FAQ

Blue Star is a leader in offering quality, affordable management services which meet the needs of Directors and Owners.

There are several issues that should be weighed before choosing your management company, and these are some of the questions prospective clients take into consideration when comparing property mangement firms:


What type of service?

Blue Star PMC specialises in Personalized Service.

Management is not only about facts, figures and schedules, it is also about PEOPLE - the owners who have entrusted us with the care of their home, and we value that trust and respect the people who have given it to us.

Every staff member recognizes that communication with any owner is an opportunity to help, and we always think of each owner as a person, to enforce this, our software our the feature to incorporate a photo, so that whenever your account is accessed, the staff member is looking at your picture as they speak to you.


What internal controls - how do you know they will do what they say they will do?

Blue Star PMC believes in Quality Assurance. (ISO & ACMO)

Quality assurance is about managing business processes with a planned and systematic pattern of actions so that both the supplier and the customer are satisfied with the quality and consistency of the services provided.

Having previously been registered with ISO 9001 Standard, our executives embrace the ACMO 2000 standard as an Industry specific standard to promote professionalism and raise management standards within the condominium management industry.

To this end, Blue Star Property Management Corporation fully supports this accreditation and is moving towards their ACMO 2000 registration.


Are they qualified to undertake this task? Are they aware of the methodologies involved and current issues facing the sector?

Blue Star PMC is committed to ongoing staff education.

We have a commitment to the continuing education of all its staff. We hire only staff who have completed relevant education to their profession. With junior or inexperienced staff, we run a mentorship programme so that every facet of our operation is under the control of a qualified professional, and every staff member has the opportunity to grow within their chosen career.

This is an extremely important factor in the management of individual properties, due to the sometimes complex nature of physical, financial and future forecasting requirements.

Every Property will be managed by a Property Manager who has completed their education requirements, and until such time as they have received the RCM designation, they will be under the mentorship of a Senior and Qualified RCM, who has ultimate responsibility for the management of the property.


Will I, as a Director, be liable if there is a problem?

Blue Star PMC protects the Directors.

We ensure that Boards are fully aware of their obligations as Directors, and that the interests of the Corporations and all owners are protected by adhering fully to the legal and financial requirements placed upon the corporation. Boards are provided with professional advice and recommendations as needed.

In addition we carry our own Liability Insurance as well as an errors and omissions Insurance to further protect the Corporation and the Board of Directors.


How do you keep track of and cross reference all aspects of the Corporations business, and indiviudal owners issues?

Blue Star PMC utilises Industry Specific Software, specially modified to give us even greater flexibility.

Information, Accuracy of Such information, and speed of access to the information are critical aspects of all management. Property Management is no different.

By using powerful and fully integrated software specifically designed for property management, and incorporating some modifications has allowed Blue Star Properties to streamline its administrative functions to offer accessible, accurate and up to date information for every property or individual home owner, allowing managers to meet and surpass any reporting requirements for presentation to Directors or answers to owners.


How often do you report to the Board and to Owners?

Blue Star PMC has a policy of prompt, informative communication.

Good communication is the cornerstone of any successful partnership. We keep the Board fully informed with details to make the decisions required of them and although open communication between owners and the management to answer any questions owners have, this is often not necessary due to the regular Newsletters prepared with the Board to inform owners of plans and activities of their property.


How do you see our property in 15 years time?

Blue Star PMC is committed to economically sound Environmentally Friendly initiatives.

Condominium Corporations must consider not only the financial consideration, but the environmental and social impact of their operations. The impact we have on our environment cannot be denied, and condensed living has a far greater impact than many people understand.

Not only are there perhaps a hundred families living in the footprint that would normally support at most, 20 homes, but when humans do not have to tend personally to issues, such as electricity bills, recycling, water usage, people tend to forget the importance of these aspects and the impact they have.

Through the education of owners, regular maintenance of mechanical equipment and keeping abreast of new developments in products and services, Blue Star PMC assists Corporations to minimize their impact on the environment whilst contributing significantly to the long term financial well being of a complex.


Which contractors and tradespeople do you invite quotes from?

Blue Star PMC will provide quotes only from those trades suitably qualified to carry out the work.

Whilst Blue Star PMC is not affiliated with any Trade Company, we do enjoy good relations with many qualified contractors and tradesmen. We keep a list of approved contractors for use by all Property Mangers.

One of the requirements to be placed on this list is that our office have a copy of the WSIB clearance certificate and a copy of the public liability insurance for each contractor used. Work is inspected and verified before payment is approved.

We know that “cheapest” does not always mean BEST for the coproration. We attempt to source competitive quotes for the Board to choose from.


What type of accounting system do you use?

Blue Star PMC will uses an electronic system which enforces GAAP standards.

Our software enforces double entry accrual bookkeeping. It also allows for chargebacks to units, holds on contractor payments until work is cleared, prepares full gst and, where necessary, CAM statements.


What type of financial reports do you produce?

Blue Star PMC produces a full set of monthly financial reports.

We produce a full set of Monthly financial statements including balance sheet, cash flow, budget comparison, aged receivables and payables, and bank reconciliation. In addition we prepare monthly Reserve Fund statements.


Do you specify which Auditor we should use?

Blue Star PMC DOES NOT specify which auditors to use.

