A Beginner’s Guide to Condo Board Member Responsibilities

The purpose of board meetings is for the directors to talk about any issues that the Corporation is facing.

A board is a collection of individuals or board members who represent the interests of all owners in a community or in the co-habited building they occupy.  There are a variety of boards involved in and that relate to ownership and property management of real estate assets.  Two of the most well-known boards are the Home Owners Associations (HOA) and Condominium Boards.

The fundamental goal of board members and the collective decisions they make is to serve the corporation and the members which they represent.

Board member positions are elected by their peers (who are also owners in the Corporation), and their actions are governed by the Articles of Association (AoA) when it comes to HOAs and the Condominium Bylaws when it comes to Condo Boards.  These official documents are typically registered and specific to the property in question.

To make it easy to understand, we have summarized some key qualities, responsibilities, and duties of the board members in this article.

Read on to learn more! 

Key Qualities of Board Members

Some of the key qualities of a board member can be summarized as:

  • Having a deep interest in the equity and mission of the Condo Corporation and the property management of the condo community
  • Being dedicated and committed to fulfilling the Corporation’s goals
  • Possessing a genuine and respectful attitude toward colleagues, property management and community members and their views

Overview of the Board’s Duties

Whether an HOA or Condo Board, the duties of those occupying board member positions include:

  • Establishing the organization’s objectives and goals
  • Organizational planning
  • Monitoring and managing financial resources
  • Assessing and developing skills of the property managers and board members
  • Serving on various committees
  • Recruiting new board members as required
  • Promoting the organization or Corporation

 Responsibilities and Duties of the Board Members

There are various positions on an HoA or Condo Board, with the main ones being:

  • President: The president leads the board and is responsible for overseeing and handling many of its procedural duties. It can help to see them similar to an Executive Officer of the board.

As with any executive officer, the president is responsible for running meetings, establishing the agenda, and executing contracts and other legal documents pertaining to the community or property. understand how to run an effective meeting. 

  • Vice President: The main role of a vice president (VP) is to act as a substitute for the president should they be unavailable for whatever reason. 

The VP must oversee the rest of the board or association to ensure it continues to run smoothly as well as presiding over annual or board meetings as required.

The VP also needs to follow the president’s directives and carry out any tasks assigned to them, plus serve as the liaison for one or more HoA or Condo Board committees.

  • Secretary: The secretary is responsible for:
    • Recording the minutes of all meetings of the board of directors
    • Maintaining records of committee meetings
    • Updating and maintaining membership lists
    • Providing for the safekeeping of all official contracts and records of the organization
    • Maintaining and updating bylaws and arranging distribution of notices of scheduled meetings
  • Treasurer: The treasurer acts as the financial manager for the board and is responsible for funds and maintaining all financial records. This may be billing and collections or disbursement of funds.

Along with that, they are also responsible for:

    • Overseeing the organization’s financial administration
    • Reviewing and enforcing financial policies and procedures
    • Creating and monitoring the budget and generate financial reports
    • Advising on financial strategy and fundraising
  • Community Manager: The community or property manager is responsible for the management and support of the community including daily operations, regular interaction with and support of the Board of Directors and homeowners/ or vendors, attending neighbourhood meetings, etc.

They are also responsible for managing and handling communications from both sides (i.e., from owners and the board) and supervising the social media, events, and content creation.

* Often the administration of many of the duties highlighted above, are delegated to the Property Manager or Property Management Company in the terms in the Condominium Management Agreement.  The Board directs and the property manager, manages.

 Can We Help With Matters Relating to Your Board Members?

While attending and being engaged at board meetings is a key part of a director’s job, but it can also prove challenging to make them effective and enjoyable.  If you are a board member looking for support to manage time over runs, lack of focus and support with agendas, our team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. can help! 

If you are looking for assistance regarding any aspect of property management, including issues related to condo board members, why not give us, at Emerald Management & Realty, a call today?

Talk to us at 403-237-8600 or contact us through our website. We’ll be pleased to assist you in with your condominium management goals!


Emerald Management Pandemic Update

 

April 2021

COVID19 Update: A Year in Review

It has been just over a year since the COVID19 pandemic dramatically changed the way most of us live and work.  Every business sector has felt the impact in one way or another, and we recognize that everyone has sacrificed and suffered at some level. That being said, there is also a lot to be proud of in the way each one of use has faced and responded to this worldwide crisis. We have experienced some remarkable change, resilience and innovation by coming together to help respond to this global crisis.

In the face of the 3rd wave of COVID19 infections and growing uncertainty due to the identification of numerous variants of concern, we continue to monitor the economy carefully. We continue to adapt our service offerings to provide service and help with the safety of our team members and customers.

With safety top of mind and uncertainty of changing government restrictions, we continue to look for opportunities to maintain stability and adapt as needed to improve our processes. Our goal is to improve customer service and minimize disruptions experienced by our customers and residents.

