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The 2017 Management Leader Survey.
If you’ve been on your board for a while, it’s not surprising to think that you can actually run your co-op or condo. You’ve got years of board service under your belt, and that experience – coupled with the skills you bring from your day job – makes you pretty expert about your building’s affairs. So it’s easy to understand how you might assume your board experience is genuine management know-how. With all due respect, it’s not.
This year’s management leader survey proves that point. It contains 47 stories about typical issues and challenges that co-ops and condo confront. The real nugget, though, is what we’re calling the “Inside Track.” This is the part of the solution that can only come from someone whose day job is managing buildings.
For instance, Lori Buchbinder, a principal at Buchbinder & Warren, managed a small co-op in a less-than-prime neighborhood, with less-than-spectacular retail space. The co-op was facing the prospect of the retail lease expiring and being left with a space that generated no income. On top of that, the co-op was still on the hook for real estate taxes based on the income from the retail space.
The solution? Turns out, not a simple one. Searching for another retail tenant was tough because the negatives were pretty big, so Buchbinder crafted a plan and tapped into her professional network to develop the solution. Without this inside track, the co-op would have faced huge financial challenges.
In story after story, management executives share the inside track they used to solve board and building challenges. Even though boards often have tremendous insight into framing a problem, it’s clear from these stories that unless you have lots of experience managing real estate it’s pretty tough to solve them.
Carol J. Ott