Unsure about a decision? Get feedback from other condo boards.

By asking questions of other boards and sharing past experience, condo boards can help each other maintain and improve their buildings.
Salim Dharssi's Profile Picture

Written By Salim Dharssi

December 23, 2021

“I wonder what other condominiums have done in this situation?”

This is a question that condo board and strata council members often find themselves asking.

Whey they ask their property manager (if they have one), a typical response would be that they information is confidential to the other condos. So their managers don’t disclose the information.

The inability to learn from other condos then becomes the status quo, so condo boards resort to figuring things out on their own.

It might be true that property managers are contractually bound to keep the information of the condos they manage confidential. But this doesn’t’ mean condos can’t network and learn though other means.

Condo Connect™

At managemate, we formed a free online group called Condo Connect to foster networking and knowledge sharing among condo boards.  It’s early days for Condo Connect, but what we found so far is that condo boards do have questions for other boards, and boards are happy to share their knowledge and experience.

If you are a condo board director and live in the Greater Toronto Area, you can join Condo Connect on Facebook here. If you would like us to form a Condo Connect group in your region, let us know.

Condo Connect is a resource that compliments the collaboration software that managemate built for condo boards and their property managers. Learn more about managemate's collaboration software here.

Sharing knowledge

Condos are usually not-for-profit organizations. They don’t have the same motivations or incentives that drive secrecy in for-profit businesses.

The objective of condo boards are similar – they want to maintain and improve their buildings in a cost-effective way and with high quality.  

Condo boards can all achieve this goal together. Condominiums are unlike for-profit businesses that have to compete for market share with a winner take all mindset.

Condo boards are also in control of what they deem confidential and what they decide to share. If a condo board wants to share who its vendor was for the beautiful new carpets they installed in their hallways, why not?  

By referring and promoting other boards to high quality materials and trustworthy vendors, this will weed out the inferior and poor-quality materials and vendors from the market, benefiting all condo owners and residents.

Scope of information to be shared

We are not suggesting condos should share personal information or disclose information that it agreed under contract not to share. But it typically isn’t necessary to do so in order to lend a hand to other condo boards.

  • Common information that boards seek out is of a general nature. Does anyone know a good landscaper or gardener for large planters?
  • What should I look for in a property management company, and what should I expect to pay in fees?
  • When you upgraded your boilers to high efficiency ones, how long did it take before you saw your energy bill go down?  
  • Did your hydro bills go up in the last six-months? Has anyone managed to lower their condo fees and if so, how?

These types of questions are general in nature and don’t seek out sensitive or proprietary information.

Learn from experience to avoid costly mistakes

Condo boards have to make difficult decisions every day. They relay on the professional judgment of vendors, including their property managers, engineers and other trades.

Even with these recommendations, they are still left to decide between two or more viable options. Do we repair the garage door, or replace it? If we replace it, should we use a metal door or rubber?

By getting feedback from other condo boards who have had to make similar decisions, condo boards can learn from others’ experience and make more informed decisions, thereby avoiding costly mistakes.

Connect online to find similar condos

The needs of, and decisions that need to be made by, condos will vary based on the condo’s size, region, building type, amenities, and age.  It can be hard to find condo boards who are going through what your condo is going through.

By connecting online, condos can find other boards who are similarly situated. Connecting online may even be more effective than knocking on doors in your condo’s neighborhood because you can search through a larger audience, improving your chances of finding other similar condos.

We formed Condo Connect  to help condo boards in the GTA to connect with one another.  If you are in another region, province, state or country and want to find condos in your network, let us know. We will do our best to connect you to others in our network.

Test it for 45 Days

Fully functional. No credit card.

November 15, 2021

“I wonder what other condominiums have done in this situation?”

This is a question that condo board and strata council members often find themselves asking.

Whey they ask their property manager (if they have one), a typical response would be that they information is confidential to the other condos. So their managers don’t disclose the information.

The inability to learn from other condos then becomes the status quo, so condo boards resort to figuring things out on their own.

It might be true that property managers are contractually bound to keep the information of the condos they manage confidential. But this doesn’t’ mean condos can’t network and learn though other means.

Condo Connect™

At managemate, we formed a free online group called Condo Connect to foster networking and knowledge sharing among condo boards.  It’s early days for Condo Connect, but what we found so far is that condo boards do have questions for other boards, and boards are happy to share their knowledge and experience.

If you are a condo board director and live in the Greater Toronto Area, you can join Condo Connect on Facebook here. If you would like us to form a Condo Connect group in your region, let us know.

Condo Connect is a resource that compliments the collaboration software that managemate built for condo boards and their property managers. Learn more about managemate's collaboration software here.

Sharing knowledge

Condos are usually not-for-profit organizations. They don’t have the same motivations or incentives that drive secrecy in for-profit businesses.

The objective of condo boards are similar – they want to maintain and improve their buildings in a cost-effective way and with high quality.  

Condo boards can all achieve this goal together. Condominiums are unlike for-profit businesses that have to compete for market share with a winner take all mindset.

Condo boards are also in control of what they deem confidential and what they decide to share. If a condo board wants to share who its vendor was for the beautiful new carpets they installed in their hallways, why not?  

By referring and promoting other boards to high quality materials and trustworthy vendors, this will weed out the inferior and poor-quality materials and vendors from the market, benefiting all condo owners and residents.

Scope of information to be shared

We are not suggesting condos should share personal information or disclose information that it agreed under contract not to share. But it typically isn’t necessary to do so in order to lend a hand to other condo boards.

  • Common information that boards seek out is of a general nature. Does anyone know a good landscaper or gardener for large planters?
  • What should I look for in a property management company, and what should I expect to pay in fees?
  • When you upgraded your boilers to high efficiency ones, how long did it take before you saw your energy bill go down?  
  • Did your hydro bills go up in the last six-months? Has anyone managed to lower their condo fees and if so, how?

These types of questions are general in nature and don’t seek out sensitive or proprietary information.

Learn from experience to avoid costly mistakes

Condo boards have to make difficult decisions every day. They relay on the professional judgment of vendors, including their property managers, engineers and other trades.

Even with these recommendations, they are still left to decide between two or more viable options. Do we repair the garage door, or replace it? If we replace it, should we use a metal door or rubber?

By getting feedback from other condo boards who have had to make similar decisions, condo boards can learn from others’ experience and make more informed decisions, thereby avoiding costly mistakes.

Connect online to find similar condos

The needs of, and decisions that need to be made by, condos will vary based on the condo’s size, region, building type, amenities, and age.  It can be hard to find condo boards who are going through what your condo is going through.

By connecting online, condos can find other boards who are similarly situated. Connecting online may even be more effective than knocking on doors in your condo’s neighborhood because you can search through a larger audience, improving your chances of finding other similar condos.

We formed Condo Connect  to help condo boards in the GTA to connect with one another.  If you are in another region, province, state or country and want to find condos in your network, let us know. We will do our best to connect you to others in our network.

Test it for 45 Days

Fully functional. No credit card.

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