A Matter of Style Different HOAs Require Different Management Plans

When visiting different doctors, have you noticed that they all have different personalities? One doctor is friendly and talkative, but another is the polar opposite—he forgoes the chit-chat, completes a thorough examination, and says goodbye, matter-of-factly reminding you to make an appointment for your next visit. One doctor is timid and reserved while the other one is aggressive and loud. And they all have their own ways of getting the job done.

Property managers are no different. You’ll find property managers with different management styles and personalities that are used with the staff, tenants, vendors and contractors. These personality and management styles help them to handle problems that they encounter along the way. Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Pairing the right personality and management style to the right building can make the difference in having a successful management relationship.

Finding the Best Fit

Joel Garson, president of Hillcrest Property Management in Lombard, oversees more than 20 property managers. He says the placement of managers starts during the interview process when personality and style are determined. “Personality and style of the manager is very important,” he says. “And when an association interviews us, we’re interviewing them to see the personalities of the board, whether they are active or passive. Then we pair the right manager with the right association.”

For example, Garson says, a board that is involved in every aspect of the property would probably be paired with a less aggressive manager while a board that serves just as a board would be paired with a stronger manager.

At Property Specialists Inc. in Rolling Meadows, president Tracy Hill says that he absolutely looks at personality and style before pairing up managers. “There are exceptions, but if I have an older building, I don’t usually put a younger person in to manage it,” he laughs. “Certain communities require a more patient, more understanding approach.”


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  • I'm a board member if an eight unit Lincoln park building. Any suggestions for a Management company? Need to find one. Thank you.