There’s something special about walking into a condo community that’s lead by a strong and effective board. You can feel it in the air as you explore the building and stroll the property. Things just seem to work. Everything around you runs smoothly and efficiently. Residents are happy, the building is clean and maintained, and you could swear that that bluebird over there just flew up to greet you as you walked by!
If you’re looking to turn your condo building into the fantasy-like paradise that we just described above, the first step is to build a better condo board of directors, and in our experience, there are two keys to accomplishing this easier-said-than-done task: diversity and engagement.
Taking a Deep Dive into Diversity
There are plenty of positives that come along with older, longstanding condo boards. There’s no substitute for experience, after all, and seasoned boards can oftentimes operate like well-oiled machines, with even the most difficult or esoteric tasks being handled with knowledgeable ease. On the flipside, though, old boards can often get stale, stagnant, and stuck in their ways – and while changing this sort of stubborn sentiment can be difficult, it’s often in your building’s best interest to shake things up.
First, determine what sort of board diversity you’re after. If your board’s full of older individuals who need a hand working with new technology, that might be something your building’s condo management company can help out with, but the solution could also be as simple as just diversifying your board with some younger members. It works the other way, too. If your board skews towards being overly-young, it might lack the wisdom and foresight that experience brings and can risk missing the perspectives of any older individuals who might call that same building home – potentially even creating tension within the community.
Beyond this, it goes without saying that in the year 2019, diversity in terms of gender, race, or any other differentiating factor is not only a societal expectation but will also work to further the notion that your condo community is a welcoming one, where people are friendly and everyone’s viewpoints are taken into consideration.
Oooh – we just got tingles imagining what a great condo community that would be to be a part of!
Examining Engagement for Everyone
In addition to your board being diverse, you also want it to be engaged. This is particularly important when it comes to smaller communities where there aren’t large, distinct groups of people to bolster interest in the various happenings within the community. An engaged board is a better board not only because they will be focused, present, and committed to making a difference within the condo community, but also because that sort of passion is contagious and will create an engaged community around them, rallying behind the exciting direction things within the building are beginning to take.
Now that we’ve established the importance behind the roles that engagement and diversity play in building a better board, you’re probably wondering how to go about steering your condo towards these ideals. We’ve got some ideas for you.
Bringing Engagement and Diversity to Life
The best approach to fostering both engagement and diversity in your condo board is actually incredibly straightforward: just ask for it! Spread the word throughout the building that your board is seeking out new and highly-engaged members, and your inbox will be filling up before you know it. You can even clarify if you’re looking for a new member with a certain skill set – say, someone with an accounting background – just as if you were hunting to fill an open job position at a business (which, after all, is essentially what a condo board is!).
From there, you can further foster diversity and engagement within both board and community by creating sub-committees to head up different initiatives. This is a great way to get community members involved who might be interested in participating on a more limited scale than board membership would allow and can also work to sneak some fresh blood into a longstanding, dug-in board. Additionally, putting out a call for members for a specific sub-committee further drums up diversity and engagement by attracting those individuals who might not be interested in the role of Board Treasurer, but would be very happy sitting on the Social Events Committee.
Beyond this, actually getting the word out varies from condo to condo, but is generally relatively easy depending on what communication platforms are in place. If your board has an online HOA portal, for example, this can be a great way to seek out new members, especially if you’re able to post a message on some sort of a news board or front landing page. You can put out a call for members at the AGM or in the minutes of any meeting that get shared out to unit owners. Bulletin boards, newsletters, and community email lists are also excellent places to rally fresh faces. Get that message out there and watch as your board grows more engaged and diverse before your very eyes.
If you find yourself still having problems building diversity and engagement within your condo board – or are having trouble attracting new members at all – reach out to us today at Catalyst Condo Management. We’ve worked to build engaged, diverse condo boards in every sort of building and community you can imagine and would be happy to help you do the same in your condo.