“Individual commitment to a group effort; that's what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
Legendary Green Bay Packers football coach Vince Lombardi left condo boards and managers off his short list, but his wisdom certainly applies in that context as well, says David Cohen, the vice president of service excellence for AKAM on-site, a property management firm in Dania Beach. “The best relationships are those in which the board and management share mutual respect, trust, and communication,”
Expectations & Responsibilities
This board/manager mutuality starts with knowing who is responsible for what—and those particulars are typically written into the management contract. In short, the responsibility of the property manager is to provide the board with the information they need to carry out their goals regarding the building, staff, financial issues, and so on. The board’s job is to use this information to make the best decisions possible on behalf of the building or HOA.
One of the biggest obstacles in creating a successful working environment between board and manager is that these lines can often be blurred. For example, a unit owner may go to a board member with an issue or complaint instead of to the manager, or vice versa. The responsibilities should be outlined at the very beginning of the relationship.
Any productive relationship includes meeting expectations, having good communication, and being open and honest. “When the board clearly articulates their vision for the property, as well as their expectations of the manager’s role, and then allows management to do their job, with both sides respecting the other’s position and responsibilities, you have a recipe for success,” says Cohen.