To Be Managed - or Self-Managed? Examining the Age-Old Question

 While the majority of condo and HOA communities in New Jersey hire professional  management firms to handle their day-to-day operations, many others choose to  go the self-managed route, which can include hiring on-site staff or having  residents handle the tasks usually carried out by hired help. Their reasons for  doing so are as varied as the buildings themselves, but ultimately, it’s about finding the best fit for unit owners and boards alike.  

 Management companies are usually the solution of choice because “when managed by a management company, a community has the resources of all the  employees of the company, not just a single person,” says Elizabeth A. Comando, senior vice president of RCP Management Company in  Princeton.  

 And you will introduce that professional as part of a larger functioning unit.  Comando explains, “The value of having a management team for each contract is to keep the system  afloat. When one member of the team is unavailable, the other members of the  team can step in to keep things running seamlessly.”  

 The Self-Managed Advantage

 That idea of a team approach, though, also drives the proponents of  self-management. “Most management companies would not be here on a full-time basis, says Domenick  Lorelli, former president of the Senata Bayclub, an adult community in  Bayville, New Jersey, which has been self-managing itself since 1993. “There are two big benefits [to self-managing], the first is that it's cheaper and the second is the accessibility and you know the people personally.  They [a property manager] are here only on a part-time basis. So you do not  have access to any answers or solutions to [your] questions or problems until they are on-site.  Whereas with self-management, the people live here and they are on site  everyday of the week. They can be readily [available] to talk to or if you have  any problems you can come up here [to the office] and have them handled right  the way.”  

 The personalized nature of self-management can be a significant draw for  residents and boards when determining the future course of their management  decisions.  

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