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Burned Out???Sep 05, 2007


I am the board president of a mid size Manhattan building with approximately 90 units and I think I am burned out.

I have been frustrated at every turn with the inability to get anything done and I am putting in a significant amount of time and energy into this endeavor.

Our management company has been replaced but appears no better than the last one. Is this a major problem in the industry?

Our shareholders are apathetic and only want their specific issues resolved. They don't care to see the entire picture. Is this common as well?

Our board is serious about attempting to tackle issues but perhaps we are going about it the wrong way.

Any advice here. I really want to pack it in and give up, but I can't as their appears to be noone interested in picking up the baton if I wanted to pass it on. And I am not going to be selling anytime soon.

ARRRGGGHHH!!!!!

Any similar stories and/or advice how to cope.


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burnout - RLM Sep 06, 2007


Sounds like you and your Board need to take a little retreat together and brainstorm.

I suggest a weekend outing to one of New York's local parks, with a picnic lunch, some kind of sports equipment (even two mitts and a softball), and a beverage or two.

Relax, enjoy the day and your fellow Board Members, and have a frank and freewheeling talk over lunch about what's wrong, and what you all, as a team, can do about it.

As President, it's your most critical role to keep the discussion as open as possible and to curtail fingerpointing and any personal comments.

Get creative! Think outside the building. : )

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)
live in super - lprime Sep 07, 2007


We are a union building, our super has an apt and other
benefits which the union requires. We have over 200 apt.
However the super does not stay in his apt. he travels to
his house which is about 20 minutes away. He is not
available at nite for emergencies.

Are there any union people who could advise his he in
violation of the union rules. thank you

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Super (to Lynn) - FN Sep 07, 2007


Lynn, why not try/post your question seperately. The subject/question posted on the top of the page relates to board member burnout.

FN

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live in super - llprime Sep 07, 2007


Sorry I am not all that computer know how and I thought
i entered it correct.

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super (to llprime) - FN Sep 07, 2007


No worries, just helping out. I will jump up to your post later.

FN

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Reply to Jim re: burned out - BP Sep 06, 2007


Jim: Many board members feel as you do, and everything you said is very common in many bldgs.

Don't pack it in and give up. You "care" and it doesn't sound like a lot of your SHs do, so you're a rare, valuable entity. When a bldg loses good board members, it runs the risk of getting some who are't capable of running a bldg or a corporation, or who want be on the board only for self-serving reasons. Both bad news.

You said "our board is serious about attempting to tackle issues..." That means you aren't the only board member who wants to do this. Good. You're not alone on the board in this desire. Get together and start taking action.

First, your board should write a list of things your mgmt firm isn't doing satisfactorily or is ignoring. Then your board should meet with a mgmt firm director/principal and your property manager to discuss improvements. Don't just complain. Try to make it a cooperative effort. If things don't start improving in, say, 3 months, start looking for another mgmt firm. Sometimes you have to go through a few to find a good one but they're out there. You pay them to work for you. If they aren't earning their pay, you're doing all your SHs a disservice - and wasting their money.

Also, how's your super/staff? Do they do their jobs well? If mgmt can help with this, fine. If not, you/your board should meet with them (again, in a cooperative way) and try to work out knots in that area.

Then, review bldg/corporate issues. If mgmt can help here too, great, but don't wait on them. How's your operating account? Do you have much debt? How are your reserves? If you don't have numbers, ask mgmt for them and don't take no for an answer. They work for you, you don't work for them. Any bldg issues that need prompt attention (pest control, repairs)? Depending on your finances, see what needs to be done and what you can start doing that you can afford.

SHs are apathetic, esp if they don't see positive changes or anything getting better. They only know what they see. You can install a new boiler with lots of fancy sensors but all SHs care about is having heat in the winter. Can you do any bldg things that will be readily "noticeable"? Even small ones - new recycling bins, a fresh coat of paint in the lobby. Put a lockable Suggestion Box in the mailroom (with paper/pen). Send everyone a memo - tell them where it is, invite them to submit ideas, and say all signed slips will receive a reply. Have a designated board member check the box once a month and DO reply to signed submissions.

Apathy can be difficult to overcome but it can be done to a good degree. Let Shs know you and your board care about the bldg and them. Keep lines of communication with them open. If they start seeing changes, attitudes will change.

My last two suggestions:

- Don't spend every free waking moment on the bldg or being board pres. Take time away from it. Except for emergencies or critical issues that need immediate attention, what's there on Friday will still be there on Monday.

- Designate. Don't do everything yourself. Assign tasks to other board members or ask them to volunteer to take on something, like drafting a letter to SHs or calling mgmt firms to explain your bldg's needs and get preliminary info if they're interested that the board can review and decide if it wants to meet with any of them.

Hope some of my suggestions are helpful.

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THANKS BP - Jim Sep 06, 2007


Thanks BP

Your comments do offer intelligent perspective, insight, and inspiration.


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Burned Out? (to Jim) - V Sep 08, 2007


JIm

You and I share similar concerns about our buildings. Looks like those problems you described are not unique to your building alone I have no advice to give as I am in the same boat you are in.

AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!

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To V.... - Jim Sep 10, 2007


Thanks V.

I assumed I was not alone.

Although this is no comfort, I have come to expect these frustrations.

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