp, their phone number is: 201-866-4204/4205 and their email is bpmcorp (AT) verizon (DOT) net. I lived in Hoboken for over ten years, lived in a unit managed by the owner (horrible) a rental managed by the owning company, and a condo managed by a management company, and hands down Bermeo have been the best!

      They are very professional, always notify residents of issues and alerts, very prompt, and indeed answer your email or phone regardless of how busy they are. I highly recommend them (and no I’m not affiliated with them).

  2. Stpaddygirl says:

    We use LaBarbara and I can not stand Vinny. If I had the time to find another one I would go out and get the bids on my own. My issues are way to much of a laundry list to post here.

    • pawzclawz says:

      Our management company is LaBarbera as well. Vincent is our property manager as well. I was just curious as to why you were unhappy with them/him? If you don’t want to post your concerns here. If you don’t object. You can e-mail me at PawzClawz@yahoo.com The other owners don’t seem to be content with LaBarbera either. The other owners want to be a self managed association. I prefer a management company. I rent my unit out.

      In response to Stpaddygirl who said:

      We use LaBarbara and I can not stand Vinny. If I had the time to find another one I would go out and get the bids on my own. My issues are way to much of a laundry list to post here.

  3. gnoor says:

    Hello. Does anybody have any thoughts on condo building management in Hoboken? We currently use LaBarbera but I just do not trust them. I feel we are overcharged and that they pad the bills.

    Any thoughts out there on good, reliable, honest property management companies?

    • homeworld says:

      Where I used to live we used LaBarbera and Chris Burke was always very quick to address any concerns or complaints.

      Where I live now, though, we just management the building ourselves.

      In response to gnoor who said:

      Hello. Does anybody have any thoughts on condo building management in Hoboken? We currently use LaBarbera but I just do not trust them. I feel we are overcharged and that they pad the bills.

      Any thoughts out there on good, reliable, honest property management companies?

      • plywood says:

        To second this, you are way ahead of the game if you have someone in-house who is willing and able to do the physical management aspect, their guess is usually as good as anybody’s. Financial management is often better outsourced instead of re-inventing the accounting wheel, and, for example, asking a board member to lean on the condo owner down the hall who had fallen way behind on dues can be uncomfortable to say the least.

        In response to homeworld who said:

        Where I used to live we used LaBarbera and Chris Burke was always very quick to address any concerns or complaints.

        Where I live now, though, we just management the building ourselves.

  4. plywood says:

    Our group over time has used both LaBarbera and Hoboken Realty. I think both companies are well intentioned and overwhelmed, and as such the service is hit or miss. Both use there own pet vendors, mixed bag. However using a firm from Long Island just seems silly.

  5. hobokenj says:

    Switched from HobokenRealty to Peter at Progressive. Coulnt be happier. Peter is honest and is always availaible. Building is in the best shape phsically and financial since he took over.

    theprogressivecompanies.com

    JohnsonPeterR@aol.com
    phone 973-299-4444 ext. 9
    fax 973-299-0540

  6. iforgotmymantra says:

    My condo is managed by LaBarbera and my opinion’s changed over time. Originally I felt negative towards them for little issues here and there, but after reviewing the accounts I see there is no “padding” going on. I think Chris Burk has been very responsive when there have been issues, and the professionals hired actually do a good job capably and quickly. Some building issues have been serious and were solved within a day. Trust me- I would have written a serious rant a year ago, but instead kept an open mind, and I’m glad I did.

  7. citygirl718 says:

    i actually do live in building managed by samroz and they are HORRIBLE! this is my first time ever dealing with a mgmt company but im pretty sure we’re gettin robbed here….takes forever to get anything done, whether the elevator is broken or a light is out…we get no financial records whatsoever (and its our money!?!?!)…the cleaning service they hire comes to sprinkle this flowery smelling “cleaning” sh*t on the carpets and little else…its impossible to talk to a person about things cuz nobody is ever there and they don’t return ur phone calls. the people that do answer, claim they are merely “the messengers” and wont give u straight answers or take any responsibility for anything…if they actually have references, i would LOVE to see these other buildings they manage cuz i cant imagine anyone else dealing with them…and from the looks of things, it doesn’t look like there are many companies out there to change to which is the sad thing…maybe i should start my own management company…if my building were to look into self-management, anyone know what kinda things that would require?any certifications or special paperwork or something? in my opinion, all of the samroz “comments” on here (except mine of course :)) have got to be from themselves. so pathetic

  8. Tiger says:

    I live in a bigger building, we use Bermeo and I can’t be happier! The building is always clean, things get done promptly, and if you need to call the afterhours cell phone, someone actually picks up. Personally I had all sorts of requests for refinancing docs / flood insurance and they were very prompt and professional.

    Definitely recommend them!

