4 Lessons from Remote Property Management

The COVID-19 pandemic has worn everyone down — but the people who’ve been leading during a year of remote community association management say there are lessons all managers can take from this experience including NS Management President Ken Bertolucci.

The Dog Dropping Dilemma: Why DNA Testing Might Not Be the Answer

Have a problem in your association with homeowners not picking up after their dogs? Here are some ideas on addressing the issue, with commentary by NS President Ken Bertolucci. Ken Bertolucci is President of NS Management, a community association management company located in the north suburbs of Chicago. He often writes for industry-specific and news publications.

Coronavirus Creates Meeting Mayhem

Here’s an article on how Community Associations are conducting meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some added insight from our president Ken Bertolucci. Ken Bertolucci is President of NS Management, a community association management company located in the north suburbs of Chicago. He often writes for industry-specific and news publications.

Someone is Sick: Now What?

Here’s an article on how Community Associations are dealing with COVID-19, with some added insight from our president Ken Bertolucci. Click below to view the article:Someone is Sick: Now What? Ken Bertolucci is President of NS Management, a community association management company located in the north suburbs of Chicago. He often writes for industry-specific and news publications.

Desperately Seeking Conflict

Ken Bertolucci, CMCA   If you interact with 20 people in a business day, 19 may be pleasant encounters. But if just one is extremely disagreeable, that interaction will probably stick in your mind. You may replay it over and over throughout the day, while you think of the clever replies you wish you had said at the time. At worst, the encounter may gnaw on you after working hours and even disturb your sleep. It’s fair to say that you have allowed that person to take up space in your mind. And as a Community Association Manager, it should disturb you even more that they’re not even paying a fee for the precious real estate in your head. The High Conflict Personality When I started as a new CMCA dealing with homeowner issues, I was surprised to discover that some people didn’t seem to want a peaceful resolution. Instead, they appeared to enjoy conflict and try to increase or prolong it. Any attempt to bring the matter to a close brought resistance and caused them to raise new issues. Bill Eddy, a licensed professional as both a therapist and attorney, observed this phenomenon when dealing with such individuals in workplace or family disputes. He…Read more

We don’t want to be your Vendor

“If you are only looking for the lowest price, we are probably not the right choice for you.” Without trying to sound arrogant or elitist, I have made this statement many times to prospective customers. While we may indeed end up having a lower price depending on who is the current provider and the other companies submitting bids, that is not our focus. We don’t want to win your business on price and be a vendor. We want to be your partner. A vendor bids on your goods and services and both sides try to squeeze as much profit as they can from each other. A partner listens to your needs and proposes the best solution to address them. Dealing with a vendor is transactional. A partner wants a long-term business relationship, not a quick sale and quick exit. Our company has many valued customers that have been with us for 15, 20 and even 30+ years. We know that sustainable business growth does not come from a few years of transactions and then a quick exit. We are looking for long term relationships based on trust. With a partner, trust is supreme. In his book The Speed of Trust Stephen Covey asserts, “the ability…Read more

Understanding the Role of a Community Association Manager

There are a lot of moving parts in a community. There are the obvious ones, such as homeowners, their families and the association board, and then there are the roles that might be a little misunderstood. One of those roles is the association (or community) manager. At NS Management, we thought our residents would like to know a little bit more about what we do – and don’t do. An association manager has two main objectives. First, they ensure that the policies that are put in place by the board are carried out. Second, they manage the day-to-day operations in the community, including oversight of contractors, assessment collection, bill payment, and other association services. Sometimes homeowners request involvement by association managers in matters they do not handle because they don’t know the proper responsibilities. Here is a quick summary:   -Association managers are specially trained to address issues involving violation of association rules. We do not handle personal problems you are having with your neighbors unless they are violating a rule. Criminal activity should always be reported to the local police. -Association managers are not members of the board, only advisors. They do not have the capacity to directly represent your concerns or override board…Read more

Who does what? Differences between Property Managers and Directors

For most members of the condo community, the Property Manager is the face of the condo corporation or home owner’s association. They are responsible for day-to-day running of things– they look after the bank accounts, handle the checks, field correspondence, and interact with owners more frequently than the Board does. Because of this, I find that people can be confused about the difference between the roles of the Property Manager and the Board of Directors. I’ve heard board members ask “Why can’t I just let my Property Manager look after everything?” and “Isn’t it their job to do this? I don’t have time to look after all of this stuff”. Owners also have trouble knowing who is responsible for what: when should they contact the Board and when should they contact the Property Manager? In this post, I’ll answer these questions, and hopefully, the difference between the roles of the Property Manager and the Board of Directors will be clear by the end. To understand the different roles, I like to think of a condo like a coffee shop. The property management company is like the staff that keeps the shop running: baristas, managers, cleaners, etc. They are the people that interact with everyone on…Read more