Many decisions condominium boards make are subjective; based on casual observations and independent experiences. Relying on anecdotal experiences and opinions is biased and leads to poorer decisions. Gathering insights from a variety of owners and residents gives added perspective and insight to what the community values, wants to see improved, or where most are content.
Data based decision making is superior to decisions based on observation and intuition. It reflects the experiences of hundreds of individuals over extended periods helping to understand how perspectives change.
One way to gather this useful data is to conduct periodic, perhaps annual, surveys of condo owners and residents. Asking the same questions every year or two helps understand how views change.
- Is your unit a comfortable temperature?
- Would outdoor barbecue and seating space be desirable to you?
- Is outdoor covered seating something you would utilize?
- Would you recommend your building to a friend?
- Are we doing a good job at keeping the building clean?
- Is the exercise room well-maintained?
Looking at how resident responses change over time helps a board understand what is important and find opportunities for improvement. The purpose of such questions is to identify where responses are changing, more positive or declining, and where strong opinions are held. Online survey software for this purpose is easy to use, affordable and typically available in popular property management software solutions.
“A more useful and equally easy approach to data gathering is to capture incident reports, amenity reservations, service requests and comments in a form suitable for ongoing analysis” explains Nicholas Gill of BuildingLink Canada. “Condo management software and apps make it easy for residents to submit service requests electronically, and for better management and response. It incorporates tools and analytics for consolidating this information to better understand what problems exist or are growing.”
A similar approach occurs when your HVAC or Building Automation System continuously monitors and records temperatures throughout a building. This allows management to understand what must be adjusted or repaired to ensure comfortable temperatures throughout a building without wasteful use of energy to compensate for systems that require adjustment, repair or replacement.
Combined, both methods of data gathering provide boards and management with a more complete understanding of issues, concerns and problems affecting the building and community.
Gathering and utilizing data improves decision making and allows a board to focus on more important areas of concern.