We work with ALL auditors to provide them the information needed to produce the annual reports for the corporation.


How do you know what physical condition our property is in?

Blue Star PMC Property Managers are required to keep condition reports.

Our duty statement for Property Managers includes regular inspections of the properties in their portfolio. These reports are entered in our system with any reported issues appearing in the service log for attention.

These give the manager and the Board early warning signs if problems are emerging or already exist, and also show a history of work performed which assists the engineers when conducting reserve fund study updates.


How do you make sure all common element fees are collected?

Blue Star PMC adheres to the Act, and makes every effort to make life simple for owners.

We perform electronic fund transfers to make payment of common element fees simple for owners.

When owners for whatever reason fall behind in their payments we follow our internal procedure which include: an attempt at personal contact to remedy the situation, a statement mailed by normal post, a statement with a warning of legal action and associated charges, a formal warning of lien, and finally, registration of lien in order to protect the Corporation from loss.


How do you prepare annual budgets?

Blue Star PMC provides detailed information to the Board for discussion when approving budgets and common element fees.

Our preparation includes cash flow reports showing seasonal variances, utility consumption tables, explanations of exactly what is included in each category of charges, historical comparisons and estimated expenditures based on all these reports. The Board can clearly see in which areas modifications need to be made if the preferred outcome is to reduce expenditure.


How do you explain to owners why their fees went up?

Blue Star PMC prepares a summary budget for distribution to owners.

Included with the summary budget sent to all owners is a graphic representation of where their fees are used within the property. If necessary, we will also hold an owners information meeting to explain the budget.


Can you explain about Reserve Fund Studies?

Blue Star PMC works closely with engineers in the final preparation of the Reserve Fund Study and updates.

Due to the comprehensive reports kept on the physical condition of the property and of all the work performed, we are able to supply the engineers with all the information they need to produce the study and the required funding plan.

The information supplied by us gives a much more in depth knowledge of how the building is aging, and allows a more accurate report, rather than one based on the "norms".


How do you make sure contractors do their work and are not overpaid?

Blue Star PMC maintains its contractor list and its internal financial control policies to protect corporations.

Any contractor found to be submitting an incorrect invoice overstating work performed would be immediately removed from our approved vendors list.

In addition to the screening process for initial acceptance on the list, we have a internal procedures which include: purchase orders for every task ordered; no invoice paid without approved PO; inspection and sign off on work performed; plus requisite hold backs on large jobs that need time to be inspected fully.


How do you maximize the return on our Reserve Fund monies?

Blue Star PMC liaises with Financial Planners to obtain the best options for investing funds which are not immediately required.

We regularly consult planners with a view to obtaining the best returns for the corporation. We then present the option to the Board for them to choose the desired investment plan. Allowed Reserve Fund investments are controlled by the Condominium Act and we only present options which are permitted under the Act.


What do you do if owners start making trouble in the property?

Blue Star PMC fully enforces Bylaws and Rules.

The Act, the bylaws and the corporations rules are fully enforced to the best of our ability without resorting to actions which would cost the Corporation legal fees. If this step becomes necessary, we consult with the Board before initiating such action. When it is clear that bylaws or rules are inadequate, we consult with the Board and then the owners for implementing new instruments.


What if our Superintendent is injured and can not work?

Blue Star PMC promotes training for all staff to minimize this risk.

By adhering to the guidelines for occupational health and safety and promoting safe work practices, including training for staff, we minimize on the job injuries. When an injury preventing work does occur, there are several options to be considered to cover the duties of the injured employee.

The action taken would depend on the severity of the injury and the recovery time. Some of the options to be considered would be: redistribution of duties; employment of a temporary replacement; re-organise work schedules to accommodate employee; or hiring of external contractors to complete duties no longer performed by employee .


What do you do if a person requests a status certificate?

Blue Star PMC firstly protects, then assists.

When a status certificate is requested, we initially protect the privacy of the owner by validating the request by confirming the unit is listed for sale, or the owner has approved the certificate.We then protect the interest of the Corporation by inspecting the common elements associated with the unit to ensure that there has been no damage caused to the exclusive use common elements.Finally we assist the owner and the prospective new owner by preparing the certificate well within the ten days allowed for such preparation.


How do you make sure the superintendent perform their duties?

Blue Star PMC engenders trust, loyalty and integrity, backed with firm but fair management.

When staff are treated with dignity and respect they respond in the same manner. Additional to this we have clearly defined duty statements of what tasks are expected of each employee. Property Mangers also prepare work schedules for priority tasks as specified by the Board.

The final tool in managing staff is the that Managers property inspections reveal if duties are consistently being missed, and their short unannounced visits to the property also assist in identifying areas which may not be receiving timely attention as required.


What happens when there is an emergency?

Blue Star PMC standing orders cover security and emergency situations.

ON site staff are always contacted before the Property Manager. They are in a position to decide on the most appropriate course of action. If staff are unavailable, we provide an emergency pager number which is carried 24/7 by the on duty Manager. Although they may not be YOUR property manager, they will be a qualified person who will take the appropriate action.

In all instances, police, fire or ambulance services should be called prior to paging the manager. When there is an urgent situation, the on site staff will contact the manager for guidance or reporting as needed.