Office Renovations - Another Task for a Busy Physician

October 15, 2012

On top of tending to patient concerns, staff issues, and the daily ins and outs of medical practice, I'm now tasked with property management. Sigh.

My office is a unit in an office condominium “park.” There are three separate one-story buildings each with five to six offices. Each office is individually owned, but there is shared space, such as the walkways and parking lot, owned by the condo association, which is comprised of the various owners. So in addition to the minutiae of running a medical practice, we are also subject to the joys of running and maintaining property.

This was brought to the forefront recently by three separate events. First, we are looking for new insurance. So apparently an inspector came out and has found issues that need to be dealt with before we can be insured. Secondly, there’s a new sheriff in town. Okay, it’s not a sheriff, it’s the fire inspector, but he apparently wants to do a better job than his predecessor at making sure all the "t"s are crossed. So he surprised us this week with an inspection. Turns out I have a couple of things to address here in the office, and he noticed a few things around the office park that need fixing, too. And, third, there is a new owner, and he is renovating his office, and he has found problems in the shared areas that impact his unit.

Of course, in order to get anything done, we need to get contractors out to look at the problem, we need to get estimates for the repairs, and we need to figure out how we are going to pay for all this.

Ok, so some of you are saying, “Well, don’t you have a property manager to do all this?” Well, yes and no. You see, we once had a property manager who did this as her second job. And it was her secondary job, if you know what I mean.

In addition, as she had had the job for so long, she had been around longer than some of the owners, and stopped looking out for our interests. There were other issues, but suffice it to say, she’s gone, and we have taken it upon ourselves to handle the management of the property, although we now have a new manager who does the leg work. The association (i.e. the owners) however, have to make the decisions, and when you are working with busy professionals, getting them together to talk about something that doesn’t seem pertinent to their primary role in life is downright impossible.

So we are attempting to meet to discuss the issues - what repair goes first, who we hire, how do we pay for it, etc. Yeah, after office hours, somewhere between prior auths and soccer practice.