Keeping your Condo Association in good repair requires you to actively engage with an entire ecosystem of Condo Association contractors. Professionals such as engineers, roofers, plumbers and more are required to keep things going. Your building Management will likely handle many of the interactions. Eventually, you will likely work with a project of sufficient magnitude that the Board will need to be involved. These strategies for working with Condo Association contractors will help you ensure things go smoothly.
Speak With One Voice
One of the most common challenges for a Condo Association Board is speaking with a unified voice. Board members don’t always agree or get along. When it comes to projects with Condo Association contractors, you likely also have Management engaged. Make sure that your Board and Management are giving clear and concise guidance to your contractors. Try to keep your discussions, debating – and yes – dirty laundry – limited to Association only business. You might achieve this by putting Management in charge of communications. Another alternative, if you’re self-managed or want to mix things up, is to appoint a singular Board liaison who is responsible for coordinating communications. Whichever way you go, make sure that the person in charge of communication is also being transparent with fellow Board members.
Trust, But Verify
For larger projects, you will have technical representation whose job it is to oversee and ensure that the Condo Association contractors you hire are getting the job done. The technical representative’s job is to serve as the customer advocate. Good ones will fight tooth and nail for you and ensure that work is being done properly. Bad ones might prioritize their relationship with the contractors – with whom they will work on other projects – over you. If you think that something fishy is going on, consider hiring a second opinion. That will reduce the chance of something untoward.
Don’t Cut Ties Until The Job is Finished
Sometimes relationships with Condo Association contractors don’t work out. It may be due to personality conflicts or poor workmanship. While it may be tempting to declare “You’re fired!” or “You’re never getting job from us again!” remember that timing is everything. Even if you know you’ll never work with a contractor again, hold your tongue until the project is completed and all final payments or retainage have been distributed. You don’t want to sour the relationship prematurely.
Aim for Win-Win Relationships
Even in a big city, word gets around fast. Make sure that you are treating all of your Condo Association contractors professionally and with respect. If you’re difficult to work with, word will get around. But if you can be a professional, the job will likely go well and you’ll be on your way towards leading a better Condo life.