Life in Phoenix, Part IV

The Regency House

Living in a high-rise building wasn't the joy that Mike & Libby had sought.   They became involved in the building's activities, both serving on the HOA (Mike, twice and Libbby for less than 1 term).   Mike was the first to run for the Board (and winning), and for a while he felt that he was doing good by looking out for the residents' interests and watching over the HOA's management.   There were numerous issues that had occurred over time, where less and less equity for the owners was producing some "favored" situations, such as special parking spots and special treatment by the building's staff and manager.   This was causing unrest among residents, and Mike wanted to open up communications and mitigate the obvious favortism.

He was one of several new Board officers who shared these goals, and changes occurred: the Manager quit; bad finances were uncovered and addressed; and a long-needed "reserve" was instituted.   Several of the long-standing board members who had gotten too "cozy" with the Manager were replaced by Mike and another new member.   Another "old guard" Board member who had been working too closely with that manager resigned.   Suddenly, the new Board had to replace that manager...with either another person or a firm that could come in and rectify the problems that had evolved under previous Boards.   This proved a difficult task, since experienced community managers were in short supply in Phoenix.  

Regency House Regency House

Mike's HOA Board hired a local company, based on qualifications that didn't really meet the Regency's needs: available companies mostly dealt with physical "communities" with private homes, not large condominimum buildings such as the Regency House.   The building needed an on-site manager who worked from an office there and was available to handle maintenance, staffing, and service issues that don't exist in a spread-out community.   Also, the high HOA fees that supported building functions needed a "manager entity" that didn't exist on a place like Phoenix.   The new company didn't work out, and the Board had to scramble to find something else.   After a time, that company didn't work out either: there were staffing problems (existing staff quit, and new hires were had to find in an era of tighter scrunity); fincnces got out of control; and the new company epeatedly change on-site managers.   There was no stability, and some owners begged for the old manager.   It was every bit as much a mess as before...

In desperation, the Board agreed to change the entire management hiring a resident (who happened to be a Board member) to be a true on-site manager.   He was a well known entity, having been the board treasurer, as well as one of the keener "watchdogs" of the other managers.   It looked like he would be "engaged" much more than previous managers, as well as serious about getting the growing financial problems fixed.   For a while, it worked out...  [more]  


Last Updated: January 12, 2021