Perhaps the toughest part of being a condo board member is dealing with conflict. This can arise in a variety of ways: owners may be upset about rule violations, such as noise or pet restrictions; or they could be upset and complaining about maintenance or repair issues that are ongoing.
Your property management company is an invaluable resource when these types of issues come up, and you should definitely consult with those who have good leadership qualities, so that you can learn effective ways to resolve problems. Note that it is the duty of the condo board to ensure that rules are followed and enforced, and residents do have the right to ensure you are fulfilling those very important obligations in the appropriate fashion.
- Dedicate the necessary time: Being on the condo board is a time commitment, and can require many hours per week, depending on your role. Note that this can vary depending on your property management company, how many residents your condo building has, and factors specific to your condo community in general. If you are unable to make a commitment to spending this kind of time on your condo community, then it is possible that being on a condo board is not a good fit. If you are already on the board, then finding effective time management strategies is necessary so you can fulfill your obligations. Hiring a licensed property management company to assist you with the day-to-day tasks is something that can enable you to keep up with your life outside of the condo board, while still fulfilling your numerous obligations to the condominium community.
- Communicate openly with residents: One of the best things you can do as a board member is ensure there is effective communication, as that can alleviate many problems and tensions. Setting up a central mailbox, email address, or even phone number can be a good way to direct issues and complaints so that your residents feel they can reach someone when problems arise. You should ensure that all requests are vetted by your property management company, and forwarded to the board accordingly, depending on the circumstances and what decisions may be required by the board.
- Make proper use of reserve funds: Due to the high maintenance fees in some buildings, residents can be particularly vocal if they feel their money is going to waste. With these types of fees, it is also essential to maintain a good reserve fund. Few owners are happy about chipping in for special assessments when a major building component fails, particularly if their fees are already high. Because of that, you should ensure that all guidelines regarding reserve fund studies are followed, including having them conducted at regular intervals, and setting aside amounts to cover future anticipated capital enhancement. Your property management company can help you with these types of duties – from ensuring the study is carried out, to making budget recommendations so that current financial resources are maximized, while setting enough aside for future use.
As you can see, there are many aspects to being a responsible board member, and working well with your property management company is a key part of doing a good job. In addition to the abovementioned benefits, they can help your board maintain records and manage finances, ensure that the building is being properly maintained, take care of day-to-day cleaning and repairs of common elements, and see to long-term maintenance needs.
Looking to hire a licensed property management company?
Braden Equities Inc. has been successfully managing condominium buildings in Edmonton since the 1970s. A lot has changed since then, but our commitment to the residents living in each building we manage has not. Contact us today.