Olivia Pope, the main character on ABC’s Scandal, is a professional fixer. If you have a problem—any problem—she can fix it. Over the past two seasons plus, she’s rigged elections, covered up murders, employed professional hit men, exposed secrets, made and ruined countless lives, and played hard to get with the President of the United States. But the most amazing thing about Olivia Pope is that she’s always available. Walk into her office, she’s there. Call her cell, she’ll pick up. And when she answers, she can make even the biggest problems disappear.
In another life, Olivia Pope would be a terrific property manager—the best property manager who ever existed. After all, if she can rig presidential elections, she can handle complaints about noise and leaky pipes. But Olivia Pope is fictional in more ways than one. No one answers the phone every time it rings.
Whenever a problem arises in a condo or homeowners association—whether it’s a leak, a noisy neighbor, or some procedural question that has come up—it’s the impulse of many board members and residents to pick up the phone and immediately call their property manager. Most times, this is the right thing to do: the manager is first in line in an HOA’s administrative hierarchy. That said, there’s a right way and a wrong way to call your manager—and sometimes, it’s not appropriate to call at all. Enough calls at the worst possible time, or for the most trivial matters will only make you a total pest, and could even make your manager less enthused about helping you with future problems.
When to Call
In my years interviewing property managers and other professionals for The Cooperator, I have determined that the best time to call is at 9:30 in the morning on Tuesday—not quite the beginning of the week, not quite the beginning of the day. Nine times out of ten, this has worked for me.
“The way we have our situation set up is that we have a 24-hour line,” says Paul Arrington, MPM, RMP and chapter past president of the Tampa Bay Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers. “Boards and residents have my information. They can also call my cell phone. It’s not hard to get a hold of me.”