Just about every working person, from the busboy at your favorite diner to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, works under a job description that outlines their duties and establishes responsibilities and boundaries of authority. Your building's superintendent or resident manager should be no different. A clearly defined, yet flexible job description for your key building staff can ensure that what needs doing gets done - and can help building staff and board members maintain a productive, friction-free working relationship.
Of course, there is a problem with having one universal job description for all superintendents and resident managers: No two buildings are exactly alike. Each represents a distinct community with varying needs and expectations. That said, however, while no one document or standard form can address every aspect of every super's individual circumstances, there are core subjects that are common in most buildings.
At the 21st Annual Housing Conference sponsored by the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums (CNYC), the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations said of building staff in a seminar on union employees, "They're your employees; as long as it's legal, it can be put into the employee's job description."
While this is technically true, it does nobody any good to concoct a job description amounting to little more than a long list of impossible tasks. As good common sense might dictate, the key to developing a reasonable, workable job description for your building staff is to keep it simple and involve your staff in the process.
With that in mind, let's look at the core duties that are common to most superintendents and can form the framework for a working job description: