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?
Have you ever heard of a motivational self-help book for Co-op and Condo Boards? Neither have we. This adaptation of Stephen R. Covey’s 1989 Free Press book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is a self-help book for Co-op and Condo Boards detailing how to run a more efficient building.
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.
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.
The Folson Group was consulted about reducing waster costs in an unconventional way for Unfixing "Fixed" Costs by Marianne Schaeffer and Habitat Magazine. We discussed a technique that is incredibly affordable and results in substantial savings for any Coop or Condo where water is included in the resident's monthly fees. Link to article here. Please like, share and comment!
Interview with Green is Good Radio's founder John Shegerian: Operating Buildings More Efficiently with The FolSon Group's Tina Larsson
Tina talks about how apartment buildings, including Co-ops and Condos, need to cut waste in order to keep monthly's in shack. Eliminating waste, thereby running buildings more efficiently, are often results of #greening the building.
Cut your co-op monthlies: 5 ways to 'tackle' building costs
by Leigh Kamping-Carder of BrickUnderground.com
Conventional wisdom says that almost all of a co-op building’s expenses—about 90 percent by one estimate—are fixed, leaving shareholders little say on how their monthly maintenance fees are spent, and little room to save.
But that’s not necessarily true, says Tina Larsson, co-founder of the FolSon Group, a consulting firm that helps co-op and condo boards lower their expenses. A former Wall Street