Dear PoP – Condo Management Recs?

Photo by PoPville flickr user AWard Tour

“Dear PoP,

This is kind of a sequitur from the Condo Association question. I was wondering if you could do a post requesting recommendations for condo management companies. I won’t name names, but ours is lax and it takes too long to accomplish anything. We have two 3 story buildings with a total of 44 units. Nothing complicated here, except the concerns of a building built in the 1930s.

Separately, the board and I have researched other companies. We are too small for most management companies to accept us. So, I’m hoping word-of-mouth recommendations will yield better results.”

26 Comment

    • I would not recommend EJF. In my experience, they are understaffed, and do not dedicate sufficient resources to small buildings. They can be good in an emergency situation, but more routine and lower priority requests never get addressed. Some things, like failure to pay bills on time and inability to get documents correctly compiled for closings, are inexcusable for a management company.

  • My condo uses Tilton Bernstein (Phil Dunn in particular) we have about 35 units in the building … Phil is very good and responsive

    • Bear

      Phil from TB manages my building as well. I’m a fairly new resident, but so far he has been very responsive and easy to work with.

  • Frank Emmett?

  • We use Evolve Management company and for the most part really like them. They take on small buildings and are very into technology and accountability. Check them out at

  • New Washington Land is the best. They manage small and large buildings. I highly recommend them.

    People tend to have very individual experiences with their management companies. Depends a lot on the manager.

  • Urbane Results manages my building a several others in the area. They seem good. They answer my emails right away – that’s all I care about.

  • I’d be happy to talk to you about management of your 44 unit building. Give us a call at (202) 359.7368 x101.

    Chris Swanson
    Evolve Property Management, LLC

  • If you serve on a board, the most important decision you have to make is the hiring and firing of a qualified association manager.

    Unlike most states, the District of Columbia does not license Community Association Managers (CAMS).

    Without a public sector monitor of this vital and important job of maintaining the common elements within community associations and the handling and accounting for common funds of the association, hire Managers and Management Companies private sector accredited by the Community Association Institute with chapters in all 50 states.

    The CAI national headquarters is here in Alexandria Virginia for a referral:

    • With all due respect, that isn’t quite true. DC *does* require licenses for property managers. For your convenience here’s a copy of the study guide along with instructions for scheduling the test (much like the license process for Realtors):


      • There’s a big difference between a real property manager and a community association manager.

        I have found that many, if not most, community associations are managed by unqualified, unprepared people that have a very important job that require professional management of the common elements of common ground property.

        Without good common ground management associations can and do fail.

        When they succeed there is a motivation for the individual unit owners to well maintain their individual units when the common ground association is professionally managed.

        There needs to be a licensing of community association managers in the District of Columbia. Absent that it pays to hire PCAMS or professional community association managers accredited and designated by CAI the Community Association Institute as described above.

  • My building is managed by Evolve and I am unhappy with their service. We have a very small condo association, and I feel like our concerns slip through the cracks. I’ve heard different reviews for Evolve and I know they take on some mid-sized to very small buildings. Personally I won’t recommend Evolve for small buildings.

    • Dear Anonymous:

      I’m sorry to hear that you feel that way. Let me know what we can do to fix your issues and I’ll do my best to get that resolved for you. (Provided this isn’t one of our competitors.) LOL!!!


  • Tilton Bernstein is *terrible* in our building. They have the worst attitude possible. Check them out on Yelp – dozens of nightmare one star reviews, nothing above one star.

  • New Washington Land was the manager for the apartment I was renting (3 unit converted townhouse) for a while, and I can’t imagine a less interested management company. They let leaks in the ceiling go for a week or two before fixing, causing all sorts of damage for the owner. Didn’t seem to care, but did manage to scoop up half my security deposit for incidental damages.

    Now that I own a condo (in Park View), we’ve got Urbane Results and they seem to get the job done.

  • Abaris Realty is fantastic! Very responsive and professional.

  • For a small building, I second the recommendation for Urbane Results. They’ve saved our building a lot of $$ by finding better deals on insurance and trash, while at the same time improving the looks of the landscaping and hallways.

  • My 46 unit condo community in SE DC was transferred over to us a few months ago by ManagingDC Inc. They seem a bit new in the industry but they’ve been 100% responsive to everything we’ve asked for and I think their size and relative age allows them to be more focused than the bigger companies.

  • New Washington Land manages my building (16 unit building) and our experience is so-so. They get things repaired if you’re on them (or the landlord is on them; we’re lucky in that our landlord is very responsive) but otherwise they let things go without response. They have a ridiculous “move in” fee of $500 bucks (non refundable) and the owner is hardly ever in the area and works from home in W Virginia a lot.

    We’ve also had a couple of bad experiences involving security – once they lost track of our apartment keys with one of their repair guys, and we only found out when we needed something repaired and there was a delay “because they were tracking down our keys.” They also have let repair guys into our apartment without notice – not even a voicemail alerting us that this was happening. The only way we knew was that one of the guys used our bathroom and left the seat up.

  • Our 17 unit building uses Chatel Real Estate and we’ve been happy with their service. They are responsive to our emails and concerns.

  • We got GHA last year and they’ve been terrible. I can’t tell you how much I thought we couldn’t get worse than our previous company until GHA. ICK.

    There seems to be a lack of good management companies here, but don’t go with them. They v’e let our building fall in to even worse condition with their “recommendations” for contractors that have been terrible.

  • my condo had Tilton Bernstein (actually Mr. Bernstein was our “dedicated” pm) for a year and they bankrupt our building by overcharging for poor service and improperly managing our accounts. personally believe their failure to deliver the services we paid for was criminal. just entirely incompetent and neglectful after promising us the moon. it was clear that since we were a smaller building, they didn’t have the time or care to devote to even our most simple request. i’m glad to hear they are getting ripped on yelp. they are right near BP and Comcast on my list…

    we were able to salvage our sanity and got out of the financial hole after hiring urbane results. i cannot say enough about them. dedicated, interested, hard working, follow up on promises…etc. they just go above and beyond in every way possible and seem to really care about growing the business responsibly (maintaining quality of svc for small buildings even while picking up new accounts) and ensuring their reputation remains intact.

  • Hey Everyone,

    I was the one who asked the question. Thanks for your recommendations and warnings. I’ll take them to the board.

Comments are closed.