Condominium Association Only as Strong as Its Members
Byline: Jordan I. Shifrin
I recently visited Hong Kong. While touring the city I came across a condominium complex at Repulse Bay that had a huge hole in its middle.
Actually, it was a twin tower complex that was connected by two walkways that created the effect so that the mountains behind the property could be viewed.
It did occur to me, however, that all too many properties do have holes in them.
- A hole in the board. Does your board of directors finish the year with the same people who began the year? Unfortunately, most associations face this dilemma year in and year out. The board needs to consider how to recruit and retain good people, whether through trying to keep a low-key approach to problem solving, helping instead of punishing members, or limiting the number and length of meetings. A well-run board can limit the number of holes.
- A hole in the budget. A number of years ago, at the height of the recession and when unemployment was at its zenith, I attended an association meeting that was held to discuss a special assessment to upgrade the clubhouse - one week before Christmas. Over 25 percent of the association members already were on the delinquency list. (I think the hole was in the head of some of the board members.) Boards need to consider how and when to spend their already limited resources and establish priorities for both budgeted as well as non-recurring maintenance expenses.
- A hole in the community. Is your association so disjoined and its membership so indifferent that the term community in "community association" is non-existent? The whole concept of an association was to bring people together to share in the prosperity of their community, to divide up the workload and jointly benefit from the appreciation of property values. If no one wants to run for the board, members avoid meetings, there are no social events, no newsletter and no member interaction except to complain about one another, this association has a huge "hole" in it. You cannot force people to participate in association matters, but you can make participation inviting and attractive enough to encourage people to see for themselves.
- A hole in the manager. …