Markets Insider | Business Insider
Feb. 4, 2020
Daniel Wollman, CEO, Gumley Haft, Takes Action For New York Coops and Condos
NEW YORK, Feb. 4, 2020 — As the head of Gumley Haft, a New York property management firm, Daniel Wollman, CEO, is involved in thousands of people’s lives. He guides boards of coops and condos throughout the city on matters that effect residents of New York apartment buildings. With apartments here ranging from over $500,000 to millions of dollars, Wollman’s company manages some of the most valuable real estate in the country.
So just what is property management?
“Action is what property management is all about,” says Wollman, in typical energetic fashion. “Taking action in advance for such things as preventive maintenance. Taking action to plan operating budgets and capital improvements. Taking action to hire and fire staff. And, of course, taking action in an emergency to assure the safety and expeditious evacuation of residents, when necessary.”
From renovation of lobbies and hallways, to compliance with continually updated New York City local laws regarding elevators to fire safety, Wollman oversees a team that handles buildings from uptown to downtown, including pre-war gems of landmarked significance, and post-war buildings in the Upper East Side to Tribeca.
Marking 30 years as the leader of Gumley Haft, Wollman has solved thousands of problems for boards, unit owners and shareholders in the complex city of New York. “We don’t consider any matter trivial,” asserts Wollman, who gets to his office at 7:15 a.m. dressed in jeans for quiet time to work on budgets or talk to board presidents, then meets a contractor on a roof at 8:00 a.m.
“Our job is to communicate with people about their issues and needs,” states Wollman. “People respond when they understand all aspects of a problem. Solutions spring from taking action. A change, a compromise, even a restriction, leads to effectively resolving problems related to a building, or an individual.”
Through years of managing New York apartments, Wollman identifies trends in the current market:
- Combining apartments, as well as a general increase in renovations. This has led to stronger rules and enforcement for safety, by boards as well as the Department of Buildings (DOB).
- With the emergence of the outer boroughs as highly desirable neighborhoods, pricing has evened out. “It’s more expensive to live here – anywhere – than it was in the 1980s. But there are more choices, more amenities, and likewise, more regulation,” he observes.
- DOB regulations have increased and do so frequently. As accidents happen, new laws are put into place. New technology has emerged to assure buildings remain in compliance.
While Wollman’s day extends way past 5:00 p.m., he still makes time to travel with his son’s hockey team, which he coached for several years. A sports addict, Wollman golfs, skis, and played hockey himself. His office is decorated with blow-ups of major sports figures, and some music greats, as well. There’s always music of a certain era playing in his office, as he meets with his team of property managers, takes phone calls from board members to superintendents, and crunches the numbers of building budgets.
“We’ve been part of the action in supporting New York City co-op and condo boards for 30 years,” ruminates Wollman, at his huge desk, piled with papers, two computer screens, several phones, and coffee. “Every day, we solve issues unique to the New York City resident that could range from the routine, to more unique problems that, frankly, may be new to even us.”
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