Our mission is to meet each property’s particular requirements, provide unparalleled service to its residents, and maintain and enhance its value. In the process, we are sensitive to the fact that where and how people live is a powerful and complex emotional issue, and to the necessity of balancing the Board of Directors’ objectives, as a client, with those of the individual resident/owners.
Proactive Management, Emphasizing Value and Client Satisfaction
Recognizing the variety of skills needed for effective management, we assign to each property a balanced team of dedicated executives and support staff, closely coordinated under control systems that involve the highest echelons of the company.
We see the client’s interests as a combination of these management-related points of view:
- Asset management-the fiscal health of the property
- Property management-staffing, maintaining and operating the building and its systems
- Relationship management-the quality of life in the building and accommodation of the diverse interests of the individual resident owners.
Our focus on client satisfaction starts with identifying the unique style and character of each property. We then tailor our services accordingly. As we integrate the three management functions to achieve our clients’ goals, our approach is not just responsive, but proactive. Responsiveness is obviously essential to successful management, but anticipation is the mark of professionalism.
We have developed comprehensive techniques for controlling every aspect of management and for effective deployment and supervision of our staff, to ensure that the objectives are met. We work with the Board to establish an annual operating and capital budget and the common charges needed to balance it. We will create a 5-year plan, to be updated annually, which identifies, anticipates, evaluates and prioritizes the short- and long-term needs for the building within the three respective management areas.
Organized for Effectiveness
Halstead distinguishes itself in the asset and property management field through the depth of our senior management and the way in which management staff is assigned to a property.
In our management system, all issues of accessibility, responsibility and accountability for every aspect of each building reside with a single person, the Account Executive. There is no ambiguity. The Account Executive is totally familiar with the property and is fully integrated into every area of operations and finance. The Account Executive attends board meetings and works closely with the building superintendent, who reports to him/her.
The Account Executive is, of course, supported by Halstead staff experts in the essential technical, operational, accounting and legal specialties including the basic management functions of accounts payable, accounts receivable, budgeting, overall finances, monthly statements and title transfers. He/she can also make available to resident/owners the services of affiliated companies that provide insurance, mortgages and shareholder loans.
Every Halstead-managed property gains the benefit of the skills and insights of our senior executive team of seasoned asset management specialists. The principals of Halstead, all of whom are heavily experienced in property management through both the company and their own ownership of major buildings, are continually available to contribute their expertise.
Our management policies and procedures are standardized and codified, based on years of hands-on experience. Our Operational Manual provides precise, uniform guidelines and rules for Halstead professionals and staff. It details the duties and responsibilities of personnel, provides for handling of all situations from routine to emergency, and generally regulates the quality of management performance.
Accounting and Financial Services
Accurate and timely financial reporting and control are essential to efficient building operations. Halstead’s accounting department is staffed by more than 40 skilled professionals, supported by the most sophisticated in-house computer system in the industry. Services include budgeting, close monitoring and control of accounts payable and receivable, thorough bank reconciliations, detailed financial and operational reporting and investment of funds, among others.
We have created a team-based system for each building, rather that the traditional assembly line style of accounting. Staff is organized into an accounting team consisting of an Assistant Controller/Project Accountant, an accounts receivable person and an accounts payable person to handle a group of buildings. In this regard, the team familiarizes itself with the intimate details of each building, thus bringing a qualitative control in addition to a quantitative control to each accounting function.
Senior accounting management provides three levels of control, from the Assistant Controller to Assistant Treasurer to our Treasurer. All reporting and control functions are standardized in our Administrative Manual for each building. It defines procedures for monitoring all aspects of the property for efficiency and cost savings and is available to the client to provide an overview.
To supplement each team, Halstead has a budget department that works hand-in-hand with the accounting team and account executive to produce annual budgets for each building. Also, Halstead has centralized all utility accounting audits to insure that these very specific reviews are conducted by true professionals.
Our computer system has been specially designed to network all buildings that we manage, allowing Resident Managers and Boards to access the latest detailed operational and financial data on their building at any time. The system enhances communication and information flow and leads to faster, more accurate record keeping, critical elements for proper management and control.
