Your condo board runs a pretty tight ship. Meetings are efficient, AGMs are informative, and day-to-day operations are smooth and trouble-free. You do a good job keeping things on the up-and-up. The community is happy, dialogue between board members and condo owners is free-flowing, and overall, things are pretty danged good.
But…are they excellent?
In our opinion, there’s always opportunity to strive for better and push for improvement. Plenty of people out there might subscribe to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, but we prefer to always be innovating, iterating, and improving. With that in mind, we’re writing today’s blog with the purpose of sharing some great tools and resources that will really help your board streamline processes, improve transparency, and just generally kick butt all around.
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to find a contact number or an important scrap of information that’s buried deep within the files of a cavernous office cabinet. Quick and easy access to itemized documents, schedules, and more can often make the difference between a good condo board and a great one, so step up your file organization game by rolling out a series of master lists to help you wrangle reams of must-know information into just a handful of quickly-scannable, easily-accessible documents.
These lists can be actioned to organize anything your condo needs regular, efficient access to, from key vendor/contractor contact information, contracts, and responsibilities to important review/renewal dates for maintenance, landscaping and security contracts and more! The key to success here is to organize these lists in a way that makes sense for you and your condo board, and to be sure to review and update these documents on a regular basis (they definitely won’t help with efficiency if you end up spending all your time dialing old phone numbers!).
There’s definitely something quaint and nostalgic about keeping track of all the numbers, figures, and details associated with condo management in a big, grid-paper ledger that’s seen years and years of service. That said, we’re not here for nostalgia – we’re here for condo management excellence! So, with that in mind, it’s time to kick that dusty old notebook to the curb and jump forward a few decades to the 21st century where a wonderful new tool is awaiting your board: condo management software!
Online condo management software presents an exciting new opportunity for your condo community to keep connected in ways that never would have been possible even just a handful of years ago. These internet-powered platforms allow users to log on in order to quickly and easily store condo documents, share messages with condo owners and management companies, and more! Not only do they offer a space to back-up these important sorts of documents (while also making them more accessible to the condo community at large), but these platforms can also help to increase communication and transparency between board members and owners on everything from ongoing condo community projects, meeting happenings, upcoming building maintenance, and more.
Condo management software comes in all different shapes and forms. We’re not out here to endorse one or the other, but rather, would suggest that the one your board and building should go with is the one that seems to suit your specific needs best. We’re happy to share our insights in a conversation!
Your building might be relying on a good ol’ fashioned bulletin board to get any messages or information out there to the masses – but just like we talked about pen-and-paper ledgers a few paragraphs back, we’re going to encourage you to ditch (or, at least supplement!) that traditional in-lobby bulletin board for one of the many online communication tools available for use.
These internet-based publishing platforms will allow your board to easily put together modern, attractive-looking newsletter-style updates for your building’s owners, and can be disseminated to any number of subscriber lists in order to make sure the right people in your building are getting the information they need for condo living success. Further, these tools offer a wealth of information on how effectively you’re getting your messages out there, providing an inside look at open-rates, subscriber behaviour, and more.
There are a few points we want to make about your building’s budget to help your board level up from good to great:
Seriously. Know your budget numbers inside and out, like the back of your hand. Make use of your building’s reserve fund study. Your reserve fund study should serve as your bible, your guiding light when it comes to making fiscal decisions year-in and year-out. This leads us to our next point, which is…
Sure, maybe it’s been a few years since your condo’s windows have had a big scrub, and everybody says they look gross and dirty and that they need a clean. The thing is, though, that if there’s no room in the budget, DON’T DO IT. Condo boards have a habit of getting themselves in trouble because they’ll confuse wanting to do something with needing to do something, and will throw the budget right out the window to make it happen. In the case we mentioned, unless the windows are literally falling out of their panes, they can wait a bit for a cleaning until there’s room in the budget to make it happen. We promise.
Getting engagement can always be a little tricky within a condo building. Of course, everyone’s committed to building a home and a community to be proud of – but people also have jobs, families, hobbies, and commitments that demand their attention as well. With this in mind, make sure you accomplish the things that are most important to your building’s ongoing success by taking the time to build out a priority list of the top three things that the entire board can agree on are crucial to achieving excellence. By establishing these priorities as a board, you can also be sure to get everyone’s buy-in, hopefully boosting and encouraging engagement in the process.
Running a top-notch condo community is no easy feat – but it doesn’t have to take over your life, either! Set up a planning meeting with your board and condo management company today to chat about smart planning, helpful tools, and this efficiency-building series of tips and resources, and you’ll be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the condo management greats in no time! 😉
Want to learn a bit more about how to streamline your condo board’s processes through the use of tools and resources? Don’t hesitate to reach out to use at Catalyst Condo Management – we’re always happy to talk shop and will do what we can to help you raise the bar in your condo community today!