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Habitat Magazine October 2020 free digital issue

HABITAT

ARCHIVE ARTICLE

Switch Direction When Things Stall

Josh Koppel
President, HSC Management

Switch Direction When Things Stall

Setting the Stage

When it comes to certain situations in this business, property managers bring to the table years of experience, intuition, and gut feeling. Co-op and condo boards should take advantage of that.

Following the Action

I had a situation where one of my co-ops hired an attorney to get them a major tax refund, and this attorney just wasn’t getting it done. I pushed and I pushed. We went down every avenue we could possibly explore. After questioning this attorney many times, I didn’t like the answers that I was getting. In my experience, getting this refund shouldn’t have been so difficult. My gut feeling told me that something wasn’t right – he wasn’t approaching it correctly – and my intuition told me he had to go. Following a discussion with the board, we fired him. And then the board hired a new attorney who I felt had a better grasp on the tax situation.

Doing It Right

Within six months, the building had a windfall of millions of dollars in refunds, and roughly $20 million for the next 20 years, which basically saved this co-op. The lessons: sometimes, the board needs to do a pivot and switch what they’re doing and who they’re using. And they should utilize the experience of their manager.

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