Sunday, December 10, 2006

As Slow as Mayo

I, am, of course, speaking of Mayo Group. It's now a year and a half since I purchased my condo from the Mayo Group. Since the city council meeting of Feb. 14 2006 they've taken action to fix all the problems we have with our building. That's the good news. The bad news is that Mayo Group have yet to fix our problems completely. They economize too much. I realize that you have to trim here and there in order for a business to survive, but you know what, we're talking about peoples homes here. Do they think we're not going to notice? They brought in a company to repair the front facing brick. Great. They caulked the rear windows. Great. But they failed to caulk the South facing windows. NONE of them have caulk around them. So, on Dec. 1st, the last great rain storm, I had water raining into my apartment through leaks in the windows. So did the front facing units. In other words, we still have water problems.

In addition, I still have banging pipes in my walls from the intake and exhaust pipes in unit 2C. They opened up the wall try to fix the problem, but their solution was to jam wood into the space in order to brace the piping. I pointed out that the pipe bounced from front to back not side to side, but it's the only solution they could think of. So, I let them try it. Well, it didn't work. So, I'm getting very little sleep at night and I'm very grouchy about the whole thing.

The entire building is very upset with the situation. It's taken over a year to remedy something that should have taken at most a month if it had Mayo's full attention. I guess maintaining a good reputation is not something Mayo is interested in. Their current reputation is that of being a slum-lord. I guess I should stop expecting such a company to aspire to be more. To be great. Instead, it appears the owner is content on being rich, but mediocre. And I do blame the owner, John Mc-Grail for all these problems. It's his company. So, he is ultimately responsible. It doesn't matter if his underlings are causing all the problems, because he is at the top. He is the one with the final decision, and as the owner it is a direct reflection on his ability to lead. The culture within his company is directly a result of his decisions and his involvement, or lack of. The company just can't seem to do anything to completion well. I'm sure he knows this, but why can't he fix it? Or does he even really want to try? Probably too busy trying to make a quick buck in Texas to pay attention to what's happening back home.

Oh, but wait, his home is actually Ireland. He's not American, so why would he care? I actually protected my country. What has he done? What has he done to set himself apart as a man? Make money? Drug lords make tons of money. So do arms dealers. Money keeps mixed company, and money doesn't make a man. A man is defined by his reputation, which is earned. So, what reputation has McGrail earned? It's not too late to change. I find it interesting that he has never come here to see for himself what we are dealing with. It's not that severe. It's easy to fix. But it takes a willingness to do it. To do the right thing.

If you need someone else's two-cents, check out the comments from the last post. There you will see a resident of the 7 Central Condominiums across the street also complain about Mayo's inability address their buildings issues. Most unfortunate. You would think Mayo would have learned from our building - instead it appears they do not have the ability to learn from past mistakes.

Speaking of which: we were dealing with a Mayo Group manager named Dennis Burke. Dennis has great people skills. For the most part, he put us at ease and things did get addressed. What's been accomplished so far is his doing. Incredible when you consider how difficult it must be to get resources from the company. Unfortunately, Dennis Burke is no longer with Mayo Group. I can only guess as to why, but I suspect it has something to do with jealousy and lack of appreciation from within the company. I wonder if others in the company felt threatened by the fact that he can actually get things done. Lazy asses fear nothing more than someone who's mere presence highlights their own inadequacies, but this is all speculation on my part. What's important is Dennis is gone, along with all the knowledge he had of our situation. This means Mayo is again clueless about what needs to be done here, and they'll send someone else that we'll have to educate. When a company is unable to recognize good people, unwilling to retain good people, it says a great deal about how inadequate the company environment is as a whole. They can blame "growing pains" only for so long.

I think I'll have a chat with the folks of 7 Central and maybe help them draw up a list of issues, and tips on how to get organized. I suspect they'll need it, unfortunately. Maybe we can help them avoid limping along in the slow lane with Mayo in tow.

However, to be fare, because you know how important that is to me - Mayo did successfully fix the roof leak in my closet.

8 comments:

seth said...

Marcus,

The Mayo group currently has the only "lofts" in Lynn I can afford. I'd be very interested in finding out what problems there are with 7 Central from people who actually live there before going any further, though. And, if I do go for it, it would be great to learn from your experience in dealing with the Mayo group!
I know you don't live in 7, but I'm not sure how to get in touch with someone who does...
I'd also like to thank you for you blog, which has been very informative. You haven't scared me off from Lynn. In fact, you helped me decide to live there.

Seth
seth@upsidemedia.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Marcus,
I'm seriously thinking to move to Lynn square, and I think you are my man! Pls share your experience in this city.....I was there 3 weeks in Nov, is it a safe place ?
It doesn't look like one ! I want to rent above D.Donunts, on the corner, another Mayo & clan set up. Do you have any tips for me ?

Thanks a lot, your BLOG is really nice

Corey said...

Our problems in 7 Central are not major, they are annoyances. One major issue we have right now is the intercom to our building is busted. This makes it impossible to get mail, guests (without walking down), and packages.

I must admit I've had some poor quality issues. My cabinets came off the wall (not screwed into studs..doh) but Amos from Mayo was there the next morning, Thanksgiving morning, to fix it. Dennis was hit or miss to be honest. I had good luck with him, others in the building didn't.

