Dear Maria; I am being asked to consider a post in my condo board, and I’m curious about how a condo board maintains a good relationship with the condo manager?
A: I heard this great saying that I believe holds true: “the critical relationship between the Board and Manger can turn water into wine when it works, but can then turn it back to sour milk when it doesn’t.” How true is that? I believe every manager and board member has experienced this exact statement.
This is a good follow-up conversation to have after last month’s column discussing a Code of Ethics to help boards resolve disputes.
I always say that the best Boards to work with are those who truly believe in making communication a priority. These boards know that openness; forgiveness, ethics and transparency make for great governance and a strong relationship between the two. I can truly and with absolute honesty say that New Concept Management Inc. has some of the best boards in the Condominium Community.
But, lets face it; no condo board or management company is perfect. You have different views and personalities to contend with. Conflicts will arise from time to time. How you handle the situation makes a world of difference.
It also holds true, that most if not all condo boards are volunteers and have minimal experience in this area and they are tasked
with managing a substantial asset. So having that valuable input from the manager is essential.
Here are two essential steps that I believe a Board and Manager can use to build on a healthy business relationship. DEFINE THE ROLES BETWEEN THE BOARD AND THE MANAGER:
• This step is typically overlooked, but an essential one in my opinion. I know I’m not perfect and have dropped the ball a time or two in this area. If you’re seasoned or new to
the Board it is essential to understand the distinction between the role of the board and the manager.
• The Role of the Board is to make decisions about the control, management and administration of the condominium corporation and the enforcement of the Bylaws and generally provides leadership to its condo community.
• It is important that Directors be active and involved when they serve on the Board., and must be willing to devote the necessary time to oversee the corporation.
• They must be willing to learn and acquire the knowledge needed to effectively carry out their duties.
• The Condominium Management Company, like New Concept Management Inc., is an independent organization hired through its board of directors to carry out the day-to-day operation of a condominium corporation.
• Communication is a critical and important step to the success of the working relationship between the Board of Directors, Manager and the Owners.
• It is also very important to establish a liaison that can communicate the needs of the board to the manager. Taking direction from different members on the board can prove to be difficult. Keep it simple and have communications come from one source.
• Don’t go long periods of time without meeting or checking in with each. Set regular times to meet as a board along with the manager to carry out the business of the condo corporation.
• Part of communication is also feedback to your condo manager or board members. If a problem arises address it immediately in a professional and impartial manner, and don’t forget to give positive feedback to your condo manager.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it takes a lot of hard work and effort to work together as a team to manage the
condo corporation. So, you don’t have to be
from Mars or Venus to work together.