On the Board Top Traits of Very Effective Boards

All she wanted to do was to sell her co-op apartment. Although she used her ground-floor property both for work and as a residence, she wasn’t quite sure whether it could be sold as a live-work apartment. So she did what she thought she should do—she went to her board and asked.

“But the board refused to let her know what she could sell the property as until she brought in an actual buyer,” says Edo Raday, an associate broker/vice president with Manhattan’s Halstead Property, LLC. “The board was being very difficult, and the seller had a hard time selling the apartment because the realtor can’t misrepresent the apartment to a potential buyer.”

While tensions rose in that building over the board’s lack of cooperation with the unit owner, the atmosphere was quite different across town. Eileen Michaels thinks highly of her Fifth Avenue building’s board and their current president.

“[Our president] was unexpectedly thrust into the position when the former 18-year president moved,” explains Michaels. “During the almost two years that she has been president, our resident manager retired after 35 years, we were given right of first refusal to purchase our land lease—with a very short time to respond—and our retail space became vacant after a 10-year sublease. The rent was a significant part of our income.”

Although each of these issues individually would represent a big challenge for any board, handling them all at once took Herculean effort. “I am proud to say that our board rallied to the rescue,” says Michaels. “They worked cooperatively with our new resident manager, and in a little over a year, our building has been updated and repairs have been expedited. We secured a land lease purchase deal which has significantly increased shareholder value, and we leased the retail space to a real estate company.”

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