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Siren in the News

How to Hire A Managing Agent

Reprinted from The New York Times


For co-op boards in the market for a managing agent, making the right choice is a bit like buying new shoes – you can’t be sure of the fit until you’ve worn them.

Still, preliminary work can make a good fit more likely. Here, then, are some tips designed to take the guesswork out of picking a surrogate parent for your building.

Jeffrey M. Heidings, president of Siren Management Corporation in Manhattan, said that to “separate the egg from the yolk,” boards should look for companies that go beyond being bookkeepers and superintendents to those that offer cost-control and asset-management services.

“There’s nothing in the standard management contract that says a manager has to look for ways to save a client money,” Mr. Heidings said. “But the management company should know enough to say to a board, ‘Hey, if we spend a few dollars more on this project it will qualify for capital improvement or J-51 benefits,’” he said, referring to tax-saving benefits available for certain improvements.

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