Property Management Companies Matter

It’s interesting to contrast the customer service of the two different condo management companies I have to deal with.

For both units I’ve needed additional garage door fobs.

With Madrona who manages Trace Lofts I’ve been able to get fobs the next day when they have them in stock (they’re also conveniently located a block away making picking them up very easy). The one time they were out they mailed it to me a few days later.

With CWD Group I have emailed and phoned them a number of times for the last four weeks and have been unable to get a response from them as to when or how I can get a replacement fob. It is driving me crazy!

Unfortunately as an individual home owner you have little control over the selection of management companies, but your HOA does. Let them know how your management company is doing.

Hell, it was easier to get a replacement fob for my 1993 Land Cruiser via some sketchy Internet site.

Update: I emailed the president of CWD but received an auto-reply saying:

Please be advised that I will be traveling until December 15th. Due to the volume of e-mail I receive, I may be unable to reply prior to my return to Seattle.

Please feel free to contact our Customer Service Team at 206-706-8000 for assistance.

Unfortunately their customer service team is the problem.

Update 2: Annoyed I need to drive to Salmon Bay to pick it up. Why don’t they have offices downtown where their buildings are?

Update 3: CWD just mailed me a new remote at no cost. Thanks CWD!

About Matt Goyer

I'm the publisher of Urbnlivn and a real estate agent. I love lofts, floating homes, new construction and mid-century moderns but will help you buy or sell just about anything.
Get in touch to:
• Understand the market
• See homes for sale
• Sell your home

Contact Matt / 206-618-1600

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  • phil

    “Property Management Companies Matter”

    So true. It matters enough that a potential buyer should look into the management company before buying.

  • Enso

    I agree with you. CDW sucks. I have had multiple bad experiances with them.

  • Ken

    CWD Group is the premier community association management company in the Pacific Northwest with an exceptional customer service staff. It is impossible to please all the people all the time especially when expectations are inflated beyond reality.

  • Gary

    Having had an opportunity to work with a number of the management companies in Seattle, I have found CWD Group to be very professional and responsive.

  • angela1974

    I own a condo in downtown Seattle that is managed by CWD Group. In the 7 years I have been a resident here, I have been only pleased with the level of customer service and personal time the company has spent on my building and communication with the residents. I have sat in many board meetings that expectations have been nothing short of unrealistic.

    Everyone is human and make mistakes. Keeping that in mind, I have been more than happy with the level of service CWD has provided.

  • Todd

    I wish CWD still managed my condominium. The board decided to use another company a while back and it seems everything has gone downhill. I wish all we had to worry about was a garage remote. It sounds like you just had a bad experience on what is really a small issue relative to level of service they provided our building. Count your blessings…

  • uwp

    It's amazing how many people are this passionate about their prop management company. Four positive mentions for CWD in just a few hours. How interesting!

  • The MD

    ROFLMFAO!!! That is hilarious. It is VERY interesting to see FOUR positive responses for CWD Group in only a few hours! LOL What a joke. Anyway, back to reality now… I have lived in two projects that have been managed by CWD group, and I can honestly say in my experience with that firm they are truly awful. And they have horrid customer service.

    I'll provide an example – The company took over 90 days just to set up my direct draw for payment of HOA dues on a monthly basis. This is something that should take no longer than a week. Once they drafted my first payment, they sent me a notice stating was deficient in payment as they hadn't received my payment (I had previously been submitting a check to them). This problem then took over 40 days for them to reconcile.

    And as for Matt's comments about response rate, he is absolutely correct. GOOD LUCK getting in contact with anyone there on the first try, or second try, or third try, and so on. The company seems as though its being operated out of someone's garage or basement LOL

    Also, I a friend that lives at Cristalla that was at one time managed by CWD (I believe it is now managed by PMNW). CWD Group, as the property management firm, failed to notice the home owners' budget was missing a year's worth of gas bill! That well over $70,000 the homeowners had to “anti up”

  • cryptic1978

    Anyone here have Phillips Property Management? Ohhhhh my God.

  • Dave

    “Annoyed I need to drive to Salmon Bay to pick it up. Why don’t they have offices downtown where their buildings are?”

    They also manage property in Bellevue, and Kirkland. Should they have offices their too? I happen to be a fan of CWD. They are one of the better management companies out there. If you base your decisions on a management company by how easy it is or isn't to get a key fob, you're overlooking the breadth of services and expertise that are needed to successfully run a condo association.

  • The MD

    Wow. I didn't know there were fans of property management companies. This sh*t keeps getting richer.

  • peckhammer

    There are fans of every conceivable product and service on Earth. I am a fan of the Tesla Roadster, Rickenbacker guitars, Emerald City Music, BMW motorcycles, the Jolly Roger Taproom, and the CWD Group, who happen to have provided property management services to my building for the past 10 years. Is that rich enough for you?

  • Matthew

    And I happen to know that Peckhammer is a real person that has posted on Seattlebubble the last few years..


  • The MD

    Dave, Pekchammer, Peckerhead, or whatever your name is (why can't you pick a name and stick with it?) – Like I said, this is rich. Nothing you said has a ring of truth to it. You're full of it…

  • peckhammer

    “why can't you pick a name and stick with it?”

    Because they are both my names, I use different computers, and because I can. Doubts about my names? Look me up in Wikipedia.

    Nothing I said has a ring of truth to it? I just did a show about the Tesla Roadster, I own a Rickenbacker guitar, I am a customer of Emerald City Music, I own a BMW motorcycle, I frequent the Jolly Roger Taproom (currently being remodeled), the CWD Group has managed my building for ~10 years — and I am fans of all of the above. The truth is ringing so loud that your ears should be bleeding by now.

  • realistx

    CWD Group is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful property management company I've ever known in my life.

  • Patrick

    Our HOA fired CWD a year or so ago, and I completely support their decision.

    The comments here suggest that CWD might better at scouting web sites for feedback and paying folks to respond than managing condo buildings…

  • Patrick

    Our HOA fired CWD a year or so ago, and I completely support their decision.

    The comments here suggest that CWD might better at scouting web sites for feedback and paying folks to respond than managing condo buildings…

  • Sunny

    Stay away from Madrona Real Estate Services on Capitol Hill! My elderly neighbor had a slow leak plumbing emergency on a Friday evening several months ago. She called Madrona’s “emergency number” and had to leave a msg. No one picked up the phone. The msg. said that someone would call back. Since she still hadn’t heard from anyone several hours later she called the owner of Madrona, Brad and also had to leave a msg. Next day, Saturday, she contacted me and I followed the same steps, calling their emergency tel. #. No one picked up and I left a msg. also. WE WERE TOTALLY WITHOUT ASSISTANCE! I called a plumber to get the repair started. In summary, we never heard from the Madrona folks all weekend!
    P.S. Another emergency happened on a different weekend a couple of months later – suffice it to say, they still hadn’t corrected their “Emergency” contact procedures as my other neighbor could reach no one at Madrona.

  • mt


  • It’s been a while since this article was posted but I absolutely agree with what you’ve said. Property Management really matters especially now that we’re having some challenges in the housing market. It is one of the reason why we’re still having some investment.  Because many buyers would like have an opportunity to be a landlord and gain from what they invest.

  • I want to thank you for this informative read; I really appreciate sharing this