5 Key Roles on Your Condominium Board
Getting to Know the Fundamental Condominium Board of Directors Roles and Responsibilities
There are five fundamental roles on a condominium board of directors that need to be filled to succeed. A condominium community needs a dedicated board who understand their roles and responsibilities and are committed to fair representation of the residents they have been elected to serve. Built of volunteers, the board members share a common interest, the place they call home, and help ensure everyone within the community is being heard and common issues are being addressed.
The condominium board of directors must approach the operation of their condo corporation as a business. It is their responsibility to protect all the owners' investments and interests. Tasks include maintaining the common property, managing the finances, and creating policies that promote harmony between people living in a multi-family environment – perhaps for the first time.
To make this happen, the board must meet regularly to set goals, interpret and administer the bylaws and make decisions on behalf of their community. Effective condominium board of directors are those whose members respect each other and work together with a spirit of cooperation.
Board members need to understand their roles. While there can be several areas of responsibility for boards, such as parking control, architectural considerations, and common area maintenance, there are five fundamental positions that every board needs to fill.
Condominium Board of Directors Responsibilities
Being part of a condominium board of directors is often an enriching experience. Regardless of your role, you get to be an active member of your community and help bring change that positively impacts you, your condominium, and your fellow residents.
Each of the key condominium board roles require a particular skill set and has different responsibilities. So, which is the right position for you? Let's take a closer look at each role.
The board president is responsible for the successful operation of the community. They set the agenda and chairs the Annual General Meeting (AGM) as well as all condominium board of directors meetings, maintaining order and keeping the discussion on topic. The president is responsible for the daily execution of the corporation's business and is the primary board contact for the property manager making good communication skills an asset for this role.
In a board president, other qualities are fairness, openness, leadership skills, and being a team player. As the president, they must collaborate with a wide variety of people and personalities. They cannot be afraid to delegate tasks or mediate when disagreements between members may arise.
As expected, the vice president takes over the duties of the president in their absence, but they don't just sit idly by. Not surprisingly, the president often has a lot on the go, so to help lighten the load, the vice president will take on additional tasks and responsibilities as needed.
A vice president should be flexible, organized, and have good time management skills because their role is the most susceptible to looking different from day to day as they take on various projects.
Minutes of a condominium corporation are public documents, and because of this, it's imperative that the minutes are recorded accurately. The secretary's job is to document the proceedings of board meetings in minutes and distribute them to the condominium board of directors for approval. Once approved, they are made available by the management company for those who need them for various purposes, including real estate transactions, mortgages, insurance, and legal reasons.
Essential qualities to look for in a secretary are someone that is responsible, organized, and most importantly, a great listener.
The financial health of a condominium corporation is vital to all owners. No one wants to see the monthly contributions increase due to mismanagement of the funds. The treasurer is the board member most involved with preparing the budget draft, which is reviewed, adjusted, and approved by the board. It then falls to the treasurer to closely monitor the monthly financial reports provided by the management company and ensure the expenditures align with the budgeted amounts. Realistic budgets and fiscal management are imperative.
Attention to detail is key when looking for a treasurer; someone with an interest or even experience working with financials would be ideal but is not a requirement.
Contracting a reputable, experienced property management company significantly lightens the board's workload. The property manager is the board's link to the management company. They attend board meetings and are a resource to the board as they set policies, determine maintenance requirements, and manage the common property in compliance with the bylaws. The property manager implements the decisions of the condominium board of directors, supported by an administrative team that includes an administrator, accountant, and full-service office.
There are several things you should look for when it comes to hiring a property manager, but the key is to make sure you as a board know exactly what you need so you can properly articulate them to the property manager. The condominium board of directors and the property manager being on the same page about a community's needs will foster the right relationship to get things done successfully.
The Needs of your Condominium Board of Directors may Differ
Of course, there may be other areas of board responsibility depending upon the size and type of your community. Still, these are the essential five positions on a typical condominium board of directors. In addition to these, there may be a need to monitor parking or pets, prepare newsletters or supervise maintenance or landscaping contractors. A clear understanding of the roles will contribute to well-functioning leadership for the corporation.
Elected board members will have a variety of skill sets and experience as volunteers. A partnership with a strong management company will provide the guidance and knowledge to support the condominium board of directors as they fulfill their duties and accomplish their set goals.
For more information on how the right property management company can bring out the best of your Board, contact FirstService Residential, North America’s leading property management company.