CooperatorNews New Jersey Winter 2022
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NEW JERSEY  THE CONDO & HOA RESOURCE  COOPERATORNEWS Winter 2022   NJ.COOPERATORNEWS.COM  continued on page 8  205 Lexington Avenue, NY, NY 10016 • CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED  to the next, “it’s not a standard real estate contract—every manage-  ment company has its own form,” says Scott Piekarsky, an attorney   with  Phillips  Nizer  in  Hackensack.  That  being  said,  “items  that   should be included and should be standard include, but are not lim-  ited to: the fee, whether the fee may change and when, and by what   fee schedule the client is to be charged for services outside of what   the contract specifies. It’s also important to define when the contract   ends, whether it’s cancelable with or without cause, and what the   There are elements of board service that can vex even the most committed, most in-  trepid volunteer—and negotiating a building’s management contract is probably at the top   of that list. Vexing or not, however, the extent and quality of services available to your   building community hinges on what’s in that contract; managers and management compa-  nies are obligated to provide what’s agreed upon in it—nothing more, nothing less. That’s   why securing the appropriate terms for the appropriate price is an essential component of   maintaining a sound, properly functioning building.  The Nuts & Bolts  “Management agreements are the basis from which managing agents assist and help   operate properties on a day-to-day basis,” says Mark Hakim, an attorney with Manhattan-  based law firm Schwartz Sladkus Reich Greenberg Atlas. “A management agreement is   intended to be ‘soup to nuts,’ providing a roadmap of the agent’s duties and responsibilities,   including administrative and financial matters. The agent is intended to be the arm of the   board, generally handling all matters during the term of the agreement, while the board   continues to make the actual material decisions. Some ministerial decisions, like purchas-  ing of supplies and so forth, are delegated to the managing agent so the board can focus on   the bigger-picture items.”   And while “management agreements for co-ops and condominiums contain many   boilerplate provisions,” points out Dennis Greenstein, an attorney with the New York office   of global law firm Seyfarth Shaw, “the devil is in the details. There may be unique physical,   financial, and staffing considerations that should be considered and provided in the agree-  ment to cover them.”     And while there are certain elements that are pretty much universal from one contract   Management Contracts 101  Negotiating Your Community’s Most    Important Contract  BY A. J. SIDRANSKY  What Size Management   Company Is Best?  A Question of    Service & Scale  BY A. J. SIDRANSKY  The Year in    (P)Review  Multifamily Trends in 2021—  and Predictions for 2022  BY DARCEY GERSTEIN  Co-op and condo communities come   in all shapes, sizes, and configurations.   They range from three-unit, wood-  frame houses to high-rise apartment   buildings containing hundreds of units,   to sprawling townhouse communities   in park-like settings. Like these com-  munities, firms specializing in their   management and operation can be large   or small, generalist or boutique. The   question for boards, shareholders, and   owners is, what type of firm is right for   you and your community?  Big vs. Small, General vs. Boutique  There are management firms that em-  ploy literally thousands of professionals   in all sorts of specializations, and small   firms that employ just a handful of spe-  cialists. Size does not dictate approach,   however. Some firms are more geared   for the efficient and effective execution   of basic, daily management tasks—let’s   call them generalists—and some take a   more tailored approach to provide each   client with exactly the experience they   are seeking. This dichotomy between   generalists and boutique firms has   much more to do with a company’s pro-  fessional approach than with how many   people it employs.  “Large firms offer more redundancy   in terms of both services and person-  nel,” says Stephen DiNocco, owner of   Affinity Realty and Property Manage-  ment, based in Boston. “Some clients   view this as more availability, in that   there’s  always  someone  there  to  cover   their property’s needs. That’s not to say   that smaller, more specialized compa-  nies can’t do that, too, but in general,   larger  firms  have  a larger  client  base,   Remember in 2020, when everyone was   so excited for 2021, “when all of this insta-  bility and uncertainty will be over”? Right.   Well, while there was some relief from pan-  demic pandemonium as Americans started   to get vaccinated against COVID this past   spring and summer, the virulent delta vari-  ant threatened to override the country’s   hard-won progress and untold sacrifices.   And while the  overall  economy seems to   be on an upswing with businesses reopen-  ing and consumers more inclined to leave   their bubbles to make purchases, the major   economic shifts needed to make enduring   investments in our infrastructure, institu-  tions, and the future of our planet are just   starting to emerge from a Congressional   quagmire.  What did all this mean for the mul-  tifamily market in 2021, and where do   the pros see things heading in 2022? In a   nutshell, it’s still a topsy-turvy world out   there. Cities, which some declared ‘dead’   when population density was thought to   be a major driver of coronavirus contagion,   have shown a strong homebuying revival   in recent months as lockdowns and re-  strictions eased and vaccinations continue   to be administered. The bidding wars that   sent suburban home prices skyrocketing in   2020 and early 2021 have resumed in the   urban markets—even in the luxury sector,   which dipped significantly when the pan-  demic and other economic factors chilled   high-end homebuying.   Adding  to  all  this  complexity  is  the   reckoning that has come in the wake of the   tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers   South condominium in Surfside, Florida,   this past June, which has prompted a wave   of reforms and a recognition of the advanc-  ing age of a large portion of the country’s   housing stock, as well as the role that cli-  mate  change  plays  on  structural  integrity   and the pitfalls of deferring building main-  tenance for the sake of short-term financial   savings.   It’s the Economy, Stupid   Every bit as true as it was 20 years ago   when campaign strategist James Carville   continued on page 9  continued on page 11 

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