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Home » Company News » Company Information » Company Story - BlueChip Award

Company News

Company Story - BlueChip Award

Gateway Management, now known as The Gateway Group, is a family owned business that manages condominium and homeowner associations.

The Challenges

On Aug. 12, 2004, Gateway Management was a stable business, employing 14 people who managed 27 condominiums and homeowner associations. The following day, Hurricane Charley roared up Charlotte Harbor, destroying homes and other buildings throughout the region. Gateway’s office was severely damaged, rendering it uninhabitable. The business was forced to move to the condo of one of the principals, then to temporary office space, then an office park until the original office was repaired.

In the years since, finding new ways to provide exceptional service to our clients has proven challenging. Most clients are suffering in the current economic climate. Collection problems have taken a toll on community budgets, and clients are being forced to make difficult financial decisions. Gateway has had to completely revise the business plan and internal office structure to handle the processing of hundreds of liens and foreclosures.

The most recent challenge has been dealing with the unexpected semi-retirement of the founder of Gateway. She started the company in 1980, and has played a major role in the company’s success. This has resulted in refocusing duties of the other principals, and the hiring of additional staff.

The Solutions

After Hurricane Charley struck, business changed in many ways. Gateway staff suddenly had to become experts in insurance, construction and evaluation of customers’ expectations. The company had to adapt to a changing environment by moving from managing associations to rebuilding communities. During this evolution, our approach to growth began to change.

The company began to pick and choose clients rather than take on everyone who wanted our services. This has resulted in significantly higher profitability and growth, earning Gateway a reputation as a quality provider of association management services.

The company has found ways to be creative in the collection process by establishing a Web-based process so residents could pay their fees online or with a credit card. By offering clients their own community Web site, we are able to increase communication with residents at virtually no cost to the association. Due to the foreclosure situation the company has had to step up its commitment to providing clients with information related to investments and cash flow projections.

In November 2008, Gateway will host a leadership seminar for its 250 community board members. It is a half-day event during which we will provide an overview of recent legislative changes and an update on insurance market conditions.

Today, the business manages 78 communities in five counties along the Southwest Florida Coast. This represents a client base growth of 189% since 2004 and a revenue increase of 137%.

Gateway has relocated to a more efficient office space to accommodate the growing team of 18 office/management personnel and 11 maintenance personnel, a staffing increase of 164% over 2004.

The success is the result of good business practices, continual training opportunities and the nurturing of community involvement. Managers attend Community Association Institute (CAI) seminars and legal updates. The principals attend an annual CEO/MC retreat for CEOs of management companies from around the country. Training for employees is provided by bringing in consultants for updates on software, insurance agents to explain market condition changes, and attorneys to review recent legislative changes that affect our industry.

Community involvement has provided Gateway with many business opportunities. The company supports local organizations such as the United Way and the Good Samaritans Food Pantry. The principals are both past presidents of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce. One principal is the past president of the Board of Realtors and in 2006 was selected as Charlotte County’s first recipient of the “40 under 40” award given by Gulfshore Business Magazine. The other principal has been president of the United Way, YMCA and the Economic Development Council.

As growth of the company takes staff to more distant locations, technology will be increasingly critical in its success. Working toward this objective, staff members are encouraged to use laptop computers and hand held organizers. The company recently completed a changeover to Outlook and a company-wide collaborative calendar has been implemented.

In 2008-2009 The Gateway Group will complete a SWOT Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) in order to clearly define the vision for the future. This process gives all members of the Gateway team the opportunity to be involved in identifying what needs to improve and to set goals for the future.

At The Gateway Group there is a strong commitment to provide quality service to customers and to provide an excellent working environment for employees.

This web site is a service of Gateway Management