Staffing, Training, Relations with Resident Owners
At Halstead, we pride ourselves on the unique and comprehensive screening and testing procedures used to identify and hire the best candidates at every level of our organization. We are able to develop a sophisticated profile of each candidate and determine that candidate’s inherent ability and aptitude for property management.
Our management philosophy stresses the highest standards of performance excellence and positive employee relations. We motivate our team by instilling pride and purpose in each staff member’s position, and do not accept undisciplined personnel or poor performance records at any level.
All of our property managers and account executives attend weekly meetings at our corporate offices, to which experts in various professional property management disciplines are invited to share their knowledge with us. This ongoing training, along with the guidance of our senior staff and in-house specialists, sustains the enthusiasm and productivity of our account executives in meeting the diverse challenges of luxury residential management.
The ultimate product of successful property management is the satisfaction of resident owners. Our management team and staff know that prompt, caring and careful service, courteously delivered, is the basic ingredient of good client relations. Ours is a service business, in which success depends on effective communication with the client in both directions. Our training emphasizes the importance of listening. We encourage our people to view complaints as opportunities and to recognize that complaints, no matter how they may appear, are serious to those who make them and must be handled accordingly.
We insist on adherence to the Halstead Code of Business Conduct, a statement of principles that guides our employees in the performance of their duties and holds them to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.
Maintenance and Preventative Maintenance
Regular and preventive maintenance are dependent on systematic building inspections and scheduled procedures.
Complete inspections of the building, its systems, equipment and outside areas are performed periodically and a log is kept by the Resident Manager. Surprise inspections are made from time to time, sufficient to keep building staff alert but not so frequent as to interfere with the working relationship so crucial between building staff and corporate management. Every building has its own month-by-month schedule of seasonal inspections to reduce the cost of maintenance and identify potential problems at the earliest moment.
We urge our clients to maintain their buildings and mechanical systems in top working order. We believe that there are no savings in deferred maintenance and that preventive maintenance is not only less expensive in the long run, but assists in avoiding the disruptions and hazards of structural or equipment failure.
Halstead’s purchasing services are the most advanced and cost-effective currently available. Our centralized purchasing system provides substantial savings that are not available to individual buildings. We pre-negotiate bulk rate discounts from vendors, on a per-unit basis, on behalf of buildings in our management portfolio. Thus, each building benefits from the strength that comes from purchasing for over 8,000 residential units. Each purchase order is posted on our computer system for easy review by each building. We are able to maintain quality throughout while reducing costs.
The residential management professionals of Halstead make every effort to ensure a smooth, seamless transition from the previous management company. Our experienced specialists in this complex process will address staffing, financial, insurance, maintenance, purchasing and other important issues. Regular meetings are held with the Board to arrange the transfer of such important data as contracts, financial statements and personnel records.
As one of the largest managers of important cooperative and condominium apartment residences in New York, our experience equips us to complete the transition and assume responsibility quickly, efficiently and with minimum disruption for the property and its resident owners.
The principals of Halstead have formed a strategic alliance with Frank Crystal & Co., Inc., one of the top insurance brokerage firms in the United States, to create Vanderbilt Properties Associates, Inc., a membership concern. Vanderbilt Properties is a risk purchasing group that allows buildings to purchase liability insurance at significant discounts and for higher coverage than is typically available for individual buildings acting on their own. In addition to liability, directors and officers insurance, and casualty insurance, the firm provides property, boiler, and workmen’s compensation insurance services to its clients.
Another key member of the Halstead management team is the Broker Specialist assigned to each building. The Broker Specialist becomes an expert on the building to which he/she is assigned and brings to the sales process a special sensitivity to the marketing requirements of its units. He/she communicates regularly with the resident owners on the state of the market and recent sales activity in the building, and is available to provide, without charge or obligation, a periodic estimate of the current market value of any apartment in the building.
Halstead is magnificently qualified to help resident owners sell their property. As one of New York’s top residential real estate service firms, we have a staff of more than 900 knowledgeable brokers. Our experienced professionals operate on a personal level, delivering the highest level of responsive, individualized service. The marketing plans they create are tailored to individual needs and objectives, precisely targeted, and make use of a wide range of specialized techniques including some that are proprietary and available only to Halstead clients.