    Bermeo Property Management Corp.
    Tel: 201-866-4204/4205
    bpmcorp@verizon.net

  9. Tiger says:

    lol, looks like I already recommended them last year. DISCLAIMER: I do not work for them, I have nothing to do with building management 😀

  10. Redstorm says:

    I lived in a building managed by LaBarbera…they are not very good…

    • Stpaddygirl says:

      I 100% agree they are horrible and give me an attitude every time I ask for assistance with something. I will be more than happy to provide detailed examples to anyone on this subject I just don’t want to post the details in such an open forum.

      In response to Redstorm who said:

      I lived in a building managed by LaBarbera…they are not very good…

  11. Stabone130 says:

    Just wanted to bump this post to the top.

    Seems like everyone posts who NOT to use — any suggestions on good management companies?

    We currently use a company based here in Hoboken and after 4 years, I’m heading the search for a new one. It seems impossible to find a good, reliable, responsive management company in this town.

    We’re a single building, 5 units.

    Any leads?

    Who are NOT Samroz, LLC?

  12. Craig-D says:

    I am the president of my condo board. Trust me, you don’t want to self-mange your building. We use Red Bridge and they are fantastic. They answer messages immediately, provide quarterly financial statements and when stuff breaks, it is fixed immediately. They are located right here in Hoboken and they are also developers. They are putting up the new M2 on 2nd and Park Ave., and the new Manor Garden on 1st and Garden is also another of their projects. Give them a call at 201.792.9368. Tell them Craig from Adams St. sent you.

    • Stabone130 says:

      Thanks Craig from Red Bridge.[quote comment=”212908″]I am the president of my condo board. Trust me, you don’t want to self-mange your building. We use Red Bridge and they are fantastic. They answer messages immediately, provide quarterly financial statements and when stuff breaks, it is fixed immediately. They are located right here in Hoboken and they are also developers. They are putting up the new M2 on 2nd and Park Ave., and the new Manor Garden on 1st and Garden is also another of their projects. Give them a call at 201.792.9368. Tell them Craig from Adams St. sent you.[/quote]

  13. Snip119 says:

    Any management company can have problems managing a particular building. The main problem is they don’t actually live in the building and they send an employee to take care of something. Not all employees are good and some just don’t care, some are overworked and don’t get to a task right away. Unfortunately, if its your task, well, then you’re dissatisfied. And all management companies are in business to make themselves money, so they are going to pad the bills or charge extra for things.

    I’m president of my condo association and its not always an easy job – some owners are incredibly disagreeable and just thinking of their own interests above the general association. I’m blessed that we are a small building, the current owners are a terrific group of people who work well as a team, and I have the time to do the work. We are self-managed, so if anyone wants to go that route feel free to contact me (411 can put you in touch) – I’ll be happy to talk to you about it. It’s not for every building, but I’ve been managing our building for over 10 years and it can work if conditions are right, you have owners who can agree on things, and you have someone on board who has the time and is willing to do the work.

  14. bokentime says:

    Call Schmitt Real Estate and see if they can help you out. I know they are doing a nice job with 6 condo units in Union City. All the financials and work orders are handled through a web platform so you know the status of everything. And they don’t nickel and dime you for every little thing. schmittre.com. 201-313-2222. Ask for Bill.

  15. 4th ward guy says:

    I have to agree with Snip119, self management is the way to go, especially for a small building. If your condo association is on 2-6 units you don’t need property management. The only bills that have to be paid are insurance, PSE&G, taxes, water, sewerage, possibly an exterminator and cleaning service. You also have to submit the annual $25 for your condo association to NJ.

    Each unit can take their own trash and recycleables to the street. Snow removal is a case-by-case arrangment depending on the building layout. You will save LOTS of money annually with self management, keeping your condo fees low and making your condo more easily resalable. Repairs are also more easily managed on-site and you have a vested interest to find the best, cheapest contractor.

    My condo association recently became self managed. I have to tell you I am finding all sorts of errors and unpaid bills from the prior management company. These problems were completely hidden without all of the documentation. Unless you do a complete annual audit of all condo association paperwork, you have no way of knowing what is going on.

    • paco says:

      You must have a lot of time on your hands and sound a bit on the cheap. Good luck trying to do a professionals job as an amature. :roll: [quote comment=”215845″]I have to agree with Snip119, self management is the way to go, especially for a small building. If your condo association is on 2-6 units you don’t need property management. The only bills that have to be paid are insurance, PSE&G, taxes, water, sewerage, possibly an exterminator and cleaning service. You also have to submit the annual $25 for your condo association to NJ.Each unit can take their own trash and recycleables to the street. Snow removal is a case-by-case arrangment depending on the building layout. You will save LOTS of money annually with self management, keeping your condo fees low and making your condo more easily resalable. Repairs are also more easily managed on-site and you have a vested interest to find the best, cheapest contractor.My condo association recently became self managed. I have to tell you I am finding all sorts of errors and unpaid bills from the prior management company. These problems were completely hidden without all of the documentation. Unless you do a complete annual audit of all condo association paperwork, you have no way of knowing what is going on.[/quote]

      • 4th ward guy says:

        i may be an “amateur” but it’s really pretty simple. if you can pay your own bills, then managing the condo association is equally simple. i understand that may be a bit much for you. it takes about 15 mins per month to pay the bills and 30 mins quarterly to complete the financial statements. annual taxes are a 1 page form.

        and “yes” i am cheap. i like being able to reduce our condo fee from $325 per month to $250 per month with self management. i see no reason to waste money while maintaining a better quality of service. i make sure the bills get paid while our property management company did not.

        can you supply 1 valid reason why a property management company is better? if so, please do.[quote comment=”215851″]You must have a lot of time on your hands and sound a bit on the cheap. Good luck trying to do a professionals job as an amature. [/quote]

      • Craig-D says:

        The one valid reason I can supply why professional property management is better is that you don’t have to do all the work yourselves. I am the condo association president of a newer 8 unit building in Hoboken. I’m told they tried to self-manage prior to my moving in and it was a disaster, so they quickly hired a company. With all the tech they put into these newer buildings like ours, they’re complicated and it seems there’s always something going wrong. You have a million different vendors to deal with for things like the elevator, theft and fire monitoring, etc. Additionally, there didn’t seem to be any takers for being in charge of taking out the garbage each night (several pails full). Our maintenance is under $300/mo even with professional property management.

        I think the size of a building and its age has a lot to do with whether it’s best to use property management or not. A 4 unit walkup condo built in 1912 isn’t going to have the same management needs as a 30 unit elevator building built in 2000 with all the bells and whistles. Our management company deals with a lot of stuff we don’t want to be bothered with day to day. That makes it a better option for us than self-management, and worth every penny. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong for others to self-manage. To each his own.[quote comment=”215859″]i may be an “amateur” but it’s really pretty simple. if you can pay your own bills, then managing the condo association is equally simple. i understand that may be a bit much for you. it takes about 15 mins per month to pay the bills and 30 mins quarterly to complete the financial statements. annual taxes are a 1 page form.and “yes” i am cheap. i like being able to reduce our condo fee from $325 per month to $250 per month with self management. i see no reason to waste money while maintaining a better quality of service. i make sure the bills get paid while our property management company did not.can you supply 1 valid reason why a property management company is better? if so, please do.[/quote]

      • paco says:

        Hello and I give you credit for trying however with a company such as Total Property they have all the right connections(legally) from roofing to plumbing and have many supporting cast 24×7. I would think that over the long term, going with professionals is the way to go espcially when you get know the know about the Hoboken bureaucratic bs you will eventually will have to contend with. 😛 [quote comment=”215859″]i may be an “amateur” but it’s really pretty simple. if you can pay your own bills, then managing the condo association is equally simple. i understand that may be a bit much for you. it takes about 15 mins per month to pay the bills and 30 mins quarterly to complete the financial statements. annual taxes are a 1 page form.and “yes” i am cheap. i like being able to reduce our condo fee from $325 per month to $250 per month with self management. i see no reason to waste money while maintaining a better quality of service. i make sure the bills get paid while our property management company did not.can you supply 1 valid reason why a property management company is better? if so, please do.[/quote]

    • Snip119 says:

      4th Ward Guy you are so right about no way to know what is going on. In the building next to me a woman with some mental problems dumps her garbage on other people’s properties. Because she’s got some mental issues, she also moves garbage around, so there’s always a problem with garbage on 14th street. When she first moved in, she was dumping on our property, and I worked with sanitation to get it straightened out. At the time, their building was managed by Quill (now out of business). Numerous warning letters went to Quill to no avail – they were never passed on to anyone in the building, and certainly not to her. They ended up getting a series of fines, culminating with 4 $500 tickets in one week. Quill simply paid the fines, leaving all their regular bills unpaid, then went out of business right around the same time. i found out from someone living in the building they never knew about the warnings, never knew Quill paid the fines from the association money instead of assessing her directly, and they had to do a special assessment of all the owners to pay the unpaid back bills (like PSE&G). Had they been self-managed, they would have been aware of what was going on and assessed the one problem owner. Even if a building opts for a management company, someone on the board must routinely track the money. [quote comment=”215845″]I have to agree with Snip119, self management is the way to go, especially for a small building. If your condo association is on 2-6 units you don’t need property management. The only bills that have to be paid are insurance, PSE&G, taxes, water, sewerage, possibly an exterminator and cleaning service. You also have to submit the annual $25 for your condo association to NJ.Each unit can take their own trash and recycleables to the street. Snow removal is a case-by-case arrangment depending on the building layout. You will save LOTS of money annually with self management, keeping your condo fees low and making your condo more easily resalable. Repairs are also more easily managed on-site and you have a vested interest to find the best, cheapest contractor.My condo association recently became self managed. I have to tell you I am finding all sorts of errors and unpaid bills from the prior management company. These problems were completely hidden without all of the documentation. Unless you do a complete annual audit of all condo association paperwork, you have no way of knowing what is going on.[/quote]

