One of the worst habits of a bad Association is that they are completely reactive, not proactive. Instead of proactively getting a handle on their Association, they wait for problems to crop up. This approach often results in higher costs, lower standard of living, and unhappy Owners. Here are some of the worst bad habits of a reactive Condo Association – does your community exhibit any of these?
Habit 1: The Association Does Not Communicate Issues to Owners
Instead of messaging issues to Owners proactively, a reactive Association remains silent. Major project starting? Owners don’t learn until the contractors show up and start tearing things up. Heating is broken? Owners just notice it is cold and are left to wonder why. Financial problems? No sign of trouble until one day a Special Assessment bill shows up. This habit is maddening to Owners – they view the Association as adversarial and don’t feel like stakeholders. This breeds distrust and discontent, which is never good.
Habit 2: The Association Does Not Have a Regular Maintenance and Inspection Plan
A reactive Association does not have any idea the state of their major systems or a preventative maintenance plan. All maintenance is done reactively. Instead of regular inspections, the Association waits for things to break. While this saves a little money up front, it ends up being penny wise and pound foolish as the life cycle of systems could be extended with proper maintenance. It also can result in the Association scrambling to execute on a major project, which can then lead to poor planning or decision making. This is one of the worst bad habits of a reactive Condo Association, because planning for and executing on major projects is one of the biggest responsibilities of a Condo Board.
Habit 3: The Association Does Not Have Strong Relationships with Vendors, Neighbors and the Community
A reactive Association doesn’t build the infrastructure and relationships needed to rapidly resolve problems ahead of time. They don’t befriend neighboring Associations, so when they need a favor, neighbors aren’t willing to help. They don’t do annual engagement with the police and fire department, so if there is an incident, they don’t know who to talk to. They don’t have dedicated engineers. When a major project strikes, they have no one they trust and response times are longer.
It is Always Better to be Proactive than Reactive
Being reactive is a bad strategy for Associations. It may seem like less work up front, but in the end, the Board, Management, and most importantly the Owners pay for it both financially and in terms of time and stress. If these bad habits of a reactive Condo Association seem like business as usual for your Association, maybe it’s time to make a change so you can lead a better Condo life.