The Tough Lessons Condo Boards Learned in 2021

year in review 2021

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We all learned some tough lessons in 2021, many driven by the pandemic. The end of each year presents an opportunity for you to use those lessons and take them to heart. By reviewing what you’ve learned you can improve your efficiencies and profitability for 2022. Here we look at the toughest lessons learned from 2021, and how you can leverage that knowledge to your advantage.

Lesson #1: Technology Helps Meet Resident/Owner Need

Condo and property managers learned how cloud-based software helps streamline processes and allows boards to become more responsive to resident needs. Therefore, you can look to technology to assist with many aspects of your condo management in 2022 including:

  • Accepting condo fees electronically to help avoid liens
  • Automatic payment setup for contracted services and utilities
  • Time management/workflow software
  • Resident portals to improve communication
  • Advanced software for document approval and signing
  • Cloud-based document storage and sharing
  • Financial/accounting software
  • Electronic voting capabilities

Using cloud-based software not only improves resident satisfaction, but also ensures all administrative and financial protocols become consistent and efficient.

Lesson #2: All Decisions Should be Data-Driven

Another though lesson in 2021 was not having enough money to cover unexpected pandemic-related costs. That was a reality many condo boards faced in the last two years.

As a result, more condo boards learned the importance of using forward-thinking accounting. Finding funds to cover heightened cleaning and maintenance during the pandemic is an example of why thinking more strategically and maintaining ongoing financial reporting will be a major consideration in 2022. Boards need to spend funds wisely. Accessing real-time financial reports allows for smarter spending. Boards can use factual, real-time financial reporting for financially sound decisions. Using data to make decisions improves condo values, optimizes use of common expense fees, and maintains a healthier reserve fund.

Lesson #3: Resident Priorities are Changing

The pandemic changed resident and owner priorities shifting to the following:

  • Changing Modes of Communication: Understanding the changing modes of communication for residents such as a portal, texts, email, phone calls, or written materials allows boards to remain responsive and meet the needs of every resident. However, you can also look into new modes of communication such as elevator screens. Every elevator ride offers an opportunity to share information with residents. In many cases you can actually earn revenue generated from ads. As well, social media can also provide quick updates to residents.
  • Improved cleanliness: More people stressed concerns for cleanliness as a priority in 2020 and 2021. As a result boards need to adjust their budgets to meet changing expectations for building maintenance standards.
  • Access to financial data: Condo owners are more aware than ever before of the importance of proper financial management by their boards. Many owners were shaken by the Surfside collapse in Florida. Boards need to make sharing data in easy to understand formats a priority moving into 2022.

Taking this tough lesson of 2021 and doing something about it like sending out a survey to understand resident needs can make your board more effective in 2022.

Lesson #4: Preventative Maintenance Saves Money

Another lesson learned in 2021 was from the surfside collapse – preventative maintenance strategies are a must to avoid financial and structural disaster. Identifying problems early on through a maintenance assessment schedule allows you to find solutions that make repairs and maintenance manageable. As a result your building becomes safer, your finances are healthier, and disasters are avoided.
Embracing the lessons learned in 2021 will strengthen your board’s effectiveness, save money, and improve community relations.

At CPO Management Inc. a property management company in the GTA, we can introduce new processes that help keep you financially sound and strengthen your community. Request a proposal from our team today.

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