Managing your own condo can come with pros and cons; one of the biggest pros being cost savings. As a smaller condo, you might be looking for ways to reduce owner fees and managing the condo yourselves (when done effectively) can be a good way to do so. 

Just keep in mind that self-management might save you money, but it can also cost you a lot of time. 

Here’s everything you need to know about successfully doing the job.


Make Your Life Easier

Your biggest job when you remove a dedicated property manager from the equation is keeping the other owners happy and maintaining the property value. This job can either fall on one person or be divided up between the board or homeowner’s association (HOA).


Board Guidelines 

To be as successful as possible you need to set some guidelines. Between you and the other volunteers, discuss the following if you don’t already have bylaws in place:

  • How the volunteer board is chosen; is it a voting process between all owners, does everyone have to take a turn or is it just those who put their hands up?
  • How you select roles for yourselves that play best with your strong suits.
  • How often your board turns over. Set out the length of term for each member of the board and make sure there’s an overlap so each member isn’t learning everything from scratch.
  • Take thorough meeting minutes. You’ll need to look back and see what’s been decided on before and what’s been tabled for a later discussion.
  • Keep accurate records for all of your vendors and maintenance logs for anything previously repaired.
  • Set clear agendas and tasks for each meeting with one person to keep it on schedule and on track.


Setting Boundaries 

When you’re managing your own condo, it can be easy for personal time to bleed into condo time. Set clear restrictions for yourself:

  • Be clear with every owner (and yourself) what hours you’re available to be contacted within.
  • Set up a dedicated email, phone number and/or office space that can help separate work from pleasure.
  • Do not allow people to request things in-person, get it all in writing — that means you need to follow up from any conversation with an email.



Decide who can make what decisions and how:

  • Triage your common questions and concerns and decide upfront how you’d deal with each issue. Are there some that require a board meeting or can you make some personally without consulting anyone else?
  • There is software that can help you keep everything in one place and are specifically designed to simplify condominium management.
  • Be upfront with deadlines and when you’ll action items that residents have brought to your attention. What needs to be done within 24 hours, 1 week, a month or a year?
  • Have a clear plan to deal with delays, confrontations or other problems will also help ease this process.


The Budget

Money is a big one, and likely the reason you’ve decided to self-manage. Know what your budget is and who’s managing it.

  • Decide on who is responsible for the budget and approving expenses.
  • Set a reserve percentage and maintain it (usually 10-20% of your yearly budget).


Contracted Help

Outsource the skills your board doesn’t have:

  • Some years you might be lucky enough to have skilled professionals on your HOA that can take over the books or plumbing, other years you’ll need to outsource it. 
    • Even if you have skilled members on your team, they might not be willing to dedicate their time in that way. 
    • Try reaching out to other residents who might have the skills you need. After all, they have a vested interest in keeping costs low too.
  • Make a list of all of the vendors you need on-hand, this should include:
    • An accountant
    • A lawyer that specializes in condos
    • Cleaners 
    • Concierge
    • Maintenance
    • A plumber
    • An electrician
    • Window washers
    • And the list goes on. 
  • By outlining these from the get-go, you can compare quotes, negotiate rates, know their response time and have their number handy in case of emergency.

To streamline your processes even more, contact our team at GoJaxon where we handle your cleaning, concierge and maintenance all under one roof. Our concierge and maintenance teams can also help you find the other skilled trades you need. 



No matter your decisions, you need to find a way to communicate with the rest of your team and your residents. Here are some ideas on how to keep those lines open:

  • Find a common area to post notices, like the elevator or bulletin board.
  • Start a mailing list to update owners with monthly minutes.
  • Organize community halls so everyone can voice their opinion on important decisions.
  • Set a precedent for how you’ll follow up with complaints or work order requests.
  • Invite them to contact you through online surveys (for specific questions) or email for general inquiries. 

If you’ve decided the added workload is manageable and will make a significant difference to your bottom line, self-management might be your answer. 

Knock off a few calls for vendors off of your to-do list and contact us at GoJaxon. We’ll do an on-site walk through with you and provide you with quotes for cleaning, maintenance and concierge, saving you from contracting multiple companies. 

Get in touch.