Condominium Management Heros

July 2024

Most of the time, the job of condominium manager is boring.  The daily job entails ensuring repair and maintenance work gets done, inspections are undertaken, packages delivered, staff supervised, and resident concerns responded to.  Doing one’s job proficiently rarely gets acknowledged.

Managers feel achievement and get recognized when they have done something good for their clients.  They may have solved a problem, saved a substantial amount of money, or helped resolve a dispute before it turned nasty.

Those who do the best work, under extreme pressure and the most difficult of circumstances, are rarely recognized for their efforts.

We recognize those communities where condominium managers have been forced to deal with the most extreme of circumstances that few managers have ever had to contend with.

Tragedies do strike without notice.

In 2006, a small private plane piloted by New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle crashed into Belaire apartments on New York’s Upper East Side.  Among first responders was the building’s manager who worked with other first responders to ensure the building was evacuated.  Two people in the plane died in the crash.  A few building residents suffered mostly minor injuries.  The crash severed a gas line on the upper floors.  There was a fire and major water damage to all 30 floors.  Fires were put out.  There was a large insurance claim and some units were uninhabitable for eight to 12 months.  All damages were repaired with some sections being rebuilt.

In 2012, during Superstorm Sandy, a Brooklyn building was nearly completely destroyed.  Street and lower levels were entirely destroyed from flooding including the basement level elevator motor and electrical rooms.  An external generator allowed elevator and electrical service to be restored quickly.  Rebuilding took months.

In 2021, Surfside condominium collapsed in Florida.  Owners didn’t believe their home was at risk of imminent danger and balked at paying maintenance and repair costs.  The structure was allowed to weaken due to exposure to moisture and lack of regular care, and developed weaknesses that resulted in the building collapse.  Management had no choice but to deal with challenges few are prepared for.

Most recently, in December 2022, a resident of Bellaria Residences in Maple, Ontario targeted current and former directors of this community.  He travelled floor-to-floor to shoot and kill five individuals before being shot to death by police.  This tragedy, and its aftermath, tests the skills of even the most competent managers.

When tragedies such as these occur, homes are destroyed and lives disrupted.  Managing resident expectations is crucial along with superhuman logistical management.  Patience turns to frustration when people are unable to move back home.  Success is measured by how quickly people can get back into their homes, return to everyday living, and everything is back to original condition.

No level of training prepares condominium management for these extreme situations.  A condo board that obtains good management, trains them, provides effective communication and management tools, and is always looking for what can be improved on is the best way to ensure management is prepared to deal with whatever may arise.

How quickly a community rebounds from tragedy depends on how prepared they are.  A good condominium manager, an effective condo board and superior communication come together when times are good.  They become essential when tragedy strikes.

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