How Condominium Corporation Leaders Create Happy Communities
There is a lot that goes into making a condominium community a happy one. Frequently, the thing that communities depend on is the leadership it falls under. Leadership in a condominium corporation includes board members, and if professional management is involved, a property manager. Further backup would consist of the management company, if applicable.
If the rights and responsibilities are designated clearly where every individual knows what they’re doing, success will often follow. With success comes a happy community.
What are some of these rights and responsibilities? Follow this checklist, and you will be on your way to ensuring your community stays or becomes happy!
Rights of Community Leaders
1. Counting on owners and residents.
Residents living in the community have a financial duty by paying their dues and assessments to their condominium corporation.
2. Relying on homeowners to know – and follow – the rules.
Homeowners and residents should understand all condo corporation rules and regulations so that community leaders can work productively and build relationships on trust. Not only should they be knowledgeable, but they should be compliant as well.
Respect is a two-way street. Everyone should be treated with respect, whether you’re dealing with residents, property managers, or a leadership team.
4. Meetings that matter.
Meetings should be focused and direct to the schedule. Opportunities to be productive and constructive are wasted when the focus of the residents and board members is taken away.
Everyone should play a role in their community because it takes a village to build a happy one. Residents have accountability on their shoulders to do their fair share of collaboration with board members and their professional property management company.
Board members should not be tied to their work all day throughout the entire week. There needs to be work-life balance, so residents should be courteous to the fact that board members are just like everyone else with a life outside of their job, and they cannot be “on” all the time.
Developing new skills through training and workshops is a great way to make the board the best it can be. Educational opportunities are worth investing in by a professional management company, and board members should be encouraged to participate actively in at least one training session when they can.
Community leaders have a responsibility to:
1. Work for the good of the community.
Community leaders should always be making decisions in the best interest of the condominium. This includes fiscal stewardship that allows a condominium community to continue improving or maintain the lifestyle standards residents have come to enjoy. Also, board members and property managers should enact a long-term vision that makes sense in terms of strategies and how they plan to roll it out, including protecting and enhancing the community brand. The property management company should go beyond its contract with the community to provide the best possible customer service. Residents should feel proud of the service they receive and confident that they can trust their management team to look out for their interests.
2. Know their stuff.
Community leaders should understand everything that is going on around them and know enough to answer any questions about the condominium and its surroundings. This includes the corporation’s governing documents, local laws, bylaws and regulations, and updates regarding them. If they always have to ask someone else or have no answer to many questions, these red flags will bring down the trust with residents in the community.
3. Roll out the welcome mat.
The moment a new resident arrives to live in their new home, they should be welcomed with open arms by both owners and non-owners alike. This establishes rapport and provides them with a way to feel comfortable enough to ask questions about community standards and expectations, familiarizing themselves quickly with what is expected of them. A way to do this is by having a dedicated welcome coordinator whose job is to make new residents feel safe.
4. Be responsive.
Records and documents should be kept organized and easily retrievable if a resident asks for them. Having up-to-date management software or a community website is another alternative that makes accessing records even more straightforward.
5. Collect dues and assessments.
Having to collect dues and assessments is one of the more frustrating parts of the job. They are not “bad guys” for this, and a good property manager or board member helps homeowners struggling to make ends meet by providing a payment plan that works for both parties, and enables them to achieve their financial commitments. The foreclosure option is the very last solution after trying all other avenues.
6. Keep communication open.
You can’t have a community without communication. Keeping your residents updated should be at the top of every community leader’s agenda. Sending emails, creating flyers, or writing newsletters are excellent ways to keep residents informed. Since communication works in both directions, it is recommended that an advisory committee is created to determine best practices for soliciting community member input.
7. Create community.
A sense of togetherness happens through engagement. Leadership should create a robust calendar of social and entertainment events that bring residents together. Providing opportunities for residents to participate in committees also helps them feel a sense of community. After all, creating a sense of community is the key to a successful condominium corporation.
Engagement with residents brings a sense of togetherness. Leadership drives their events according to the yearly calendar, so residents feel appreciated to be part of the condominium. Giving opportunities for residents to participate in committees as volunteers also help with rapport, and the end goal should always be to create a peaceful community.
Overall, all parties have a role to play when it comes to creating a vibrant, happy community. It happens through having your expectations met – and through exceeding your responsibilities. Together, that creates a community that surpasses your residents’ expectations. For more information on your condominium leadership’s rights and responsibilities and how to make your condominium community happy, contact FirstService Residential, Ontario’s leading property management company.