Whether it's a co-op, a condominium, or other multi-family dwelling, a well-run board usually makes all the difference between a pleasant stress-free home and a building in disarray. Boards serve to preserve the common elements, maintain architectural integrity, and otherwise promote the community. Additionally, an effective board should provide continuity and order while protecting property values and often making available recreational facilities for the residents.
When you consider the fact that a building is really a not-for-profit corporation, normally staffed by unpaid volunteers, you may ask yourself, “What am I getting out of this?” Still many residents accept a tour of duty on the board in an effort to serve and protect their fellow neighbors, and to enhance the property they all call home. Their reasons for accepting are a varied as the individuals who sign on, and effectively working together may also be a challenge for this diverse group of volunteers.
Who’s Who on The Board
The four main board positions, the president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer, generally attract residents with different skill sets, backgrounds, and expectations. Ideally, the common goal is to manage the issues and maintain harmony, but each board member may favor a different approach. If communications break down, a board may become ineffective and dysfunctional.
Serving on a dysfunctional board is difficult and frustrating for board members, and the discord often carries over to the community as a whole. When decisions aren’t made prudently, expenses may increase while value is eroded; there are no winners when a board cannot or will not do the job of fairly governing the community.
A Manager’s Role
An experienced property manager may be able to successfully provide the guidance and leadership necessary to keep an association board on track since there are early warning signs for when a board is ineffective or at risk of becoming dysfunctional.