Changing Condo Management Companies

How hard is it to change management companies in Hoboken?

One Hoboken411 reader was already in the process of getting ready to change condo management companies – then the storm hit:

“Hopefully your intelligent readers can offer some sound advice. Prior to hurricane Sandy my condo building had been having issues with our current management company. We were already in the mental process of knowing we needed a change.

Then Sandy hits. Management company loses power (ok understandable), loses phone service, loses internet access. All totally understandable. What is not is that no contacted us to see if we needed anything, no one was in the office nor posted a note with an alternate way of communication.

Even after power restored we got only ONE visit from company after dark a week after the storm.

Everything that has been done to keep the building going was by the owners. Not by the management company we have paid thousands of dollars over the past nine years.

The cops, firemen, contractors all complain about this company. We know its time to change. But change to what. Is there anyone that is happy with their management company or have recommendations.”

Any advice for residents who want to “clean house” and start fresh with a competent building management company?

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19 Comments on "Changing Condo Management Companies"


Member
Civic66
2 years 9 months ago

Our building manager is currently is Florida at his second home while we still have much to finalize with insurance company and contractors working in the basement. Unfortunately we cannot switch management companies because the building manager also happens to own a majority of the condos in our building. It’s a terrible situation but we are powerless.

Member
jgriffo1
2 years 9 months ago

To answer the original question about advice for buildings that want to make a management company switch:

I’m president of a condo board of a 35 unit building. In 2010, we decided we needed a change for management for various reasons. I think we put it off for a while thinking it would be a time-consuming and daunting task but the issues were mounting up and we had to bite the bullet and make a move.

To start, we did our homework and did some networking. We asked for suggestions from other residents. We asked friends and acquaintances for references. A fellow board member reached out to a Hoboken Mommies and asked for help.

We narrowed it down to three companies we wanted to evaluate, two were established in Hoboken and it’s neighboring cities, and one was based in Bergen County.

We came up with a list of questions and e-mailed them to all three in order to pre-evaluate their answers. They were mainly based on situations that we thought were lacking with our current management company.

Following that, we brought the three in for in-person interviews in the building. We asked them some more standard questions they drew up. We focused on certain things about how they operated, ran finances, managed projects, handled emergencies, and handled communications. We even asked about simple things like how they used e-mail and if they could automate our monthly dues payments as those two things were issues with our old company.

The Bergen County guy took himself out of the running with how he handled his interview. He was disorganized and didn’t seem like he would be a good fit. We were left with the two local companies and had to make a decision. We ended up with Hudson Property Management as our final choice. A few things set them apart:

-Their use of technology, they have a web-portal that has both board and member views.
-They agreed to handle our bill paying electronically (our old firm was still mailing me checks)
-They charge a premium for managed projects. This may seem like a disadvantage because it was an additional charge, but I looked at it the other way. We had serious issues with project management with our old company. I liked the fact that these guys charged us extra for big projects, it assured me that they had something on the line and they would have to earn their fee. Looking back on things, this worked out better than I could have hoped, their project management skills are very good
-Their expertise in budgeting, reporting and insurance. They seemed like they’d fight for every penny, find ways to save money on expenses and use insurance to our advantage. Again, this paid off for us as they made some suggestions to make the building more energy efficient, and even argued with Verizon about our phone bill.
-Their responsiveness, they are quick to answer all inquiries, at any time of the day.

So, we signed them up. Their first order of business was to fire our old management company and take everything over from them, including opening up new bank accounts for us. The transition was smooth, and our old company cooperated with them in the transition, I think they knew they were on their way out and were happy to walk out on our building.

That was it. It was a time-consuming process to identify, interview, and choose a new management company. And we had to oversee the transition. Compared to the amount of effort we had to put in to deal with our old management company’s mistakes and mismanagement, it really was worth it. These guys were doing an outstanding job before the hurricane when things were normal. They would fight with insurance, they would challenge city hall, they fended off frivolous lawsuits, they cleaned up issues we didn’t know we had because the old company was keeping them from us, they were responsive to our inquires and issues, and they are proactive in addressing things that need to be done.

Any questions, let me know.

Member
The Professor
2 years 9 months ago

I agree that people are not complaining about not having power. Of course, that is out of the management company’s hands. I took particular issue with the fact that our management company was without telephone at the office and therefore incommunicado- what, does nobody have an emergency cell phone? One of the partners, however, I found out was able to somehow contact mutual friends and get drunk while residents tried to figure out how to get a generator to remove standing water. I think this company has the money to hire assistance who may care, but they would rather pocket it and take all the “responsibility” which amounts to “thanking everyone for their patience during this difficult time.” Please, the dude was not having a difficult time hanging with friends on Hudson who had power, drinking red wine! Then- the following day after hobnobbing, he left town with the family and we were without remediation for the next week!

Member
lovethistown
2 years 9 months ago

I live in Hoboken and our condo association has been using the same management company for 25 years. It doesn’t take a disaster like Sandy for me to acknowledge the incredible work that these guys do. I speak to a lot of people around town and I hear things about management companies that are horrifying. That is definitely not our experience.
We have 48 units, 16 garages, and 16 crawlspaces. A crew of guys were here the next day with multiple dumpsters and the cleanup began immediately. We‘ve since gone through a whopping total of 14 dumpsters, had all of the affected areas cleaned, remediated, power washed, carpets ripped out, and are in the process of completing all the work.
If response time matters to you as much as it matters to us, throughout the year- not just when a disaster strikes, this is a solid company that have been doing this for over 30 years.
Email me at victorianmews@yahoo.com, and I can put you in touch with them.

Member
livinglegendjt
2 years 9 months ago

I just wanted to say a special thank you to Sacci Management. They were out the Saturday before the storm checking our building and then were back afterwards. Anthony Sacci himself came to inspect the property on Wednesday after the storm. They took care of the flood in our basement and started right away with the clean up!

Member
HoboHoya
2 years 9 months ago

I wasn’t planning to comment on this story but after seeing this post about Sacci management I feel I must share. I had a very different experience with them. Now I cannot comment on how they responded to the storm because I no longer live in their building (in fact, the awful management was one of the biggest reasons I moved out). I truly hope Sacci responded quickly and effectively for the sake of everyone in their buildings…but based on my own experience that is very surprising to hear. There are too many instances to count but here is one that stands out in my mind. Long story short we were having ongoing plumbing/toilet issues, they came to fix it (only after several calls), they did not do an effective repair because it seemed worse after they had come “fix” it. I called them to inform them of this and stated I was concerned it was still broken and we would be stuck with no toilet. They did not respond to my several calls. One morning I wake up to the fire department banging down my door because apparently a pipe in the back of the toilet had broken and flooded our entire bathroom and much of the apartment beneath us. This finally got Sacci’s attention (hallelujah!) and they came and completely replaced the toilet, which I think they knew was necessary the first time but were trying to avoid. Everything was fine with the replacement, but wouldn’t it have been much easier and caused less damage if they had properly repaired/replaced it in the first place? Anyways, I guess that wasn’t really a “long story short” haha, but that’s just one example of the incompetence I experienced with Sacci Management. Just trying to help other people avoid the headache, especially if you’re going through all the trouble of switching management companies![quote comment=”218245″]I just wanted to say a special thank you to Sacci Management. They were out the Saturday before the storm checking our building and then were back afterwards. Anthony Sacci himself came to inspect the property on Wednesday after the storm. They took care of the flood in our basement and started right away with the clean up![/quote]