Condo communities are complex things. There’s a LOT to think about and keep track of in order to ensure the wheels stay on the wagon. From minding the maintenance to contractor concerns and holiday happenings to everyday events. It seems like there’s hardly a moment between months, or seasons for a condo board member to stop and catch their breath!
This is precisely why you need a plan to succeed.
Five Steps To Proactive Success
A Plan of Action
In order to set yourself up for success, the first thing you’ll want to do is come up with some sort of a plan. This is where a lot of boards can get stuck – how do you set up an effective plan for even just the next month, never mind the next 365 days?
You put together an action plan.
An Annual Action Plan (AAP), to be precise! The crux of this sort of approach pivots on the APP being both a guiding strategy and an accountability piece, all at once.
“Great!” you’re thinking, “But…what’s actually in an Annual Action Plan?” Glad you (hypothetically) asked. The first step is to take stock of your condo corporation’s Reserve Fund Study in relation to the priorities and action items your board is facing in the year ahead. This should allow you to start sorting out and arranging contractors for the work in the months to come. It might seem a little early to be booking contractors for work in August or September, but that’s exactly the point. By booking early, you can often lock in lower-cost price guarantees, ensuring not only that your building gets to work with the contractor it prefers, but also likely doing so at a relatively low price point – all within the timeline that you’re aiming for.
Finally, in addition to these plans, your board’s AAP should also include one last set of details: a path forward that accounts for seasonal considerations in the year ahead, starting with the push through the tail-end of our current cold and snowy weather towards that sweet, sweet spring thaw.
Still, feeling a bit unsure about how to plot your course through the year? Don’t worry – we’ve got your back.
The First Stretch: Winter to Spring
As the snow and frost give way to sunshine and flowers, your plan should focus on preparing for the warmer weather ahead – and all the spring cleaning that comes along with it. Ongoing snow removal should transition seamlessly into regular landscaping and outdoor common space upkeep, while one-time tasks like yard clean-up and parkade maintenance should be taken into consideration and actioned accordingly.
Finally, necessary subcommittees associated with spring goings-on (social activities, community gardens, etc.) should take the time between winter and spring to kick off and get underway so that they can hit the ground running once the snow truly melts – which, if you’re in the Alberta condo property management business, you know doesn’t really happen until August, anyway (just kidding, of course…mostly. Either way, be ready to go as early as weather allows).
Second Nature: Spring to Summer
Making it through the big push through from winter to spring from spring to summer should be a piece of cake. By now, your condo community should be in full swing, having come out of its winter hibernation. And been rejuvenated by the return of all that (hopefully!) warmer weather. This is the time of year when community gardens are planted. And when your condo community should be in the thick of planning and organizing for all those upcoming summer renovations.
Additionally, take the opportunity as the weather warms up to remind residents about balcony bylaws and considerations.
So Far, So Good: Summer to Fall
As the dog days of summer begin to fade into distant, sun-drenched memory. Your building will want to have a plan in place for the fall. Arrange to put your community garden to rest for the year. With winter planning and maintenance during this seasonal transition and take the time to remind unit owners. That any spooky bylaws that might haunt their Halloween decorating intentions. Finally, take this time to also finalize any details regarding fall clean-up.
The Home Stretch: Fall to Winter
Does time fly when you’re having fun, amirite? With that, we’ve come nearly full circle. As we start planning for winter and looking forward once more to and shiny New Year. Once again as the seasons change, take the opportunity to remind owners about any pertinent bylaws in place. Regarding storage on balconies, lest you be treated to a building’s worth of balcony-bound bicycles. On display all winter long! Also, before the snow starts to fly, be sure to touch base once more with your snow removal contractor. Just to make sure everybody’s ready for that first big dump of the white stuff.
And there you have it – a year in the life of a condo corporation, mapped out and ready for you to put into action. Still, have questions about how to set your condo building up for success? Give us a call at Catalyst Condo Management today – we’ll be happy to chat and help you set a proper, proactive plan in place.