As a volunteer with your condominium corporation, you know the rewards of contributing your time and talents for the good of the community. Yet there are also challenges – passions can run high, disagreements happen, and sometimes there are conflicting visions for the future of the condo or townhome corporation.
And even if you’re volunteering just a little of your time, chances are that sometimes it feels like a lot. So how do you know if your efforts are making a difference? Or how do you know if your condominium corporation is a success?

Well, there are many different ways to measure success, but we’ve broken it down to the most essential nine, such as...
1. The community comes first.
If you find that volunteers, board members and residents are putting the community before their personal interests, then you’re a success. There’s a greater good to be worked toward, and healthy communities include residents and volunteers who are committed to doing just that.
2. Homeowners are involved.
There are more opportunities for involvement than board positions. Committees are a great way to do this, specifically because they tend to appeal to volunteers’ specific interests. If you’re on the board and you haven’t done so already, create committees for architecture, security, social events and landscape.

3. Volunteers keep it friendly.
All too often, a disagreement among board members, or between board members and committee volunteers, can fester into resentment. These feelings are counter-productive and adversely affect the corporation’s ability to function at the highest level. That’s why it’s important for all volunteers to get behind a final decision once it’s settled – even if they cast a dissenting vote.
4. There’s a clear mission and vision.
When you hear “mission statement,” you might assume it’s something exclusively for large corporations. Not so – with a clear mission statement, your condominium corporation can move forward with a greater sense of purpose. A good property management company can help you draft mission and vision statements that resonate and inspire.
5. There’s a spirit of collaboration.
Remember, everyone is working toward a common goal. So while differing opinions can help create better solutions, at the end of the day, board members and committee members must work together as a team.

6. The corporation is run like a business.
Even though you’re a volunteer, it’s essential that you treat your condo corporation with professionalism. Board members and committee members should arrive at meetings with their prep work done so they can make an informed decision efficiently.
7. Partnering with a property manager.
Whether it’s addressing immediate challenges or helping you make a solid five-year plan for your corporation, a good property manager can make a huge difference. Their role is multi-faceted and their skill sets are robust. You can turn to your property manager for everything, from making reserve projections to negotiating contracts with vendors to lifestyle planning and beyond.

8. Open communication.
Communities thrive on transparency. Boards and committees that keep homeowners informed find that they have greater community buy-in for their projects. This includes upcoming events, board or committee meetings and – as mandated by law – annual meetings. Communication involves more than notification, however. Use it as an opportunity to build relationships with your residents. Distributing helpful seasonal tips, such as beginning of the school year or winter weather readiness, are great ways to start.
9. Gratitude.
A board that thanks its residents for their contributions builds the kind of goodwill it takes to get things done. Express your gratitude for the simple things, like following community rules and guidelines. In doing so, you’ll help create a positive culture.

Remember, only you can decide whether your condominium corporation is successful or not. But if you strive to achieve these nine qualities, then you’ll be a success by any definition of the word. For further insight into enhancing your community’s lifestyle, contact FirstService Residential, Alberta’s property management leader.
Thursday June 09, 2016