Instant gratification or “Live in the moment” is how many choose to live their lives. It is not how a condo board should operate.
“Live in the moment” is encouraged by motivational posters and individuals wanting to make money off you. It may be the phrase that best represents those in debt.
Condo corporations, and condo boards, should plan for the future. An integral part of this is not spending today so that something better can be done with the money tomorrow.
Some condo owners behave badly when it comes to managing their home. They oppose spending money to improve or maintain their home, or to implement energy saving measures. The immediate perceived benefit is lower condo fees. The cost of saving perhaps a few hundred dollars in the next year pales in comparison to the thousands it may cost a few years later.
Just how bad is it? While there is no data on this for condo communities, we can look to the investment community to measure the cost of instant gratification. When measured over a period of 20 years, the average investor does poorly. Their investment returns suffer because investors often are unable to control their emotions; fear and greed. This causes them to buy when investments are expensive and sell when the return is low.
Investors, like condo owners, often don’t know what they want. They want a home that is nice, dry and comfortable. They also want low condo fees. Condo boards should know the two cannot coexist. Pretending they do is not a successful approach to condo management.
Management advice for condo boards in the Condo Archives include:
- Action or Overreaction
- Avoid Four Hour Board Meetings
- Break Bad Condo Board Habits
- Campaign for Transparency