When Gladys pressed the “9” button on the elevator panel, she heard a noise that could most generously be described as sounding like a train slamming into a wall. For most New Yorkers, this is a subconscious everyday fear, as each day involves multiple elevator rides.
Although there’s nothing as annoying as being stuck in traffic or a delayed subway, an elevator “out of service” sign for a 15-flight stair climb is not far behind.
Has your building installed a door lock monitor system? They are required by January 1, 2020.
Habit #7: “Sharpen the Saw”
In “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen R. Covey talks about the “upward spiral” model that results from growth, change and constant improvement. The Upward Spiral model consists of three parts:
The management team in a coop or condo is composed of three distinct entities: the board, the property manager, and the staff. When their strengths are combined, goals can be achieved that could not have been done by just one of these entities.
You Have Two Ears and One Mouth- Use Them in That Proportion
Understanding the limitations of the staff, managing agent and fellow board-members is important. Although the staff reports to the managing agent, the managing agent reports to their firm first and ultimately to the board. The board then reports to the residents. The managing agent has, in most cases, multiple buildings with multiple emergencies such as leaks, fires, floods; and of course loose cats.
Have a Long-term Plan
Ask yourself, what is your ultimate desired outcome? Is it a more cost-efficient building, a greener building, more amenities to better compete with the new luxury condos or something else? Or, are you perfectly happy with the current state of your building and the yearly rate increase that you pass on to your residents and neighbors?
Running a Condo Association is no simple task. You must manage a budget, keep a building in good repair, fix issues for Owners, deal with unexpected disasters, manage crazy Board members, and more. Although this can be daunting, there are certain Condo Association management basics which will help guide you towards success.
If you’re a board member of a coop or condo building, you and your board undoubtedly work hard to represent your fellow owners. While owners want you to maintain your shared home at the lowest cost possible, the primary board and management responsibilities are the management of day-to-day operations, as well as special requests and emergencies. This leaves very little extra time to devote to serious cost cutting.
Many people appreciate the obvious work we do in helping boards cut budgets, save money, and run more efficiently. There are many “big” items involved with this, but small details also matter and add up. Effective communication is an example of this. Between the many moving parts and layers of management; board, super, managing agent, much can go wrong. This is a case of “too many cooks in the kitchen.” Proper technology can solve this, while at the same time creating cost efficiencies.
Most of you have heard about the effect of compounding. This is commonly known and spoken about in investments. According to Merriam-Webster it is “to pay (interest) on both the accrued interest and the principal.” The opposite is true as well. Although not often talked about, the effect of compounded savings, or reduction in expenses can be significant. We helped one association cut one particular expense, which over the next 10 years will save them, using some reasonable assumptions, over $240,000.
Working closely with your managing agent is a great start to cutting costs. The managing agent normally has a great bulk program for both electricity and energy purchases, providing an opportunity for their buildings to switch to ESCOs and reduce unit costs. Although cutting the cost of something the building uses and considers a fixed cost is a great start, it is not even half the battle. Here are 10 tips on cutting heating and electric use.