Friday, September 27, 2013

Three Ways to Find Good, Reliable Contractors and Vendors

We are pleased to share these three simple, but effective techniques.

In addition to Association Management Group's list of vendors the firm has experience with, it encourages condominium, homeowner associations (HOAs) to consider the following methods for selecting new potential vendors:

1. Manufacturers - Check with the manufactures of paint, siding or roofing products for contractors they know to be reliable. Even out of area national offices often have links to local vendors/installers;

2. Professional directories, Angie's List or the Better Business Bureau – All offer basic references; and

3. Similar communities or neighbors - the neighbor or neighborhood down the street may be working with some excellent vendors they likely are happy to recommend.

" At AMG, we know reliable vendors are one of the keys to high customer satisfaction." -- Dacy Flynt, AMG Charlotte Metro, General Manager

Spencer Ferguson, a Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM®) with the firm for over 10 years, says, “Associations should avoid the attraction of discount prices offered by ones just getting started. Our experience is that often the newbie vendor is portraying his business as new because he lacks long term satisfied references. This should always be a red flag.”  Dacy Flynt, AMG Charlotte, General Manager comments, "At AMG, we know reliable vendors are one of the keys to high customer satisfaction."

Ferguson also points out that it is a good idea to not only seek out long term references, from several sources, but also obtain written verification of liability, property and workers compensation insurance, even if not required by statute.

Association Management Group (or AMG as it is often known) has 6 locations in the Carolinas, features state of the art management techniques as well as “hands on” customer service that have enabled AMG to obtain better than 98% overall customer satisfaction. AMG’s unique and proprietary management systems allow them to offer a consistently higher quality of service than their competition. The six independent AMG companies manage over 300 condominium, townhome, and planned unit developments from their offices in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Research Triangle Area, Asheville and Charlotte, North Carolina, and Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina. AMG’s philosophy is simple: "Provide superior performance at a competitive price." AMG does this by utilizing state-of-the-art management systems to enable Homeowner Association (HOA) communities in North and South Carolina to operate more efficiently, increase member satisfaction and increase property values. To learn more about the company, visit or or click here watch a short video about AMG.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Satisfaction -- Not Expensive

Obtaining satisfaction in a homeowner or condominium associations is never an easy task, but these five (5) techniques cost little and will increase satisfaction:

1. Return Calls -- This sounds too simple; however, after teaching hundreds of association seminars across the country, the number one reason for homeowner dissatisfaction is failure of the manager or board members to respond in a timely fashion.

2. Be Transparent -- Again, this sounds too simple; just tell people what's going on. I have seen many Association disputes stem from boards that are reluctant to share facts with homeowners. I have rarely seen board members act poorly (on purpose), but sometimes boards don't relish advertising difficult decisions. I recommend associations develop a policy of sharing reasonable information with homeowners so that when an uncomfortable situation arises, a decision doesn't have to be made on a case by case basis. Keep in mind there are situations (for legal reasons) when an association is well within its right and perhaps has a duty to keep certain information confidential such as personnel, legal and collection matters.

3. Make Communications Simple -- I like the sixth grade test…if the average sixth-grader can't understand what we're talking about, you haven't made it clear enough. It's not that association directors or homeowners aren't intelligent, most are, but most will not spend very long analyzing what we are trying to communicate. A little extra researching and more susinct text or words will make things easier for people to understand. Remember, if it appears too complicated, many people will not understand it and assume it's wrong. In most cases, fewer and smaller words are better.

4. Maintain Friendly Disposition -- Again, pretty easy. Just be friendly and nice to people. Even if faced with a difficult conversation, there's no additional cost for being nice.

5. Hire Quality Contractors --Few associations get in trouble for hiring high quality contractors. Conversely, many problems stem from well-intentioned boards that hired an inexpensive contractor "to save money" but ended up with inferior work. Boards actually get few compliments for hiring the "cheap" but will get a lot of criticism for contracting for poor work. I highly recommend that associations focus first on hiring high-quality vendors and only then make sure they can also achieve competitive pricing.

Paul Mengert is President of Association Management Group serving homeowner and condominium associations in North and South Carolina.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dealing with Violations

Board members have many duties, including dealing with uncooperative owners or tenants who refuse to adhere to the rules. Carefully adopted rules, published to all parties, enforced uniformly help achieve harmony in a community, but when that doesn't work what's the next step? Start by asking nicely, even when it is hard to do so. Document the violation and consider if local law or code enforcement can help.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

98% Satisfaction

Compared to competitive services, AMG is able to offer a consistently higher quality HOA and condominium management because of the unique and proprietary systems we have developed over our 25 year history.  

Our communities say they are 98% satisfied with our service. Surprised?  

The five independent AMG companies manage over 300 condominiums, townhome and planned unit developments from multiple offices throughout North and South Carolina.  

Contact me for more information: