Good Stewardship – What Does it Look Like?

Good Stewardship – What Does it Look Like?
Equipping board members to be good stewards

 

We are proud of our service to property owners and association boards over 45 years of doing business in Illinois. We are especially proud of continually retaining over 98% of our associations and co-op corporations annually. We try to treat residents as we would like to be treated, and manage properties as if they were our own homes. But what does that sort of attention really mean? Read on for real-life examples from our communities.

 

We manage your home as if it were our own.

Manage Your Homes like Our Own
While we train our employees to be ethical, efficient and fiscally responsible, a large part of our training is intended to keep employees focused on the tremendous trust we’ve been given in maintaining property values and improving lives. Property managers regularly walk around the properties looking for anything to be fixed or improved, and build relationships with residents while they examine the buildings.

How does this attention look like in real life? Here are some examples.

  • When one property manager learned that a resident had been rushed to the hospital in critical condition, she went out to his home, rescued his cat, and made arrangements for it to be sheltered. She then called the resident in the hospital to reassure him that his cat was cared for.
  • A manager in a luxury high-rise building was managing a project to install new air-conditioning units. This required a brief shutoff of the water flow to certain homes. When she learned that the shutoff would affect a resident’s temperature-controlled storage area for a rare art collection, she made arrangements with specialists to have the artwork moved to a safe area until the water was back on.
  • When a fire broke out at a property on a weekend, the property manager spent numerous hours at the property comforting homeowners who were affected. She helped them understand how to work with their insurance companies about losses and how LMS would work with the board to make repairs to their common areas.
  • An elderly resident passed away, and his family came from across the country to make final arrangements. Because they were from out of town, they didn’t have any contacts here. The regional director helped the family find the funeral services they needed, then helped them find the professionals they needed to handle his possessions and list the home to be sold – some of which was done long-distance after the family had gone home.

Equipping board members

Equipping Board Members
To help association board members be better stewards of their properties, we give incoming board members an orientation on association laws, management principles, financial management, avoiding conflicts of interest and handling confidential information. We also run several events each year with speakers who help them learn new topics. In the past few years, we’ve trained managers on:

  • New Illinois condo laws,
  • Safety and disaster preparedness,
  • Auditing,
  • Electronic voting,
  • Short term rentals,
  • Door staff 401(k) option, and
  • Staff pensions.

We also become partners with associations to save them money and help them be careful stewards of their most personal assets – their homes. Rather than rubber-stamping budgets and expenses each year, we actively look for ways to use assets most effectively for long-term success. Here are some of our recent success stories:

  • At one property, we worked with the village to argue that scavenger fees should be at their village’s expense, since the property has curbside pick-up and was being charged for it on their tax bill. After working with the Director of Public Works, we saved the Association $95,802 on scavenger expense.
  • LMS and Nania Energy Inc. worked to bring an energy buying program to LMS Associations. It provided LMS’s small usage Associations the pricing of large usage Associations and thus saved them substantial dollars. Ultimately, the program resulted in a $175,000 annual savings to our Associations through 2017.
  • One property had a clubhouse that had a lot of potential, but did not get much use. We suggested simply updating the floors (hardwood, ceramic tile), bathrooms and window treatments, and changing the paint colors to attract more rental interest from homeowners. The clubhouse is currently booked solid almost every month, adding to the property income.
  • LMS recently contracted with a company that can reduce water expense. This company has created a device that reduces the volume of water that goes through the water meter by compressing the oxygen in the water. LMS was lucky enough to secure this device on the first Condo in the Chicagoland region. The company placed a meter before their device and after to accurately measure the water savings.  The results were amazing – the devices saved the Association $43,000 in water bills!

These recent stories aren’t the exception at Lieberman; they are the norm for the way we do business. That’s why we proudly announce that we retain over 98% of our clients year after year, and why our company enjoys record growth in the Chicagoland area. Our success is due to the integrity of the strong relationships we create with not only the Boards and residents we serve, but also with our vendor partners. Quite simply, our goal is always to enhance our clients’ properties physically, financially and environmentally.