Monday, July 26, 2010

Monsoon Rain - Is it Climate Change?

As everyone knows, monsoon rains fell on the Chicago Area over the week-end with some places receiving as much as 7-1/2 inches of rain overnight on Friday. Don't know if it was because of climate change or just another freak of nature so common to Chicago but all you condo owners out there should be checking on your storage and utility areas.

Most of the flooding was caused by drainage system back-ups with some areas seeing as much as 1 to 2 feet of water collecting in the low areas such as boiler rooms, laundry areas and storage spaces. Living up off the ground, sometimes we forget about those areas until we happen to go down there later and find items that were stored to be mouldy and ruined.

Water damaged can be mitigated fairly easily if it is handled quickly. It is important that waterlogged items be removed and standing water be drained or mopped up. High levels of humidity in the closed spaces of a basement area can lead to mold formation. The best way to avoid this is by getting a good quality de-humidifier operating in the flooded area. What I mean by good quality is one of industrial grade that can be rented from places like Home Depot or from a mitigation company. They should be kept running for 5 to 7 days or more to draw all of the water out of the walls and partitions. Badly soaked drywall should be removed and replaced after the supporting studs have thoroughly dried with the de-humidifier.

If you have concerns about water in your building, you should contact your management company. They can point you in the right direction to help keep any  problems from arising later.

Friday, July 23, 2010

News Release - July 2010


Recent Survey Shows That Local Condo Owners Have No Real Idea
What Their Management Company Does

A random survey of condominium owners in Oak Park and Forest Park has produced some revealing insights into how management companies are perceived by building occupants. The survey was conducted on the street over the past couple weeks by Jim Digre of Dowling Properties, a local management company, for the purpose of enhancing their customer relations and business development.

While none of the respondents were asked who their management company was, the answer to "What do you think are the responsibilities of a management company?" ran the gamut from keeping the building clean to handling disputes between neighbors. The survey also revealed the number one complaint to be a lack of communication and slow or no response from the property manager.

Now working with Dowling Properties, Digre has been a condominium developer and realtor in the Oak Park area for the past ten years. When asked about the survey, he stated "Having conducted a number of turnover meetings to new condo boards, I can say that the results came as no big surprise to me". He went on to explain that most condo owners like the idea of "no hassle" living so few of them want to serve on their association board and because of this, they know little of the responsibilities involved in the successful operation of the association.

Those brave souls who do step up and take the reins quickly come to realize that unless they are willing to take the job on a full-time basis, they are going to need professional help. However, the lack of knowledge about what it takes to run the association makes management company fees a point of contention when trying to get the annual budget approved by residents. "I don't think they do much for what they charge" was one of the survey responses Digre received.

"Over the next few months we plan on changing that perception; at least as far as our company is concerned" Digre said. He wasn't willing to share the details but went on to say that Dowling Properties will be establishing communication programs with their clients that demonstrates to all the residents, not just the board, the real value of their management company. We can only wait and see how that turns out but most people will probably agree that it's a worthy goal.

Established in 1989 and located at 400 Lathrop in River Forest, Dowling Properties, LLC is one of the oldest property management companies in the area, Dowling has been serving local condo association for over 20 years and is dedicated to having Happy, Satisfied Customers.

For more information about Dowling Properties and what they can do for your association please visit them on the web at or call 708-771-0880.