Are you a fan of condo living? Are you a regular at your community’s events? Do you enjoy getting to know your neighbours?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, then you might be a good candidate for serving on your condominium board. That’s because the first requirement is a passion for the condo lifestyle.
But before you make your decision, it’s best to see if you have the right traits and skill sets to be a productive board member. After all, it’s a pretty big responsibility. The decisions you’ll make will have a significant impact on you and your neighbours, potentially for years to come. So take a look at these qualities of effective board members. If they sound like you, then board membership may be a good choice for your future.
1. You have great time-management skills.
If you already have a full-time job, board membership may feel a little bit like taking on a second one. You won’t be putting in 40 hours a week. However, you will need to set aside time for more than just attending meetings. These commitments will vary depending on your specific role on the board.
For instance, if you’re the president or vice president, you’ll need time to create agendas, work with residents, liaise with vendors, and collaborate with your condominium management company. As the treasurer, expect to spend time analyzing statements, reviewing payment requests for approval, and acting as the steward of the annual budget. If you are elected to the secretary position, you’ll be the principal record-keeper with duties that include tracking documents and reviewing meeting minutes. So just be sure that you have the time to fulfill these additional duties. And never fear: Partnering with a good condo management firm will mean you have another professional on your team to help out when needed.
2. You can set your personal agenda aside.
Board membership is all about putting other people’s needs and desires ahead of your own. When you’re serving your community, you have to consider the greater good, which may sometimes be counter to your personal preference. Before you jump into a position on your board, be sure you’re willing to put the community’s priorities ahead of your own.

3. You enjoy learning new things.
You’re going to need a little intellectual curiosity to succeed. As a board member, you’ll be expected to be an expert on your condominium corporation’s bylaws, rules, and regulations. That means reading every page of your documents. But don’t look at this as drudge work. A comprehensive understanding of these pages will help you protect your corporation and the rights of your residents. A good condo management company can help you make sense of your documents as well.
4. You’re a strong decision maker.
Chances are you care whether or not your neighbours like you. But if the time comes, will you be able to enforce fines against them? Will you be able to levy a special assessment against the family that just invited you over for a barbecue? How about telling the woman with two small kids that they have to postpone their pool party because the facility is down for maintenance?
These examples aren’t meant to paint you like a cartoon villain; they are meant to illustrate the discomfort you might encounter in some of the duties you’ll be performing on the board. Just remember that the actions you take are for the greater good of the community.

5. You aren’t afraid of conflict.
When your role is enforcing rules, approving bylaws, making hard budget decisions, evaluating employee performances, and hiring and firing contractors, conflict is going to be part of the mix. With its vast experience, your condominium management company will be able to help you navigate through complex situations.
It’s no secret that board service can be a lot of work. But the commitment comes with plenty of rewards, including knowing that you are protecting property values and doing good for your neighbours. And with a knowledgeable condo management company as your trusted partner, you’ll find the role to be less about completing to-do lists and more about serving a greater purpose.
For more on board leadership and serving your community, contact FirstService Residential, Alberta’s leading condominium management company. 
Thursday July 21, 2016