When your co-op or condo elects new board members, they will bring innovative and diverse ideas to the table. Residents always have high expectations that new board members will solve lingering issues, find new approaches to meet resident needs, and better manage fixed and variable costs. Utilizing social media, "greening" the building, and utilizing expert residential co-op and condo consultants are just a few of the ways board members are tackling the complexity of multi-residential housing challenges.
The Human Element of Change
Change is seldom easy for people because it is easier to maintain the status quo. However, the status quo for co-ops and condos today is continuous change. Your board members must deal with a wide variety of issues, requiring them to effectively maneuver through challenges like frequently changing laws and regulations; property disputes; and ever increasing operating costs, all while maintaining a satisfying living environment for building occupants. New building management strategies are needed, while recognizing residents must embrace the changes.
Successful change management incorporates the human element, according to Deloitte. Residents must understand the value of changing behavior if, for example, board members take steps after a professional evaluation. The change requires new resident procedures which means changing behaviors.
Keeping residents informed of changes is crucial to success. Some boards have turned to social media for work order submissions, collecting resident ideas, and sharing changes in state and local laws impacting their buildings. Companies like BuildingLink.com and MyBuilding, now part of RealPage.com developed technology that can assist boards with staying in contact with residents, after the board conducts a professional exhaustive review of operations and financials to pinpoint resident needs and to identify strategies to reduce expenses. This process contributes to a building culture that supports continuous change.
Always a Better Way
Some new board member ideas will be cutting-edge innovative suggestions to lower operating costs without reducing efficiency. For example, there is a growing trend to "green" buildings, making them more environmentally sustainable. Environmentally conscious board members are embracing new approaches like a green roof, cogeneration to produce electricity and using consultants to review and develop a system for regular monitoring of budgets and to maintain continuous change month-to-month. Other progressive actions include joining programs like the NYC Carbon Challenge, a voluntary environmental sustainability program designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Change is difficult, but successful condos and co-ops will embrace continuous change to remain efficient and control costs. There is almost always a better way to do things, from renegotiating vendor contracts to brainstorming with residents via social media. As the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, "If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading."
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