Responding to Unimportant Condo Association Challenges


In Monday’s post we covered the issue with important Condo Association challenges.  However, not every challenge you face will be important.  Many will be trivial, perhaps laughably so – that’s just part of the job.  This doesn’t mean that you won’t respond to such issues; in some ways, responses to these issues are harder as you must maintain professionalism as you do so.  Equally important is that you not waste valuable Board time on unimportant Condo Association challenges.

As with the previous post, there is an important note for definitions in this article.  These classifications are with regards to the Association, not individual Owners.  There are many issues that an Owner might deem important or urgent that the Association would not.  For example, imagine an Owner scheduled a contractor without proper Association approval.  The contractor is now coming and the Owner wants approval before they show up.  This is urgent to the Owner, but not to the Association.  This article focuses on the Association’s perspective.

Urgent, Unimportant Condo Association Challenges

The Eisenhower box helps you spend less time on trivial things.

This category consists of many of the fire drills that are generally self-made.  Owner requests that have time sensitivity but no real impact to the Association besides an unhappy Owner also fall into this category.  These are usually issues where someone misses a deadline or ignores Association policy.  Other examples might involve issues with relationships between a committee and the Board where you want to resolve them, but they aren’t truly life or death. 

Examples:  Committees demanding attention from the Board; minor staffing issues; Owner requests that are time-sensitive but not relevant to the Association as a whole; unexpected urgent aesthetic decisions for major projects; etc.

Condo Association Response:  Try to delegate these to Management where possible, but the Board must lead.  Try to reach a decision quickly – this is where compromise comes in handy – and not spend too many cycles on the issue.  Don’t be afraid to deny the request.

Non-Urgent, Unimportant Condo Association Challenges

Yep, we’ve all been there.

Last, and least, are the issues that are not urgent or important.  This area involves general Owner complaints that need to be addressed but aren’t major issues.  It might be a request that windows need to be cleaned, complaints about a party, or an Owner request for something fantastically expensive (like a spa).  It could be tweaks to a Condo policy that will have minimal impact.  The key to these is to acknowledge the Owner as soon as possible and add them to your general workflow.  They should not take up major brain cycles.

Examples:  Owner maintenance; non-urgent Owner complaints; minor policy changes; etc.

Condo Association Response:  The vast majority of these should be dealt with by Management.  The Board should only get involved if the Owner engaged with them directly.  If your Association is self-managed, try to maintain a punch list of these items and address them as you can.

Don’t Forget the Unimportant… But Don’t Let It Consume You

You will see an endless barrage of these unimportant Condo Association challenges if you are on your Condo Board.  Make sure that you quickly classify the issue and respond in an appropriate and professional way.  Save the majority of your time for the important issues, but make sure the small things don’t pile up.  While they may not be priorities for the Association, they often are priorities for someone, so you can’t let them languish.  Figure out the right balance and you’ll be leading a better Condo life.

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