A property management firm reaps the benefits of an active market and new provincial rules
Photo: Nicole Horton and Dennis Dalton of HighPoint Property Management
TIMING, AS THEY say, is everything.
In the period since Nicole Horton and Dennis Dalton established HighPoint Property Management in 2015, they have ridden a wave of new condominium construction in the London region. In addition, the business has been well positioned to respond to increased demand for services last year after regulatory changes limited the self-management of condo associations in Ontario.
“[One] aspect of our business which is relatively new is the creation of two new Ontario government authorities—the Condominium Authority of Ontario and the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario—which regulates the licensing of all property managers in the province as of November 2017,” Horton explains.
“The establishment of these new authorities has meant that self-managed condominiums, with a small exception, are no longer legal. That has generated new clients for the industry in general and for HighPoint as well.”
With increased demand for its services, HighPoint has had to hire more staff and find more space. Last month, the company moved to the London Roundhouse on Horton Street, where it has taken over seven offices as well as the boardroom on the mezzanine level.
“We are focused on what we know—local residential condos. There is a huge boom right now and so much going on; we don’t see a need to look outside of the local market” —Nicole Horton
“The Roundhouse seems in perfect sync with our goals and objectives of being that modern, up-to-date, efficient condominium property manager,” says Horton. “Our new space is all of that and sets us up for the future growth.”
Before joining forces with Dalton, who is a CPA, Horton worked for a large property management company and was involved in the management of both residential and commercial properties. But Horton, who holds a Registered Condominium Manager designation, wanted to the focus strictly on residential condominiums in the London region.
The business partners were also determined to use up-to-date technology to improve the delivery of services to their clients. Every condo association they manage has its own private website giving owners instant access to information, from bylaws and insurance certificates to meeting minutes and updates on when to expect trades and maintenance workers to arrive.
“We have been able to streamline communication and our management systems, and technology has enabled us to be efficient and cost-effective. For example, with information available on the website, there is no photocopying required, and that lowers admin costs,” Horton says.
“Word-of-mouth and recommendations from our clients and suppliers have been our secret to success to date,” says Horton, adding that the company has also established relationships with local builders who are developing new condominium housing stock.
Running a small company in growth mode keeps the partners busy, and Horton says no two days are alike. “Some days are heel days,” she laughs, “and some are running shoe days.”
As for the future, Horton says, “We are focused on what we know—local residential condos. There is a huge boom right now and so much going on; we don’t see a need to look outside of the local market. We are committed to building the HighPoint brand into a company that leads the industry in London and becomes known as the gold standard in the condominium management business.” Kym Wolfe