“Individual commitment to a group effort -- that's what makes a team work; a company work; a society work; a civilization work.” - Vince Lombardi, Green Bay Packers Coach
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,” he says.
Expectations & Responsibilities
This board/manager mutuality starts with an understanding of responsibilities, which are typically specified in management contracts: the property manager must provide the board with information necessary to accomplish goals for the building, while the board must use the information to make the best decisions possible on behalf of the building or HOA.
In creating a successful working environment between board and manager, lines can often blur. For example, a unit owner may approach a board member with an issue or complaint instead of a manager, or vice versa. To avoid such confusion, responsibilities should be outlined at the very beginning of the relationship.
Any productive relationship includes establishing expectations, communication, and honesty. “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.