All of life is about neighbors. In a Condo Association, it is important that within your building you are building networks of like-minded Owners and generally being a good neighbor. In our urban and suburban world, even buildings have neighbors. Just as it is important to be a good neighbor within your building, you want to be a good neighbor outside of your building, as well. One of the keys is befriending neighboring Condo Associations. And don’t worry – these tips work for all types of Community Associations.
While often Management knows the neighboring Associations, Boards aren’t always quick to meet each other. The first step to befriending neighboring Condo Associations is to introduce yourself as a Board. You can do this easily via email to start. However, the best way to start making a lasting impression is to meet in person. To show you are serious, you should offer to meet a few minutes before their monthly Board meeting. Your entire Board can show up, or just a few designated liaisons. Either way, press the flesh and meet in person. Putting faces to names is a huge step in building relationships.
Offer Something Before Asking for Something
First and foremost, always offer something before asking for something. This is a well recognized tactic for successfully influencing people. You can do this in a few ways. The easiest is if your neighbors ask for a favor – for example, maybe they need some extra guest parking while they are resurfacing their own parking lot. Or you can offer to share amenities – if you have a little-used tennis court or basketball court, you could offer to let another community use them some or all of the time. The key thing to befriending neighboring Condo Associations is to ensure that you offer the favor first.
Find Opportunities to Build the Relationship Regularly
Getting the relationship off to a good start is important, but you need to be able to maintain the relationship, as well. There are a number of ways you can do this. One good way is to invite the Boards of neighboring buildings to any parties or events your Association has. It’s a good chance to meet and mingle and offer up hospitality. Another opportunity is to look into doing joint events like police or fire community briefings or CPR classes. These can help bring like-minded individuals together and also raise attendance by drawing from multiple pools of Owners.
Relationships are an Investment
If you try to roll into any relationship and take more than you give, you’re doomed for failure. The key to effectively befriending neighboring Condo Associations is to ensure you’re setting up the relationship for the long term. You want to build up mutual trust and investment in order to leverage the relationship when you need it. It might be for a favor like shared parking, or it might be to fight a master association, or perhaps jointly protest new construction that’s adjacent to both buildings. Regardless, you’re best suited by making friends before you need them – otherwise people might wonder how genuine your motives really are.
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