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 or individuals. In today’s world however, the word ‘outsourced’ is a loaded one, usually associated with jobs migrating from the United States to foreign countries. But when it comes to the tasks surrounding the operation of a co-op or condo, the concept is a bit different—and can be a very beneficial approach to getting vital tasks done while saving residents money.
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 for multifamily buildings and associations across the region. “By doing so, properties save on hours not being utilized by the superintendent, and instead put those funds into necessary focused improvements around the property. In the long run, this translates to time and money saved, without sacrificing any service goals.”
According to Keith Hales, president of Hales Property Management in Chicago, “Our buildings average about 20-25 units in size, and they end up sharing a portfolio manager to help minimize the cost of management services. With a professional portfolio management company, smaller to mid-sized buildings can now take advantage of bulk rate pricing for things such as snow removal, landscaping, carpet cleaning, window washing, and so on.”
Task Masters United in Brooklyn, New York provides superintendent services as well, including maintenance, management, and repair work. The company’s CEO, Ray Smith, lists many benefits of outsourcing, including not having to hire employees, acquire (and pay rent on) office space, or even pay for an employee’s sick days or vacation time.