Tools we employ:
- Review of governing documents(your community's rules).
- Your mission statement, a great way to stay true to community values.
- Detailed specification of desired services.
- Competitive bidding.
- Professional cost estimating.
- Membership surveys.
- Facilitated meetings in neutral, comfortable surroundings.
- Member communication.
Case Study #1:
(37 Member Condominium Association - price-capped employee housing)
A new affordable housing complex transferred association governance from the developer to the homeowners. The members’ primary concern was containing assessment costs but avoiding any surprise special assessments. The new board president was concerned that the capital replacement schedule set up by the developer was unrealistic. She believed that if the capital replacement schedule was not corrected, the members would face an unaffordable special assessment when the exteriors were painted three years. The board reviewed the specific components slated to accrue reserve funds, and added periodic seal coating of the parking lot. The board then solicited a useful life assessment and professional replacement estimates on the identified components. Based on this information, the board determined that an immediate 21% increase in quarterly assessments was needed to correct the capital replacement reserve. In a facilitated meeting of the membership, the board presented a detailed reserve analysis. The membership approved the proposed assessment increase. After 15 years, the association had successfully completed all scheduled reserve projects with no special assessments.
Barbara Lucks was Board President during this process.
Case Study #2:
(33 Member Townhouses Corporation)
A 25-year-old townhouses complex had reached the point where roofs, siding and other major components required replacement. The majority of the membership had expressed verbal interest in making capital upgrades to the property rather than just restoring a dated exterior appearance. The project would involve significant amounts of money in either scenario. In a multi-year process, the association polled the membership to determine their preferences and cost tolerance. The board also conducted a short series of facilitated meetings where limited materials and design options were presented to the members. With a confident sense of membership consensus, the board sought professional cost estimates. The board sent detailed preliminary specifications and cost estimates to the membership for vote. When the upgrade project was approved, management and board developed a detailed construction management plan and used redundant communication (web site, letters, e-mails, newsletters) to assure the membership know what to expect. Board resolution and intervention was necessary to manage a few members who wished to alter the approved process. The construction contract was awarded following a qualifying interviews and sealed competitive bidding. The successful project was completed on-time and on-budget.
Barbara Lucks was General Manager and Owners Co-Representative on this project.