Who is FirstService Financial?
FirstService Financial is a subsidiary of FirstService Corporation that provides best-in-class financial services to condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowner associations managed by FirstService Residential. We add value to the client relationship by satisfying an existing need for financial services and insurance products that allows the client to fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities.
How are you related to FirstService Residential?
As part of the FirstService family of companies, we work exclusively with FirstService Residential’s managed communities and associations.
What are financial services?
Financial services for our clients include banking and debt placement solutions that allow them to meet their fiduciary responsibilities as board members while also providing superior value.
What are insurance products?
Insurance products consist of the necessary insurance coverage an association should purchase to protect itself from unexpected losses. Most common coverages purchased are property, general liability, umbrella, crime, and directors and officers, and workers’ compensation.
What does FirstService Financial do?
We create value for our clients through advisory services, customized banking and cash management solutions, proprietary insurance products, and assistance with the placement of annual insurance programs.
How much do your services cost?
Most of our services are offered at no additional cost. There are certain loan and debt placement products that may incur a separate fee, which we will always disclose prior to purchase. Please contact your local FirstService Financial representative for details.
Is my community required to use FirstService Financial?
No, the programs and services are not mandatory; however, most clients decide to take part because of the added value that is delivered.
What types of programs do you offer?
FirstService Financial offers cash management, insurance, and debt placement programs.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
Why should I use FirstService Financial for my banking needs?
Utilizing our cash management program provides higher interest rates, savings on fees, and increased security on investments. FirstService Financial will provide oversight of clients’ funds and can assist with reporting and management of those funds.
How do you save money for clients?
By leveraging FirstService’s size and global footprint, we are able to secure higher interest rates and negotiate accounts with minimal service and maintenances fees. The end result is a higher net return on an annual basis.
How do you provide increased financial security?
We distribute our clients’ funds across a full range of FDIC-insured cash management products. Upon request, we can work with our banking partners to provide private insurance on any funds that exceed FDIC limits. We also provide our clients with enhanced fraud controls to protect their funds.
What banks do you work with?
We have partner banks throughout North America that have been selected based on client location, industry focus, and specific needs. Each bank meets certain criteria that FirstService Financial has identified:
- Top quality national banks and focused regional banking partners (all FDIC insured)
- Financially strong, thriving organizations of a suitable size to handle FirstService client business
- Banks who possess enhanced cash management platforms
- Well-placed, accessible relationship management teams focused on our industry and FirstService Financial’s overall relationship
- Excellent, market-leading rates on balance
- Excess deposit insurance augmentation
FirstService Financial manages these focused relationships closely to ensure terms, service levels, and transaction processing capabilities are up-to-date and the best available.
How are you able to get better interest rates and lower fees?
Generally speaking, FirstService’s overall size and the strong relationships we have with our partner banks enable us to obtain higher interest rates and lower operating fees. The cost of banking through FirstService Financial is lower due to our efficiency, the existence of a refined set of standard operating procedures, and our ability to act as relationship managers, thus lowering the transactional banking costs. Ultimately, these savings are passed on to our clients.
Can I get the same rates if I go to the banks myself?
The rates that banks offer directly to customers are typically lower than the rates that FirstService Financial is able to obtain. As an added service, we can also provide a cash management analysis that will compare your current bank rates versus our bank rates. Our clients will receive the best rates available to them.
Do clients have to give up control of their banking if they use FirstService Financial?
No, our clients will still have full control of their funds. Accounts are opened in the name of the association with their respective tax ID. Signing authority is designated based on the Board’s preferences. You will also have the opportunity to review and approve our recommendations before any decisions are made.
What is debt placement?
Debt placement is the process of assisting our clients with securing new loans and refinancing their existing loans.
Can I just go to the banks directly?
Yes; however, FirstService Financial is able to secure loans with lower interest rates, lower closing costs, and more flexible terms compared to what our clients can obtain directly with the same lender. We make the entire process easier for our clients.
Can you help refinance existing loans?
Yes. In fact, a significant portion of our business is refinancing and restructuring clients’ existing debt.
Do you complete the loan applications for me?
We will assist you in the loan application process and simplify a multiple bank approach. We aggregate the credit information on the property, summarize key financial metrics and distribute to various lenders who, in turn, provide us with standard term sheets to evaluate a suitable financing partner.
How long does the process take?
The process will vary depending on multiple factors, including the size of the loan, the financial condition of the association, and the approval process prescribed within the association’s bylaws and other formation documents.
How are you able to get better rates?
By working closely with banks and leveraging our size, we are able to obtain rates that outperform the market. Our expertise and high volume of annually completed condominium and cooperative loan transactions allows us access to the best rates available at the solicited financial institutions.
Why should I use FirstService Financial for my insurance needs?
Our goal is to add value to the client relationship. FirstService Financial created FS Insurance Brokers, a fully licensed insurance brokerage, to assist clients with their annual insurance renewals and to offer industry specific insurance products that satisfy the unique demands of community associations. With a longstanding commitment to management education, mitigation, and control, we have the ability to create superior programs with coverage at a reduced cost.
Are you a broker?
All insurance programs and services are administered through FS Insurance Brokers, a wholly owned subsidiary of FirstService Financial. As a licensed broker in both the U.S. and Canada, we work with a select group of full-service insurance brokers experienced in this industry, and with our property management teams in the insurance procurement process on behalf of our clients.
What other brokers do you work with?
We work with various insurance brokers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Brokers are chosen based on our clients’ geographic location and specific needs, as well as the expertise, market access, ethics, and service excellence of the brokers themselves.
Are you able to save money for clients?
Our priority is to evaluate our clients’ current insurance products and ensure that they are adequately covered. We will conduct reviews of your existing coverage to identify any gaps or issues, as our industry expertise provides a thorough understanding of the intricacies and details of insurance policies. With that said, we will also seek to save money on our clients’ premiums when possible. Our overall size and risk profile typically enable us to deliver products and solutions at lower prices than the open marketplace.
Do you underwrite the insurance?
Yes. FS Insurance Brokers is also a program administrator with a team that currently underwrites several proprietary offerings.
What are “proprietary products?”
Designed by FS Insurance Brokers and available exclusively to FirstService Residential managed clients, our proprietary products match the specific needs of condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowner associations.
Why do I need proprietary products?
By utilizing the superior risk profile of FirstService Residential, we are able to create best-in-class insurance products at competitive rates. Products include coverages for fidelity, environmental, directors & officers, among others and are designed to ensure that clients have no gaps in their policies.