Homeowner Association Management Teams Bring Added Value

One reason that people choose to rent property instead of buying is the ease of doing so. They pay their rent every month and, because they do, they know that the property will be cared for. After all, how nice is it that maintenance is just a phone call away? Property owners, generally, don’t get this luxury.

Many neighborhood and condo associations organize themselves into home owner associations in order to take share the financial burden and management burden of caring for property. Usually, monthly meetings are held in which maintenance decisions are made, the financial health of the organization is evaluated, delinquent payments are discussed, and future plans for the neighborhood or building are proposed. Most of the time, these organizations are run by one member who invariable sacrifices much of his or her time managing the association. These volunteers hire maintenance, lawn service, check local building codes, recover late payments, and manage the association’s money.

New association management companies are now providing an affordable alternative to volunteer-only home owners associations. The problem is that a volunteer, if they did just the minimum needed to maintain the building, spends a lot of his or her time. So, there are things that the average volunteer probably would not go out of their way to do. For instance, an association management company can offer professional financial analysis. I doubt many volunteer association managers do that.

Surprisingly these management companies are able to provide this service at a reasonable cost. They are able to do so, because they spread the costs of, say, a gardener, among many properties. So, because the manager is “a big” client of his lawn care business, he gives him a deal. Fees depend on the level of management, i.e. number of services, needed by the association. They provide services that most associations already use, but they can also to add value to the property by providing professionals to serve the associations. Their experience personnel attend association meetings and provide information to it members about monthly financial reports and budget preparation.

There are two major advantages to outsourcing the association’s management. The first is that collecting delinquent payments from your neighbors can cause a lot of problems. Association managers will do that for you and will even start the early stages of the collection process. The other main advantage is that it makes your property more marketable. One of the first things a potential buyer is going to look at is the financial health of the association. If you show them monthly financial reports, there is no doubt they will be impressed.

Managing a home owners association is a daunting task, one that with which working professionals can barely keep up. Yet for a similar price, the grunt work can be outsourced to a company whose business is property management. This service could add value to your property while taking the headache of owning a home away.

The Importance Of A Good Management Team When Investing In A Company

I am regularly asked by clients and investors of the importance of company management. When deciding to invest in a company, out of all the attributes and qualities that we review, we first focus on how important are the people in charge. Secondly how do we measure this?

Some of the attributes and qualities that we look at when reviewing a share investment include: are debt levels under control? And, what is the growth potential? However, these review factors quickly become meaningless if there is not a strong and trustworthy leadership in place.

People in managerial positions have a tremendous impact on the success, or failure, of a business. Their vision, leadership and abilities all combine to determine the future of the business.

One such person, who is often singled out as a strong leader in New Zealand, is Don Braid from Mainfreight. The company’s success is based around the unique culture among staff, which is demonstrated from the top, by management. Having a strong company vision and a focused strategy are both critical to business success.

So the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Quality management is crucial and is top of the list when deciding which companies belong in our clients’ portfolios.

In answer to the second most popular question: how we measure this, is a lot harder to answer. Quantitative and financial review factors are easier to see and therefore measure – these can be put into spreadsheets with forecasts applied. Measuring intangible quality factors associated with management however, is much more difficult, yet arguably somewhat more important.

So what are some of the quality factors we look at in company leaders? These include:

– someone who is very focused on delivering shareholder returns
– someone who knows their businesses intimately
– someone who has a track record of success
– someone who can provide transparent and open communications with shareholders
– a disciplined, sensible approach to business growth

Many companies do not succeed because they take an overly aggressive approach to expanding, or by buying good assets but paying too much and getting the business into too much debt in the process. Large transformation decisions, such as strategic acquisitions are not bad, they just require some added scrutiny.

A lot of successful companies have management teams that have remained stable for a long period of time. While a new approach can often refresh a business, continuity is also critical. We look for managers who have been part of a company’s team in charge for a reasonable length of time. Having an equally competent team is another important factor and a good manager will surround themselves with such a team. This is also a factor we look for. The alarm bells start to ring when there have been a lot of different executives.

We also look for management that has a history of doing what they say they will do, supported by financial forecasts with. It is additionally a good sign when a CEO and managerial team have invested their own money into the business. This not only demonstrates that their interests are aligned with their shareholders, but ensures that management shares the successes and failures with shareholders.

Investing in a company equals investing in the team in charge of running it. It doesn’t matter how good the assets or prospects of a company are, it can fail to deliver if managed poorly.

Productivity Benchmarking – A Powerful Tool for Management Teams

Department productivity benchmarking is one of the most powerful and versatile tools available to progressive hospital management teams. Here are just a few of its uses.

  • As a Cost Management Tool: Labor costs remain the largest single component of any hospital’s expense budget. Managing labor costs is important for both financial and moral stewardship reasons. Department productivity benchmarking is an important first step in identifying and resolving excessive labor costs.
  • As an Overall Performance Screening Tool: Staffing variances are a marker for potential performance issues that go far beyond excessive labor costs. Departments frequently “staff up” to overcome operating problems caused by everything from organizational cultural issues and resource inadequacies to work process factors. Departments that consume an abnormal amount of labor resources because of these factors are more often than not also struggling with quality, physician and patient satisfaction, employee relations and community image issues. Done correctly, department productivity benchmarking will help identify those departments in the most need of management action.
  • As a Management Data Set Validation Method: More than sixty percent of U.S. hospitals are managing with inadequate or inaccurate management information. A systematic review of data, performed during the course of the benchmarking process, will identify errors in the management data set leading to better decisions.
  • As a Change Management Resource: Is your team in the process of building a new organizational culture to meet today’s challenges? Productivity benchmarking serves as an essential component of any serious management initiative to transform the classic hospital culture. Hospitals that routinely and systematically benchmark department productivity are communicating powerful performance expectations with action as well as words.

Modern technology has placed annual department productivity benchmarking within the easy reach of every hospital management team. Major changes take place in the hospital almost every day. How current are your department productivity benchmarks?