The Five Essential Condo Board Roles
6 Principles for Running Effective Board Meetings
Getting to Know the Fundamental Condo Board Roles and Responsibilities
There are five essential condo board roles that need to be filled for your community to succeed. This dedicated board should consist of people who understand their roles and responsibilities and are committed to fair representation of the residents they are elected to serve. Built of volunteers, the board members share a common interest, the community they call home. They want to work together to ensure all residents are heard and common issues are addressed promptly.
To be fair to everyone, it's important that the condo board approach the operation of their condominium corporation as a business. It's their responsibility to protect all the owners' investments and interests. Tasks that typically fall under the responsibility of the board include maintenance of the common property, managing finances, and creating policies that promote harmony between everyone living in a multi-family environment.
To make this happen, the condo board must meet regularly to set goals, interpret and administer the local bylaws, and make decisions on behalf of their community. An effective condo board consists of members who respect each other and work together with a spirit of cooperation.
While there can be several areas of responsibility for boards, such as parking control, architectural considerations, and common area maintenance, five fundamental condo board roles need to be filled. Residents interested in running for the board must understand those roles and the responsibilities they include.
Condo Board Roles and Responsibilities
Being part of a condo board is often an enriching experience. Regardless of your role, you get to be an active member of your community and help bring positive change that impacts you, your community, and your fellow residents.
Each of the key condo board roles requires a particular skillset and are responsible for different tasks. So, which is the right position for you? Let's take a closer look at each role.
Responsible for the successful operation of the community, the condo board president sets the agenda and chairs the Annual General Meeting (AGM) as well as all board meetings, maintaining order and keeping the discussion on track. The president is responsible for the daily execution of the corporation's business and is the primary board contact for the property manager.
Good communications skills are an asset for this role as they are often the board member that needs to mediate when disagreements between other members arise. In a board president, other beneficial qualities are fairness, openness, leadership skills, and being a team player. As the president, they must collaborate with a wide variety of people and personalities and cannot be afraid to delegate tasks.
It's no surprise that the vice president takes over the president's duties in their absence, but they don't just sit idly by waiting for that day to come. The president is often juggling many tasks at once, so to help lighten the load, the vice president will take on additional duties and responsibilities as needed.
A vice president should be flexible, organized, and have good time management skills because their role is the most susceptible to looking different from day to day as they take on various projects.
Minutes of a condominium corporation are public documents, and because of this, the meeting minutes must be recorded accurately. The secretary's job is to document the proceedings of condo board meetings in minutes and distribute them to the board for approval. Once approved, they are made available by the management company for those who need them for various purposes, including real estate transactions, mortgages, insurance, and legal reasons.
It goes without saying that being a good listener is an essential quality for the person who decides to take on this role but being responsible and organized is also a huge benefit.
The financial health of a condominium corporation is of the utmost importance to all owners as no one wants to see the monthly contributions increase due to mismanagement of the funds. The treasurer is the board member most involved with preparing the budget draft, which is reviewed, adjusted, and approved by the board. It then falls to the treasurer to closely monitor the monthly financial reports provided by the management company and ensure the expenditures align with the budgeted amounts. Realistic budgets and fiscal management are imperative.
While someone with an interest or even experience working with financials would be ideal for this role, it is not a requirement. Attention to detail is key when looking for someone to fill the treasurer position.
Contracting a reputable, experienced property management company significantly lightens the board's workload. The property manager is the board's link to the management company. They attend all board meetings and are an important resource for the board as they set policies, determine maintenance requirements, and manage the common property in compliance with the bylaws. The property manager implements the decisions of the condo board supported by an administrative team that includes an administrator, accountant, and full-service office.
There are numerous things you should look for when hiring a property manager. Still, the key is to make sure you as a condo board know what your community needs so you can adequately articulate them to the property manager. The board and the property manager being on the same page about how to meet those needs will foster the right relationship to get things done effectively and efficiently.
The Needs of your Condo Board May Differ
Of course, there may be other areas of condo board responsibility depending upon the size and type of your community. Still, these are the essential five condo board roles you would typically find. In addition to these, there may be a need to monitor parking or pets, prepare newsletters or supervise third-party contractors. A clear understanding of the roles will contribute to well-functioning leadership for the corporation.
Elected board members will have a variety of skill sets and experience as volunteers. A partnership with a strong management company will provide the guidance and knowledge to support the condo board as they fulfill their duties and accomplish their set goals.
For more information on how the right property management company can bring out the best of your board, contact FirstService Residential, North America's leading property management company.