In the perennial struggle to control costs while still adequately maintaining a building or HOA’s physical plant, grounds, and other day-to-day business, some boards and managers are opting to hire superintendents, custodians, and other staff on a temporary, as-needed basis, or to partner up with neighboring associations to share one super or groundskeeper between them.
In other words, some of the jobs are being outsourced from full-time staffers to contracted companies. In today’s world, the word ‘outsourced’ is a loaded word, associated with jobs that are outsourced from the United States to foreign countries. When it comes to the tasks surrounding the operation of a co-op or condo, however, the concept is a bit different.
A Growing Trend?
“Full-time superintendent positions are now being transformed into part-time porter positions, with the option of handyman services a la carte,” says Rolando Velazco of Clean Habitat Inc.-Building Maintenance and Handyman Services, a New York City company that provides an array of support services, including common area cleaning, trash and supply management, exterior grounds maintenance, garden watering, and garage maintenance. “By doing so, properties save on hours not being utilized by the superintendent, and can instead put those funds into necessary focused improvements around the property. In the long run, this transitions to time and money saved, without sacrificing any service goals.”
Elaine Warga-Murray, the owner and CEO of Regency Management Group, Inc., which has offices in Howell, Hamilton and South Orange, explains that when it comes to part-time staff, it’s not always about scaling back services; it can be about filling in gaps when someone gets sick or has to miss a day.
“Occasionally we have situations when a doorman calls out, so we maintain a cadre of part-time people who can do it on a substitute basis,” she says. “They’ve been fully vetted, with background checks and insurance and trained, just like a teaching substitute. We also do it for porters and administrative assistance. We do this because we find that we get good quality people who don’t want to work full-time, but who are willing, for a good paying job, to take on the work with 24 hours notice.”