A condo’s residents probably won’t be lining up to thank board members when a project goes well, but you can probably expect some finger pointing if things don’t go according to plan. For the association’s projects and expenditures to go smoothly, board members need to make smart and strategic choices. If you’re going to play a role in your association’s upcoming projects, here are some tips for achieving great results.
Prioritize Improvements That Have Mass Appeal
Spending a lot of money on amenities that will interest only a handful of unit owners won’t be a good use of an association’s funds, particularly when the investment won’t really add value to owners’ shared property interest. Furthermore, paying thousands of dollars on a feature like a pool table or racquetball facade, for example, won’t go over well when it turns out that nobody’s using it.
When you’re enhancing amenities, consider improvements that could potentially benefit the entire membership. First, consider the value-adding potential of features that condo buyers in South Florida look for. Bark parks and pools are especially popular amenities in mid-size and large buildings.
In addition, consider what you can do to make better use of your property’s space by repurposing some of the common area that isn’t being put to use or designing an addition. Installing sunrooms Tampa is an ideal option for expanding a building’s common area in a way that encourages residents to gather. Planning improvements that people can enjoy alongside fellow owners can help condos foster a stronger sense of a community and develop a more sociable condo culture.
Practice Full Compliance With Your Governing Documents
Your association’s declaration of condominium or bylaws may have regulations pertaining to project planning. A material change to the use of any part of the property is probably going to necessitate a majority vote of the membership. Condo boards should be sure to follow all of their documents’ provisions about notice to unit owners about proposed projects, voting procedures, and project approval.
Condo boards may also need to get a minimum number of bids for projects exceeding a certain dollar amount. In general, you should get at least three estimates to put together a suitable bid analysis. Defaulting to the lowest bidder may not necessarily be the right choice. Other relevant factors that should bear on a board’s decision may include prior experience and professional know-how.
Exercise Good Communication With Residents
Let residents know about how work on the property is going to impact them. Give people advance notice so that they can plan accordingly when there will be noise or a temporary suspension of services. Updates about what’s happening with projects in a condo newsletter is an excellent way to keep folks in the loop about progress.
When you are planning the costs for a project, you should try to budget pragmatically. Consider how unplanned expenses can affect a project’s feasibility. Adding some contingencies into your budget will prevent slight setbacks from becoming insurmountable hardships.
Put Needs Before Wants
Hold off on spending reserves on amenities until you’ve found room in the budget for outstanding capital needs. Your membership may be preoccupied with the prospect of a new hot tub, but you’ve got to think in more practical terms.
Concrete restoration, roofing system replacement, and fire protection system updates have to take precedent over adding amenities or making aesthetic modifications. Having engineers to speak directly with owners and condo meetings can help people appreciate the importance of spending reserves on various capital needs improvements.
Be Attentive to Sustainability
Condo owners are often dependent on their boards to make choices that affect the sustainability of their homelife. Eco-conscious project planning is going to win favor from residents who prioritize sustainability. Also, it helps to ensure that the board’s decision withstands scrutiny as the importance of eco-conscious building management continues to grow.
Ultimately, it is important to recognize that board members have to work hard in order to foster positive relationships with a condo’s membership. You owe a high duty of care to the unit owners whose interests you represent, so you need to plan projects on the association’s behalf in a manner that’s consistent with a fiduciary duty.
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