The Meter is Running
The Habitat Article Archive includes the full text of all of our
magazine articles dating back to 2002. You can view 3 articles per
month for free. (Repeat views of the same article don’t count
against your monthly limit.)
To read more, purchase a print subscription or a daily or yearly All-Access Pass
and get unlimited access to the Archive. Prices start at 1.95.
You've reached your free article limit for this month.
To read this article and gain unlimited access to the Habitat Article
Archive, which includes the full text of all our magazine articles
dating back to 2002, purchase an All-Access Pass.
Boards should listen when managers bring innovative ideas to the table.
AUTHORPeter Lehr, Director of Management, Kaled Management
PAGE #p. 49
Boards should do their own research, but listen when management offers ideas for ways to save money.
This pre-war, 60-unit building in Queens needed to have its elevators refurbished and its roof and intercom system replaced. The board had me speak at its annual meeting about other things the building would be needing. I wanted them to add a heating control system. If the system costs $15,000 and you can pay that back in a year and a half and save wear and tear on your boiler, that’s an innovation I think they should really go after. They saw it differently.
This board can see what’s in front of them that requires immediate attention – things like the elevators, the roof, and the intercom. If you say, “You have to spend $500,000 on a roof.” No problem. “What’s the assessment? How long do I have to pay for it?” They can do that. But they have trouble looking to the future.
If they chose a heating control system, such as U.S. Energy, or Entech, or even Heat Timer, and put one of these in, they would be much better off. It’s like any energy-efficient component you put in, such as lighting. You put in LEDs or CFLs, your costs go down.
The lesson is that if your manager comes to your board with a proven innovation, you should really listen. The board should do its own research at that point. It’s foolish not to try and save money. If I have to spend some money to save money, I think that’s a wise thing.