Managing a business AND a community can be a challenge.
Condo corporation management is the business of managing peoples’ homes. The goals of managing both a business and a home can conflict. Responsibility for balancing this belongs to condo directors.
People can become quite emotional about their home. Success as a director requires understanding this emotional attachment while recognizing they are responsible for managing a business.
Good Condo Directors
Condo directors want to make a difference. Being a condo director is rewarding and frustrating. It can be a thankless job or provide a sense of accomplishment when things go well.
Good condo directors are hands-on people who are responsive and detailed. They have reasonable expectations and understand their responsibility.
Condo directors exist to help their community. They are not there to solve personal problems or pet peeves.
Good condo directors are team players prepared to make difficult decisions. They will be subject to criticism and need to be able to ignore it. Making the right decision will always be unpopular with some – it is impossible to make everyone happy.
Good condo directors understand that taking criticism from condo owners is a requirement of the job.
Condo Director Priorities
Condo directors should not be interested in a single issue. Their priority should be the community.
Being on a condo board is time-consuming. Meetings can be in the evening when those who work may not have the time or desire to do anything but relax.
Condo directors should not expect to just show up to board meetings. Being successful requires advance preparation. They must be prepared to deal with e-mails, meet with contractors and attend additional meetings.
Condo directors should be willing to listen to other board members, condo residents, consultants and contractors. Listening is time consuming!
No specific skills are required. Condo directors should have some skills to offer and an interest in improving things. Useful skills include financial management, communications, organizational abilities and project management. These general skills are useful when working with consultants and specialists who may not always be aware of the big picture. When specific skills are lacking among elected directors, a board can appoint individuals to round out their skillset.
Condo directors should be prepared to read. The job requires that they have read and possess a general understanding of condo documents including the condominium declaration, bylaws, rules and the Condo Act. There will be project bids, proposals, legal documents and consultant reports to review.
Being a condo director can be a thankless job. Everyone has a complaint or better way to do things and wants to direct you in how they should be done. Few are prepared to understand how things are (not how some would like them to be) and to work towards the best solution. Satisfaction is knowing you have done the best you can.
Condo owners are less interested in serving on a condo board or committee. They view their responsibility as ending at paying monthly condo fees.
The Bottom Line
There is no better reward than helping people by building up their home and community. Effective condo directors provide a better life for many and keep costs under control.