The following are some examples of what Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. has done to respond, adjust and evolve processes and practices in response to COVID19:

  • Essential Service Provider – As we were deemed to be essential services, we responded immediately to modify operations with the implementation of personal protection equipment (“PPE”), social distancing, plexiglas partitions, and restrictions on who and how many could enter our office.  At the same time, we responded with increased cleaning protocols and worked with the support of our valued trades and vendors to implement the necessary changes and signage for apartment and condominium buildings.
  • Communication – At the beginning of the pandemic, the majority of our team worked remotely. While we were fortunate to be designated an essential service and work from our head office on rotation, our team pushed forward to create more online functionality and improve paperless practices.  Some of the innovative communication improvements implemented include:
    • Virtual Meetings – Our team quickly adjusted from being in-person to being much more virtual.  Sometimes we have had to meet in person or organize a meeting to address concerns as a better way to work through an issue. Where needed health and safety protocols were implemented for the safety of all involved.
    • Regular Covid Updates — The imposed government rules and restrictions have changed and continue to change. We have used our website as a tool to update our property management community and provide information to help others know where to go for reliable help if an issue was outside of our suite of services or expertise.  We continue to meet weekly with departments, send out regular information emails plus blog updates on what is happening in our community.
    • Available 24 hours a day 7 days a week — Our team continued to be available to respond to emergencies and use our regular reporting practices to keep our clients informed. In accordance with government restrictions, our office was open to help tenants, condo owners and condominium board members. We updated our online contact forms across all platforms and enabled a text chat function on our website at www.emeraldmanagement.com.
    • Online Functionality – In addition to the above, we improved our online application processes and lease signing. We also increased our use of Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to remain connected with our communities and be responsive on the various platforms.  This not only helped to foster creativity and some fun, but provided another way to communicate, connect and monitor the needs of our property management industry and our residents.

  • Workplace Health & Safety Management — Systems along with health and safety programs, protocols, procedures and manuals were reviewed and updated. This has been done on a continual basis to stay current with the ever-changing work environment this past year.   Signage has been posted at rental properties and condominium communities in accordance with bylaw requirements and property management regulatory requirements.
  • Customer ServiceCustomer service remains a top priority. The pandemic has reminded us of the importance of kindness and taking a moment to check-in with each other. People are on edge and a little kindness goes a long way in working together.  Firstly, we helped to source resources to help tenants and condo owners  access sources for help regarding rental payments, payment of condominium fees. Where able, we assisted with payment plans, where to go for income, food and mental health supports.

Secondly, since property management is and has been face-to-face or in-person, Emerald has continued to provide personal service as much and whenever possible and permitted. For instance, they say, “Smile, it is free therapy”.  We have seen the positive impact of a thank you or a kind check-in with out team from vendors and customers.  

Lastly, our team also found a way to safely continue with our annual warm winter clothing drive in support of Project Warmth Society.  The opportunity to make a difference and support of community in dropping of clothing was greatly appreciated. 

  • Leasing – The pandemic has changed how we work with prospective tenants and the techniques used to market available apartments and homes for rent.  Prior to COVID19, we had already been doing online marketing and using virtual tour techniques when required. However, given the restrictions in place, our leasing team responded immediately to this challenge.  One of the amazing outcomes achieved was the ability to collaborate with current tenants on virtual showings. Leasing and marketing ramped up with the use of YouTube and FaceTime. At the same time, our leasing agents reignited basic sales techniques where face-to face interactions and accessibility was a challenge.

In-person tours also continued in accordance with safety and social distancing protocols in accordance with Alberta Health Services and supported by the Alberta Real Estate Association and the Real Estate Council of Alberta.

  • Maintenance: Early on, emergency work orders were prioritized for the protection of residents and the properties.  From there routine or regular maintenance was scheduled as a collaborated effort with our in-house maintenance team and residents to coordinate times where residents could be out of their homes or socially distanced.  Our in-house maintenance team was outfitted with protective gear and cleaning supplies for everyone’s safety, to maintain empathy, and for respectful management of fears and risk of transmission.

Our team is monitoring construction resources and supply chains to assist in the completion and prioritization of work moving forward.  Communication remains key as product availability can be uncertain with employee quarantines and infection outbreaks in the manufacturing sectors.

  • Education: We have continued our weekly team meetings and increased brainstorming and team building ways to improve service and learn about PPE requirements and safety protocols.  The Emerald Team has also looked for ways to have some fun at work and build connection.  At times, meetings and celebrations have been by zoom or over the phone – everyone’s input, creativity and support has been greatly appreciated. 

So … what have we learned?

We have learned that:

  • Simple things like: Washing your hands, Wearing masks and Staying 6 feet apart – can help prevent the spread of disease.
  • No matter how well we think we are prepared, sometimes life throws a curve ball and and you have to change course.
  • We are great at thinking outside the box to problem-solve and help each other.
  • We are innovative, creative and efficient when addressing emergency situations.
  • A small act of kindness and interacting in a human way can make a difference.

Our team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. remains optimistic that this pandemic will eventually end. In the meantime, as the economy cautiously opens we believe in many ways we will be better on the other side of this crisis. 

