Does embarking on a new project in your association seem as stressful as going to the dentist? Oftentimes, projects seem daunting based on scope and cost as it’s sometimes like pulling teeth for Board Members to part ways with the almighty assessment dollars. Many Board Members rely on keeping assessments low as a barometer of the Board’s success when all the while, the buildings are deteriorating due to lack of attention. Putting band-aids on a major flesh wound simply doesn’t cut it. Rather, let’s change gears and work on a better plan, being more consistent with our processes, committing to a team approach amongst all Board Members and the Property Manager, and then committing to long term planning for future projects. A home is no different than your car as if you ignore the “check engine light”, and other signs of the car not operating properly, the longer you delay the inevitable, the costlier the repair most likely. Putting a coat of wax on a dirty car is futile. The same holds true for your property in that if you ignore the warning signs of wear and tear, such as fading roof shingles, rotted wood, peeling paint, discolored siding, worn and damaged asphalt/concrete, damaged gutters/downspouts, and property issues as reported to your management company by homeowners that seem to be the same types of issues, chances are you’re ignoring the “check engine light” for your property. Like a car that needs oil to sustain its life, properties require consistent maintenance, upkeep and renovation to preserve the asset long-term. Otherwise, you go from routine maintenance and upgrades to major overhauls which become more expensive once you start peeling back the layers of a building.

So, where do we start? First, let’s change the attitude! Make a mental commitment to making change within your community. Understand that at the heart of these construction issues are homeowners who deserve to see progress, enhancement, and preservation as for many, their home is the largest financial investment they make. Like every big purchase most of us make, we take our time, we research, we rely on our “team” inclusive of the Board and the Property Manager, and we agree to a process that will yield optimal results. Relying on the Property Manager to help spearhead this process makes it easier as it’s not their first rodeo. Although Property Managers might not be “Project Managers”, hold certifications in certain aspects of construction, nor be bona-fide experts in construction, many know how to properly build a plan, build a process, and then execute accordingly. Work together, not against one another, and everything will align properly. Finally, know that there will be problems as there are problems with every project. The point isn’t that there’s a problem or problems per se, but rather how is the problem being addressed. This is where the true value of the Property Manager comes into play. Property Managers do care, and care greatly, and want the very same thing everyone else wants. Just work together and let the transformation begin.

At the 2019 IL Condo-HOA Conference & Expo, join presenters Mark Waldman of Waldman Engineering and Jory Carrick of Williamson Management for their session “The Science of Vendor Selection – A Practical Approach” for more insight on how to prepare for your associations’ next projects.

 

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Jory Carrick

Jory Carrick is the president at Williamson Management, Inc. Williamson Management, Inc. has been in business for over 35 years and has a strong concentration in real...

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