A Day In The Life — Living the Dream?

Do you ever wonder what your condo manager does? You pay a hefty amount of condo fees and a fair amount of that goes to the management company to take care of your building. Why? A lot of people look at the fees and think “oh for that amount, I can do that job and do it better.” If you can, call us. We’re always looking for new staff. If you just want to know what their day is like, let’s follow along with Kyle for a day.

Kyle is responsible for 14 properties and the site visits of a large community. This may not seem like a ton to seasoned managers, but we run our model a little differently than most. You see, Kyle is an island. (Not really, but that’s the running joke.) He doesn’t have a support staff dedicated to him. This means he is responsible for literally everything from obtaining contracts, setting up vendors, reviewing financials, and of course, the dreaded infraction notices, which given the number that he’s had to send out over the years, likely could write them in his sleep. He has a whole team that will support him 24/7 when he needs assistance, somewhere to vent or someone to review a document, because that is who we are. However, for the most part, he’s the lone wolf howling at the moon — it’s all him.

4:00 am — An emergency call comes in with water leaking into a condo unit from the upstairs unit. Calls go out to the plumbing company, restoration firm, and the unit owner above (who doesn’t answer). After six calls to the owner, Kyle wakes them from their slumber just in time for the restoration company to arrive and knock on the door.

4:25 am — The plumbing company is on-site and turns off the water to the building.

4:36 am — Kyle drafts a notice to all owners as the water is about to be cut from the building to facilitate the fixes. With no ETA on when it will be turned back on, owners may have to go to work without a shower. The mental, foggy preparations for the inevitable angry emails and phone calls begin.

4:37 am — Water is off, restoration company is determining the cause of the leak.

4:45 am — Kyle goes back to sleep to get an hour before his day starts.

6:00 am — Coffee is on and the reading of emails from the evening before, begins. From the end of the business day before to 6 am, there are 97 new emails, 7 text messages, and 11 voicemails. (Sadly, there isn’t a partridge in a pear tree anywhere to be found.) Triaging between immediate importance to next day importance starts halfway through his coffee and cookie.

7:00 am — The first two or so hours in the morning are spent reviewing ongoing projects to see if there is additional information to pass on.

8:30 am — Kyle takes a call from a homeowner who requests help reviewing the financial statements prior to the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM). 45 minutes later, the call is complete with 6 new voicemails demanding to know when the water will be back on so they can shower and look presentable at work. Plot twist — it didn’t come back on until 2:30 pm because the fix required a full shut down.

9:00 am — Like clockwork, every email known to man (and woman) comes in like a wrecking ball (apologies to Miley Cyrus) to Kyle’s inbox. 142 emails to be precise. Why the sudden flood of virtual correspondence? Many people like to set emails to be sent at 9 am and/or that’s when the rest of the world decides to start their workday. Our clients are no different. All the work organizing the previous texts/calls/emails goes out the window and now gets put into triage with the next 142.

11:30 am — After powering through the received emails and dealing with the inevitable ‘immediate action required’ emails and phone calls from the past two hours, the grumbling stomach reminds Kyle that he’s due for lunch. While many people have the ability to shut down their computer and take their allocated half or a full hour to enjoy their meal, the overflowing inbox staring Kyle in the face says otherwise. It’s a quick trip to find some food, then back to the computer for another working lunch.

1:15 pm — With the landslide of work finally subsiding, Kyle gets a call from an owner looking for another building key. A quick message to the group chat reveals that there isn’t anyone in the office today, which means that he’ll have to take a drive to the office to leave the key for pick up.

1:45 pm — With the key pick-up arrangements complete, Kyle heads back home. Along the way, the phone rings — it’s one of his single point contacts who likes to check in once or twice a month and run through everything that’s going on and get confirmation that Kyle’s not waiting on anything from the board. The call goes smoothly with nothing substantial to be dealt with.

2:20 pm — Having arrived back home, Kyle checks his email to confirm there’s nothing urgent that needs to be dealt with before calling it a day, knowing full well that additional emails and/or phone calls will likely be coming as the afternoon progresses.

3:15 pm — One of Kyle’s colleagues sends a review/edit request into the group chat for a difficult email they need to send. Despite being “off the clock” (hot tip: there isn’t really such a thing), Kyle opens the document and does a quick scan through, making a few edits along the way in an effort to make it read better. Kyle notes there are three others in the document doing likewise because that is how this team rolls. They rally and in less than five minutes, the correspondence is deemed good to send.

4:20 pm — After what has been a busier than usual, but still kind of standard day, Kyle calls it quits until tomorrow, barring the handheld claxon ringing on his shelf once again demanding attention.

Our goal with this post isn’t to engage in a pity party or a “poor Kyle” kind of moment. It was to illustrate how a day can go drastically wrong before the person even gets out of bed. Be kind, be thoughtful, and please offer your tired condo manager a coffee. They probably need it.

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Information, stories & the cold hard truth about a chaotic job that can destroy your soul. Enjoy the levity and casual approach to our version of education.

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Three By Three - Confessions of a Condo Manager

Three By Three - Confessions of a Condo Manager

Information, stories & the cold hard truth about a chaotic job that can destroy your soul. Enjoy the levity and casual approach to our version of education.

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