Keeping it Zen The Art of Managing an Association Board

Managing a condominium or cooperative building would be a piece of cake… if weren’t for all those people.

The bricks and mortar is easy. Sending out bills, contracting building repairs, filing papers, commissioning and preparing reports take time and skill, but managing relationships, especially among the people on the board of directors, a.k.a. your boss, can be particularly tricky.

An experienced property manager taking command of an established condominium association can usually sense that a board is dysfunctional the first time they attend a board meeting.

Red flags indicating there is trouble ahead for a new manager, according to Wayde Scheffer, president of the Flemington, New Jersey-based Access Property Management, include “meetings where there is no structure, the board president seems to have no control and there is no protocol established—no agenda.”

The board is in dire straits, he adds, “if they constantly avoid issues—they don’t even identify them—and if they have a loss year after year and are not funding their reserves but doing it the federal government way—paying for it later without doing special assessments when there is a major issue.”

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