Condominiums are a fascinating type of business. It’s part of the reason we love them so much. It’s the only example I have seen from one year to the next, where things can be run so drastically different due to new Board members, ideas and opinions.
Every new Board has its ideas of how things should run, and since there isn’t a lot of accountability for a Condominium Board, they pretty well can run it how they see fit in many cases. Are you scared yet? Don’t be. In most cases, the way the Board wants to operate is more confusing and time-consuming than harmful.
However, we have taken on Boards who haven’t had an annual general meeting in over three years. Even though by law, you are required to every 15 months. That’s like our Prime Minister just not sending out the invites for the new election and just running another term. Oops…I thought everyone was happy.
The truth is your management company does have a process for running Condominiums based on years of experience managing hundreds of condominiums. I know we do, and around 60% of our Boards follow our lead, and it works great. But some Boards prefer to make changes or run things differently. Which is also ok it can just be a lot harder since the Board changes so frequently.
So for Boards looking to run things to their playbook, what’s the best way to run your condominium corporation? Keeping in mind that with almost certainly it will be changed when you leave the Board, or a new strong personality joins. Well, the best way is to keep things simple. While there are many things to do to run a successful corporation, this is the guiding principle, and our best advice since so many Boards have different visions of running things.
There are many variations of how your Corporation will need to run based on location, size, issues and type, so there isn’t a one size fits all method but keeping it as simple as possible almost always generates the best results. Why not try to bring in more structure, policies, rules, etc.? Well, there are many reasons why complicated structured systems don’t work. The first is that it is difficult enough to get your Board to read an email. What makes you think they will read your 30-page condominium policy and procedure manual?
We are dealing with Volunteers with already busy lives. The 15 months (or sooner) between your next annual general meeting does not leave you enough time to onboard, train, and get people productively participating in a complicated process. Remember, on average, at least 1/3 of your Board will turn over every year. Most Businesses say it takes six months to a year for a new team member joining an organization to generate positive returns for the company. And that’s with that person in the office learning and doing things five days a week every week. In a condominium, you primarily deal by email and then may have 2-12 Board meetings a year on top of that.
You don’t have enough time and interactions with the rest of the Board to enforce and coach a complicated system.
So let’s keep things simple with the right amount of structure and procedures. You’ll know you are in the sweet spot when things get done quickly and with ease. Your Board will be happy, and the meetings will be productive.
We are also happy to advise your Board and help bring in some best practices to ensure corporation success.
Braden Equities Inc. is an Alberta owned and run property management company, servicing Edmonton and area for over 25 years. We strongly believe in focusing on our team, getting things done and being financially literate to help our Boards. If you are a Board in Alberta looking for property management services or need some advice. Give us a call we are always happy to help.