In conclusion, we are proud of our team and their dedication to ensuring that we provide the best possible service in the safest way to our property management clients in Calgary & Area.  Despite the anxieties, stress and fatigue that the pandemic has placed on many lives, our team has embraced new policies and practices with open minds and positivity.  Thank you for belief and supporting local small businesses in Calgary like us.

Stay safe. Stay well. Stay positive.

on behalf of the entire team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.

Jodena Rogers & Lauretta Enders

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is a family owned and operated Property Management Company based out of Calgary, AB. We have almost 50 years of experience in providing responsive asset management services to condominium, commercial and rental properties in Calgary & Area. Our ability to foster positive relationships based on mutual respect and communication has nurtured our commitment to the provision of management services congruent with our customer’s needs and goals.

What will my investment property rent for?

Thinking about renting out your home, condominium or investment property this spring? Our team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is ready to hop to it and help!

How??? … Super simple: 

(1)  Complete our FREE online Rental Assessment Form to assist us in completing a rental evaluation of your property.

(2) Be available to respond to any clarifying questions regarding your rental property and queries about Calgary property management.

(3) Review the Rental Assessment Report and let us know if you have any questions or concerns!

 


What You Need to Know About Condo Condominium Contributions


“Condominium Contributions”  most commonly known as “Condominium Fees” refers to the annual levy paid by every owner in a
condominium building to cover ongoing operational, repair and maintenance costs. Depending on the condo building management, such fees or contributions are most often paid monthly (or, sometimes annually depending on the condo board).

The amount of the fees due per unit are based on the prescribed unit factors of the condo unit. This is defined on the Condominium Plan and registered at Land Titles (Alberta).

The condo fees and reserve fund contributions aim to cover all forecasted operating expenses and capital expenses for the next financial year, and will be based on historical operating figures. Any major expenses anticipated for the forthcoming year will be included and, in such case, the projected condos fees will need to take such major expenses into account.

How condominium fees work

The prescribed amount of condominium fees are determined after the preparation of an annual operating budget for the condo corporation. The budget may be prepared by either the condo board or by a third-party, such as a property management company engaged to manage the condo corporation.

The condo board will review and endorse the proposed operating budget, in addition to considering and prioritizing any improvement or major projects and reserve fund expenses. The costs of such works may be included in the annual condo fees (unless they involve significant costs, whereupon a special levy may need to be charged on owners for the year in question).

While all purchasers of a condominium in the concerned condominium community become a member of the Corporation, there will be an elected Condo Board, which represents all owners. The Board will make decisions on matters, such as setting the budget and the condo fees.  

Of general interest, this is also very similar to how fees and dues are handled in Homeowner Associations (HOAs).  Essentially a homeowners association fees is a monthly due paid by the homeowner who lives in and HOA.  A community that is set up is an HOA then uses the fees and dues collected to help maintain the common areas, properties owned by the HOA and amenities. 

Why are condo fees important?

A common question we receive is: “What do condo fees pay for?”

In short, they provide the necessary funds to keep the condo and related property operating and in good repair. For example, common areas need to be cleaned, the corporation property must be insured and maintained, necessary repairs must be attended to and so on.

These fees also set aside an amount every year (called the “reserve fund”) to pay for future major renovations and replacements that need to be undertaken, such as replacing the condo’s roof or the building’s heating or ventilation system.

All condo owners have a vested interest in keeping their building in good condition and state of repair, thereby protecting the value of their investment.

Expenses included in most Calgary condo fees

Many condo owners want to know what condo fees include. In Calgary, most condo fees include (but are not limited to) costs for the following items:

  • Cleaning and repair and routine maintenance of common areas — such as hallways, lobbies and external areas, gyms and swimming pools
  • Repair and maintenance of machinery such as elevators and water pumps, as well as the building structure itself
  • Utilities, such as for heat, water and sewers in common areas, plus garbage collection fees
  • Security guards and reception/concierge personnel if required;
  • Landscaping and snow clearing for any greenery, yards, gardens, decks, sidewalks or driveways
  • Building and public liability insurance
  • Management company fees for the overall management and administration of the condominium corporation
  • For larger buildings, caretakers and/or live-in managers (if required)
  • Any scheduled repairs to maintain the building in good condition or enhance its life

Expenses less commonly (or not) included in Calgary condo fees

  • Owner’s personal insurance
  • Repair and maintenance items or improvements within a condo owner’s unit
  • Utilities, internet or cable TV provided exclusively for a condo unit occupier
  • Leasing fees, if a condo owner chooses to lease out their unit
  • Mortgage repayments or sales commissions, if a condo owner sells their unit

Need help with matters relating to condo fees?

If you have any questions or are looking for help with anything relating to condo fees in Calgary or the surrounding areas, our team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is happy to be of service.

To learn more or if you have any general inquiries, contact us today by calling us at 403-237-8600 or filling out our contact form. We pride ourselves on being available for our clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.