New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide




Teachable Moments: More Tips About Good Relationships with Residents

New York City

Nov. 14, 2013


Georgia Lombardo-Barton
President, Barton Management

[The annual meeting] can be a pleasant get-together or a dreaded riot act. Our strategy is simple yet often overlooked: communication. Whether you distribute quarterly newsletters or send e-mail updates, keeping unit-owners informed regularly will result in a harmonious annual meeting. This year, we had quorums with over 80 percent in proxies, particularly in buildings with major capital improvements currently in progress. We provided those unit-owners with monthly project updates along with any other business that was noteworthy. At one 40-unit co-op's annual meeting, only three non-board shareholders attended. How easy was that?


Stuart D. Smolar
Vice President, Andrews Building Corporation

The risk of assuming that all board members, unit-owners, and/or shareholders are fully versed in every issue allows for misunderstanding and errors in the decision-making process. The opportunity to explain all components of an issue shouldn't be wasted, whether dealing with budgeting, capital projects, legal issues, or any other matter. It provides those with little understanding of the matter a background to make rational decisions, or at the very least, to ask pertinent questions. For those with an understanding, it gives them the up-to-date details necessary to understand where the matter is at that moment in time. The value of teaching an issue is rarely a waste of time, and in the long run makes the board's, building's and manager's lives more productive.


Paul T. Brensilber
President, Jordan Cooper & Associates

Buildings are living organisms, and they need to adapt to change. As long as people work with one another, and not against each other, the building will be successful. When a building has infighting, has prolonged capital projects, doesn't do things properly from the outset or is ineffective, that's when the tone of the building changes and values drop. When potential buyers go through minutes and see that there are fights over issues such as smoking, garbage, smells, and these types of things, this depresses values and makes the building more difficult to manage. Inherently, people want to be part of a success — to buy into a building that's successful — and successful buildings are happy buildings. Everybody (the board, staff, management and owners) has to work together. The goal is to make it a better building, and the better buildings are where you see higher values.


For more, see our Site Map or join our Archive >>

Ask the Experts

learn more

Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise

Source Guide

see the guide

Looking for a vendor?