If you’re a condo board member, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that maintenance can account for 25 percent of a condominium corporation’s budget. From landscaping, to unexpected repairs, to post-disaster clean-ups, there are a lot of maintenance issues to address in a condo community.
When it comes to maintenance, however, you don’t want to be penny wise and pound foolish. Choosing to put off necessary maintenance can turn small issues into much larger (and more expensive) ones down the road. And the last thing any resident wants is to pay a special assessment that could have been avoided with a little forethought. A dependable and strategic condominium management company can help you keep critical maintenance concerns in your sights.
Knowing how your board approaches maintenance is a first step in being able to take more proactive steps in the future. Here we describe the three main approaches. Which one describes your condo board?
#1: Head in the sand: A reactive approach
No one really wants to believe that this is their overall approach to maintenance. Unfortunately, it’s more common than you think. It gives the illusion that you are saving money, but in the long run it costs you more.
Even if something in your community isn’t in total disrepair yet, that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Hiding your head in the sand won’t make the problem go away; it will only make it worse when you face it, as you’ll eventually have to do.

#2: Tunnel vision: A preventive approach
 Shouldn’t a preventive approach be the ideal way to handle maintenance? Not if you’re too focused on specific areas. Sure, you may be good at scheduling ongoing service for certain areas of your community, preserving relationships with contractors you can depend on, and knowing what those contractors will cost and how long they will take. However, are you certain there aren’t maintenance concerns you’re overlooking?
Another question to ask yourself if your condo board takes this approach is what happens when you transition to a new board? They will need to have a thorough understanding of contracts and warranties, otherwise they risk voiding them.
So if this is your maintenance style—and, no, it isn’t a bad way to handle maintenance—be sure you have a comprehensive plan in place and that you take steps to ensure a smooth transition when your board changes. 
#3: Crystal ball: A predictive approach
You guessed it: This is the approach you want and the one that will best serve the needs of your condo. If you embrace predictive maintenance, you favor monitoring and inspecting your buildings, facilities, and equipment on an ongoing basis. This allows you to identify what’s functioning optimally, what will need attention in the not-too-distant future, and what needs immediate attention. From a financial perspective, it’s the most stable approach. It lets you plan ahead and incorporate practices that can save you money, such as implementing energy-efficient equipment or using green materials.
 If you want to learn how to take a more predictive approach to maintenance, turn to an experienced condominium management company that already has strong relationships with local contractors and inspectors. You’ll also be able to take advantage of the company’s depth of knowledge in developing predictive maintenance schedules. And you’ll be able to get assistance in developing a proactive program that helps you save money and avoid unexpected surprises.
Learn more about how a condominium management company can help you improve your maintenance approach. Contact FirstService Residential, Alberta’s leading property management company.
Tuesday July 12, 2016