    • livewell says:

      I agree with 4th ward guy that self-management is the way to go. We are a small condo association established about one year ago. So far the bill payment has been straightforward and we are able to keep the dues low.

      The only confusion now is on the tax filing to federal government and NJ state. Does anyone know what tax form we need to file to NJ state? Do we need to file any annual report to NJ state? What is the $25 annual to NJ? Do you mind sharing when and where we need to file the $25?

      Thanks a bunch![quote comment=”215845″]I have to agree with Snip119, self management is the way to go, especially for a small building. If your condo association is on 2-6 units you don’t need property management. The only bills that have to be paid are insurance, PSE&G, taxes, water, sewerage, possibly an exterminator and cleaning service. You also have to submit the annual $25 for your condo association to NJ.Each unit can take their own trash and recycleables to the street. Snow removal is a case-by-case arrangment depending on the building layout. You will save LOTS of money annually with self management, keeping your condo fees low and making your condo more easily resalable. Repairs are also more easily managed on-site and you have a vested interest to find the best, cheapest contractor.My condo association recently became self managed. I have to tell you I am finding all sorts of errors and unpaid bills from the prior management company. These problems were completely hidden without all of the documentation. Unless you do a complete annual audit of all condo association paperwork, you have no way of knowing what is going on.[/quote]

      • Snip119 says:

        Livewell, the $25 fee is for the annual report to NJ state. They will send you a form with instructions on how to file online when your annual filing is due. If you were established about a year ago, you should be receiving the form from the state very soon. [quote comment=”215943″]I agree with 4th ward guy that self-management is the way to go. We are a small condo association established about one year ago. So far the bill payment has been straightforward and we are able to keep the dues low.The only confusion now is on the tax filing to federal government and NJ state. Does anyone know what tax form we need to file to NJ state? Do we need to file any annual report to NJ state? What is the $25 annual to NJ? Do you mind sharing when and where we need to file the $25?Thanks a bunch![/quote]

      • adamview2 says:

        self-management is the way to go,all these companys charge fee’s 😐 for every little thing[quote comment=”215948″]Livewell, the $25 fee is for the annual report to NJ state. They will send you a form with instructions on how to file online when your annual filing is due. If you were established about a year ago, you should be receiving the form from the state very soon.[/quote]

      • Snip119 says:

        You are not kidding about charging for every little thing. Last year we had an estimate from a company that was trying to get our business. One of the guys reading it realized in tiny fine print on the very last page of the proposal was a clause that even if WE went out on our own, and hired our own contractors to do any work in the building, they have the right, as the managing company, to add 15% to the total bill. And then they couldn’t give us a straight answer when I asked, is the “total bill” the amount before or after any sales tax on the job. (They finally admitted it was after, which is totally ridiculous.)

        As noted in earlier posts though, not every building or group of owners is right for self-management. Each building is unique. Just remember a managing company is in business for only one reason – to make a profit for themselves. You are paying for their profit.[quote comment=”215956″]self-management is the way to go,all these companys charge fee’s for every little thing[/quote]

  16. BokenLocal says:

    I’m the president of 30 units condo building in hoboken. Our association has gone through three property management Cos in the past 10 years. All of which are mention in previous posts. Recently a friend of mine recommended Hudson Property Management, so far they been great compared to our past experiences. I recommend them.

  17. paco says:

    Total Property Concepts Management Company. At the end of the day, they seem to get the job done.

  18. Snip119 says:

    Guess I’m a “cheap amateur” too! Got news for you paco, nowadays in this miserable economy, cheap is good! Keep all the expenses down and the condo maintenance fee low. All the “professionals” know is how to charge big fees for minimal work that anyone with the right computer software can do themselves. Do you really think a pro is paying your bills and generating the statements? I bet its a secretary using Quickbooks software.

  19. DDHUDSON says:

    I have been using a small firm, Rose Capital, LLP….they seem to be pretty good so far….

  20. adamview2 says:

    wait till you start to look at invoices for light bulb change,cardboard folding,trash bags marked up , these companies are nut. We had 4 companies in the past 9 years in the end we manage it and do a fine job with a saving of $1200 a year, we are a 5 unit building and it work for us . 😛

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