Volunteering for your condominium's board of directors can be a great experience, but the position is not without its challenges. It's somewhat common to experience issues with delinquencies and disagreements with unit owners, among other short-term and long-term concerns.
There are a few common challenges most condo boards have to address at some point, which are detailed (along with some solutions) below:
In some cases, condo boards may not understand the techniques used by a building's property manager. This is because property management companies tend to use industry best practices that don't always align with how a condo board would like a property to operate — at least at a surface level. If your board is confused by your property manager's procedures or approach, be sure to ask questions and engage in an open conversation with the company. This can be done via phone call or email, or by inviting a representative from your management company to an upcoming meeting.
If you're just not getting what you need from your property manager, it may be time to switch. This can be a complicated process, but it's sometimes an investment well worth the time and effort to secure a more responsive property management service provider.
All condo boards should closely monitor their levels of reserve funding. Keep track of how much your condo is saving and how much is already in the bank to take care of future maintenance needs. If you have large reserves and a good number of physical assets to manage, consider investing in a professional reserve fund study.
A major challenge for many condo boards is dealing with a budget shortfall. If this is a problem for your condominium, it's important to cut back where you can. If delinquencies are common, it might be necessary to trim your budget, raise condo fees or charge special assessments. While many expenses — emergency repairs, for example — cannot be eliminated, some minor improvements and repairs may be postponed until your budget recovers.
Communication with owners
Regardless of if your condo board is experiencing a budget shortfall, it's important to maintain strong communication with your owners. Make an effort to keep communication channels open at all times, whether the messages are positive or negative. This will make it easier to address topics such as delinquencies, which need to be resolved as quickly as possible. If the level of delinquent unit owners grows too high, it could spell trouble for your building.
Serving on a condo board can be challenging at times, but it can also be a highly rewarding experience that allows you to contribute to the overall health of your home. Consider these tips the next time you face one of the common challenges associated with condo board membership.