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Ways Property Managers Can Help to Reduce the Cost and Time Needed to Complete A Reserve Study

The cost of the reserve study is impacted mostly by how long the study will take to complete such as the length of the inspection, time needed to interview vendors & board members, the number of components to research and the analysis needed to develop funding strategies. Larger communities with a greater number of components will likely take longer so the cost will likely be higher than for smaller community. However there are some ways to assist the reserve analyst and to reduce the overall cost while still obtaining a comprehensive reserve study no matter the size of your community. 

Provide Blueprints

Blueprints are extremely helpful as the reserve analyst will be able to take measurements from them; this is a time saver during the site inspection. Additionally measurements can be obtained from blueprints that may be very difficult to obtain in the field; multiple story buildings or limited access to areas often prevent the reserve analyst from obtaining the most accurate measurements. Mechanical schedules of the blueprints are helpful in showing the location and type of equipment in a building which may have the equipment hidden away or be inaccessible during a site inspection. 

Provide A Prior Reserve Study

Even if starting from scratch with a Level I Reserve Study, providing a prior study can often be helpful for verification of placed in service dates of components (e.g. the current Board or Property Manager does not know when a roof was last replaced but the prior study may have accurate information regarding their research at the time which was for a different Property Manager / Board). 


Additionally the reserve anlyst can review the component list and any comments regarding prior work performed so that this can be discussed when completing the current reserve study. This helps to prevent scenarios coming up later which would require large revisions to the study.

Review the Component List

Since all the rest of the reserve study is based on the component list it is extremely important to review it with the Board for thoroughness and to request revisions. The components include, placed in service dates can all have impacts on the funding strategies developed so reviewing them before the final is submitted will reduce the time and resources needed of the reserve analyst. After the final is submitted requesting revisions to the component list will have an impact on all the funding strategies in the reserve study which will then need to be re-analyzed. 

Talk with Reserve Analyst about Your Community Goals

When the Reserve Analyst is creating financial strategies for a community it is extremely helpful for them to know what the goals of the community are; in fact this should be a questions the reserve analyst asks upfront. Developing funding strategies takes time so if the Board has a request to create specific funding strategy (e.g. become fully funded in 10 years) relaying this information to the reserve analyst upfront will save time as they can then run these scenarios and include them in the first draft of the study.


Adding and removing funding strategies takes time and resources but if everyone is on the same page from the beginning there is much less of a chance for needing significant alterations to the funding strategies.