Board-Manager Chemistry

May 2023

One local high-rise community has had four condominium managers during a one-year period.  During the approximately ten years it has existed, they have gone through 18 managers.

Changing managers is exhausting.  Doing so with this frequency suggests that problems lie not with management but with the board.

Among the reasons for a business relationship to sour, interpersonal conflict ranks at the top.  There may be a lack of clarity in key areas of the job, micromanagement by board members, or unreasonable expectations.  Perhaps all exist.

Developing a good relationship between a condo board and management requires a) clear goals about what is to be done or achieved, b) roles or who does what, and c) procedures.


Without agreement on goals, board and management end up in conflict.  Goals should be clearly documented and updated as warranted.  They should be quantified or measured to determine success or failure.  Condo boards should initially develop their goals, then refine them after discussing with their manager.


Who does what?  While most condominium boards delegate implementation to management, some choose to be involved at some level.  This requires dividing up responsibilities and tasks.  When this is unclear, nobody ends up satisfied.  Both sides blame the other for failure.  If both the board and management are managing a project, building activities or employees, conflicts are likely to arise.  This is easily avoidable when the board is operating as expected.


There are many ways to achieve a successful elevator project, effective building repairs and proper communication with residents.  Problems arise when the board wants things done one way, management does it their way, and neither have agreed on the process.  There needs to be agreement between the board and management on what steps are to be taken to achieve a desirable end.

A productive working partnership with management involves chemistry, personality, and attention to details by establishing agreed upon goals, roles and procedures.