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Halstead Management: Communication


I’ve been in the residential property management business for more than 40 years, and most of the time I was commuting to a house in the ‘burbs. However, about 12 years ago I started living in apartments in Manhattan – first rentals and then in co-ops and condos. For the past two and a half years, I’ve served on my co-op’s board of directors, and I’ve learned an awful lot.

Sitting on the other side of the table from the managing agent now, I’ve learned how important real-time communication is.


As a property manager, I’ve always known that planning for capital improvement projects is very time-consuming and difficult. But from a board perspective the process has the added layer of having to live through the planning. This means deciding how to fund it and deal with shareholders or unit-owners who are disturbed by the financing and timing of the projects.

This is particularly true when it comes to the refurbishment of lobbies and hallways. The biggest takeaway I have learned in doing these projects is that everybody needs to understand that the communication with shareholders or unit-owners needs to be in real time. Everybody needs to feel that they are a part of the process, that it’s not us against them. It’s up to the board to make all the residents understand that everyone is in this together and that all will benefit from the refurbishments.

A property manager will update residents with letters during this type of project, but only the board can make sure that everyone feels a part of the process.

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