Self-manage vs. management company: Which is right for your condo or co-op?

Board member education
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June 28, 2024
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min read
Self-manage vs. management company: Which is right for your condo or co-op?

If you're on the board of your small condo or co-op, you might be facing a big decision: should you self-manage or bring in a professional management company? This choice can have a significant impact on your building's health and even your own well-being. We’ll walk through the pros and cons of both options to help you make the best decision for your community.

Self-management: The hands-on approach


  1. Budget-friendly: Without management fees, you'll have more money to allocate elsewhere. That's a win for your bottom line.
  2. In-the-know: You'll have your finger on the pulse of everything happening in your building.
  3. Quick decisions: When you're in charge, you can make choices swiftly without going through a middleman.


  1. Time-consuming: Depending on your building’s needs, self-managing can take up a lot of your personal time.
  2. Knowledge gaps: Board members might not have the in-depth knowledge required for effective property management, including areas like local laws, technical projects, roof replacements, and insurance requirements. This could lead to important details being overlooked and potentially costly mistakes.
  3. Vendor relationships: Finding reliable, cost-effective service providers can be hit-or-miss without established relationships.
  4. Neighbor conflicts and stress: Enforcing rules while maintaining friendly relationships can be a tricky balance.
  5. Unexpected costs: While you save on management fees, you could end up spending close to the same amount on potential fines and vendor mistakes. 

Professional property management company: expert building operations


  1. Expertise and experience: Management companies bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, so operations should be handled more seamlessly.
  2. More free time: With day-to-day operations managed professionally, board members can focus on governance and get time back..
  3. Professional resources: Established networks of contractors and vendors often means better pricing and service quality.
  4. Compliance and risk management: Professional managers are well-versed in regulations, reducing the risk of fines and legal issues.
  5. Financial management: Professional accounting teams maintain robust financial records, essential for audits and unit sales.


  1. Price tag: Hiring a management company involves additional fees, which can be a significant expense for the building.
  2. Less personal: A management company may lack the personal investment of board members who live in the building, potentially leading to less personalized service.
  3. Dependence: The building’s success becomes closely tied to the performance of the management company, so choosing a reliable partner is key.

Factors to consider:

  1. Your board's strengths: Take stock of your board's skills, available time, and commitment. If you're short on expertise or time, professional management might be the way to go.
  2. Building size and complexity: Larger, more complex condos and co-ops often benefit from professional management due to the increased workload.
  3. Future plans: Think about your building's long-term goals. Professional management can offer strategic planning that might be challenging to do on your own.
  4. Learn from others: Reach out to other boards for their experiences. Their insights can be incredibly valuable in making your decision.


Deciding between self-management and professional management comes down to your building's unique needs, your board's capabilities, and your long-term goals. Self-management can save money and offer personal oversight, but it's time-consuming and risks missing important details. Professional management brings expertise and lightens the board's load, though it does come at a cost.

At Daisy, we've seen many boards grapple with this decision. Often, they're hesitant about self-managing, but find most management companies too expensive for their smaller buildings. That's why we've designed our services differently. We offer management packages that scale with your building's size and needs. For smaller buildings, we have a more streamlined management option that's budget-friendly. And if your needs change – say, a big project comes up – we can easily adjust our services to match.

By taking the time to weigh your options and consider the pros and cons, you'll be able to make a choice that keeps your property running smoothly and efficiently with a thriving community.

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