So what's my point.

I love living here. I think we all need to think more long term. Our annoyances with Mayo will be resolved. We are drafting a letter with our major points and an appendix of unit issues. After we get enough people in the building, Mayo will no longer be the management company. They have not earned it. We'll definitely be shopping for someone else to give our condo fees.

In the longer term, you have amazing neighbors. In 7 central this past weekend we had an around the world party where we spent time in each unit. it was awesome. We've become good friends with people from the surrrounding Exchange Street lofts and Munroe Lofts. The owners and employees of the Gulu are great people to hang around. All in all central Square lynn is shaping up to be an amazing place to live. Forget Mayo in your decision to buy. Every builder cuts corners. New management is on the way. Just make sure you get everything on your Punch list before you sign.

feel free to email me cojackso@gmail.com about 7 Central.

Marcus said...

The nice thing about 7 Central Condominiums is that the building was apartments before the renovations and conversion to condominiums. Consequentially it will have fewer problems. The Keith Building was an empty dilapidated office building prior to renovation, so we have a some structural issues, primarily flooding during heavy rains, that were not addressed during construction. Odd when one considers that every single home inspector noticed the problem. So one can only assume that Mayo must also have known (since they have an architect) and ignored the problem. We have lots of leaks. Lots of them. With the exception of fire code violations - all of our other problems are minor. We're not unhappy that we have problems. I mean we'd rather not have them, but if Mayo addressed them quickly and efficiently we would have complained little and probably would have endorsed them. Mayo just doesn't respond. We had to get the city council involved to get Mayo to pay attention. Now it's nearly 1 year later and we still have problems.

The quality of work is mixed. It appears that if Mayo did the work themselves the outcome was usually mediocre at best. No attention to detail. If it was outsourced, the work starts at mediocre and gets better. For example, kitchen cabinet type and installation is mediocre to bad, but the granite counter-top and installation is perfect under the circumstances. Granite is always outsourced.

I agree with Corey in that one will find little problems with any new construction. So, don't expect perfect, but don't settle for less than what you paid for, and get EVERYTHING in writing. I mean everything, no matter how small. This is not the time to be nice. Write it down. If you don't write it down, you lose! Don't listen to your real estate agent, inspector, or friend that says "oh, how could they not expect us to not want that.." Get it in writing. Do not assume! Also, don't expect anything beyond what you were promised in writing.

READ AND UNDERSTAND YOUR CONDO DOCS! Do not agree to purchase until you READ AND UNDERSTAND YOUR CONDO DOCS! Do not depend on your lawyer to read them for you. Most of the residents in my building did and they go screwed because the Lawyer didn’t actually read them. The lawyer assumed they would be in order since it’s such a routine document. Mayo does everything badly. That you can rightfully assume. Our documents said we had a hot-tub, parking, and a tennis court. I’m still looking for the pool.

GET A BUILDING INSPECTOR! Do not skimp. Get a good one. Do not use one recommended by your agent. Find your own! Read “Home Buying for Dummies” if you haven’t already.

Ok. With all that said. I do love living here. Commute by the train is awesome. Everybody is really nice. The beach is sooooooo close. And all the business owners are happy to see you and like to know you by name. Many of the store fronts are empty, but that’s because the owners don’t want just any store going in. They don’t want Central Square to become like east Union St. The Police Headquarters is down the street, so the neighborhood is very safe. We had a little trouble outside the Fenix last Saturday night at closing. In the blink of an eye 4 police cruisers rushed in and all was quiet.

The neighborhood still looks rough. But it only looks rough. Look with a more critical eye and you’ll see there is much life and great potential. Potential that is being realized I might add. The neighborhood is full of people like me, people who care. Any time there is an issue with our ‘hood there’s a large turnout of residents at the community meetings. By moving here you will become part of an actively involved community. We’re growing in spurts. But we’re growing. Pay attention to details like the kinds of cars you see parked on the road and in the lots. The types of shades you see on the windows, and the art on the walls. Be sure you’re looking at the condos not the low rent apartments. Also notice that more condos are on the way. Once 7 and Vernon fill up with owners this place is going to really start percolating.

Anonymous said...

What's the history of the building that houses 7 Central Lofts- meaning what was it in its former life? Industrial , commercial, etc..? I hear that Lynn used to have a lot of shoe factories...

Anonymous said...

the oxford street grill has gone out of business

Anonymous said...

oxford street grille and the central square barber shop have both gone under this year.

sebole said...

Marcus,

I enjoy your Blog and my wife and I read it when we were looking for a condo in Lynn. We almost bought a place at Seven Central, but ended up buying gut rehabbed condo, in a three family home, near downtown. We delt with the Mayo group but because of construction delays we moved on. We are very pleased with our choice and it is an example of other condos for sale in Lynn at great prices. Now that 7 Central is finished we hope it is filled soon.The bigger the movement the better for all of us willing to invest in Lynn. Downtown Lynn is also a great place to live and the deals are too good to pass up. My question is, why no new comments or information since 12/06. Has the mayo group silenced you or have you simply been busy? We look forward to your insite and hope you return.
Sebole