In essence, a condominium is a community of homes under one roof. Once you become part of that community, you will be expected to abide by certain guidelines set out by the condominium corporation’s board of directors. These policies exist to protect residents’ privacy, safety and investment. Members of the board are responsible for making many decisions, such as awarding maintenance contracts for snow clearing and lawn mowing, and for building a healthy reserve fund for future building repairs. But this group of residents is also responsible for determining what is acceptable behaviour in the building, and for serving as a liaison among other suite owners should situations arise.
Residents can vote for members of the board, or may consider running for a position themselves. Whichever you choose, it’s important to be involved. I’ve always felt that serving as a volunteer on the condominium board is a great way to give back to your “community” and to have your say in the running of the building. You become part of a creative team that goes beyond maintaining the status quo. Boards that include members from different professions usually find the combination of expertise works well — so if you’ve got something unique to offer, consider running.
Board members need patience, good communication skills and a willingness to co-operate with others. You will have to be able to devote the time required for meetings and commitments, and you must accept gracefully the fact your personal wishes may not always win the vote. Each board member is a leader, but is also part of a team, so being able to go with the flow is important.
Do your research before you volunteer. Ask what is expected of you as a board member, and be realistic and honest when you consider the job. Do you have the time? Are you willing to interact with numerous people regarding a variety of topics? If you opt not to run for the condo board, find out about those who do. Take an interest and communicate your feelings to those who will ultimately make decisions that will affect your life on a day-to-day basis.
Whether or not you run for your own condo board, show respect for those who take on the challenge with the best interest of the “community” at heart.
Linda Mitchell, Vice-President of Sales & Marketing, High-Rise for Monarch Corporation, received the coveted 2005 OHBA SAMMY award, and the 2003 Riley Brethour Award acknowledging outstanding achievement in residential sales and marketing.