Unit owners’ apathy hurts the entire condo community.

D.H. writes:

Dear Paul:

Our AGM is coming up in May. Four of the five current board members indicated that they would not run for office again after five years on the board. I am afraid that no one will step up to the plate and want to take the job. I find that unit owner apathy is deplorable. Don’t people understand that this is their corporation. Whatever happens or does not happen is up to all of us, not just the generous few. What can we do to encourage people to do their share?

Paul replies:

Dear D.H.:

I am afraid you are not alone facing a lack of volunteers. It is a situation that plays out much to often in condo corporations everywhere. Where to start? Clichés are always a good place. Wisdom that has endured for many generations can help us reflect on the world around us.

            “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

 No matter how much pushing, prodding, pulling, encouraging, and praising we do, motivation comes from within each individual. If someone really does not want to participate or contribute, they just won’t.

“It’s not my job.” Individuals often think that it is somebody else’s responsibility, not theirs. However, they will be the first to complain and the last to jump in when they no longer have a choice.

            “There was an important job to be done. Everybody thought Somebody would do it.  Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry because he thought it was Everybody’s job to do it. In the end; Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done!”

“What’s in it for me?” Is a common phrase spoken by people who need to be sure that they will get something in return for their contribution? It is not unconditional love. To answer this question, I have adapted an article from Ivey Engineering located in San Diego, California. https://www.iveyengineering.com/reasons-serve-hoa-board/ I hope it provides some guidance on why unit owners should volunteer.

 1. Protect Your Property

One of the top priorities of every homeowner is to protect the value of his or her home.  Being involved with your condo corporation will put you in a better position to make and implement rules in your community. Some of these regulations will directly affect property value, especially if they require decisions about the corporation’s budget or routine maintenance.

2. Correct Problems

Are you noticing problems in your community, such as lack of parking and maintenance? Maybe there’s a problem with unruly neighbors? You can take charge now and help to correct them by being a part of the board.

3. Meet More of your Expectations

Did you have certain expectations when you bought your home in the community? Are your expectations being met? By serving on a condo board, you can influence the community’s direction by working with your neighbors.

4. Gain Better Understanding of the Laws

Volunteering as a board member will make you well-versed in laws and regulations related to the condo community. It will also give you a good grasp of finances and budgeting.

5. Have Fun Experiences

Taking on some of your corporation’s tasks does not have to be a boring. It can be fun, especially when you get to socialize, work with your neighbours and come up with creative ideas on how to make your community run better.

 6. Learn Life Lessons

As a condo board member, you learn valuable life lessons about working as a team. You learn to share your interests and responsibilities with others, and at the same time, you understand the importance of valuing others’ opinions before making decisions.

7. Learn Leadership Skills

Serving on a condo board can teach you more than what you imagine. It gives you a chance to hone leadership skills, take charge of issues and work with others to fix them.

8. Give Back to the Community

One way to give back to your neighbours and community is to serve on your corporation’s board, which allows the opportunity to make good decisions that will have a positive impact on everyone.

9. Meet Neighbours

An opportunity to meet your neighbours and to know more about them. It gives you a chance to socialize and make friends with others living in your neighbourhood.

Good Luck!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Louisa Ryz

    Knowledge is the most powerful tool to achieve or do anything. I have been associated with our condo board since our inception – more than 13 years. I knew “zero” about condominium living before. I have learned so much and met such interesting people throughout these years. My self-confidence has improved greatly – I can stand up and speak in front of people which I could never do before. Serving on our condo board has given me back much more than the effort that I have put in. I would strongly encourage all of you to serve.

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