New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide




Are Surveys a Practical Way to Gauge How Your Residents Feel About Things?

Ruth Ford in Board Operations on May 1, 2014

Queens, New York City

Illustration by Dave Bamundo for Habitat
May 1, 2014

It was simple, too: The designer hired to do the renovation created two potential new looks for the hallway. These pictures were put up in the lobby and everyone was given a chance to answer questions about which option they preferred. "Overwhelmingly, they picked one design,” recalls Steve Greenbaum, the director of management at Mark Greenberg Real Estate, the co-op's manager.

Surveys matter. They can be useful on several fronts for any cooperative or condominium: for branding the building; prioritizing capital projects; distinguishing the wish lists of the old and new guard; adding amenities; hiring/changing staff; and creating a greater sense of community. But how you design them and when you use them can make a big difference in how well your property is run. 

Getting the Measure of Things

According to experts, taking a survey is a good way for a condo or co-op board to take the pulse of the shareholders and to ensure that residents feel connected to life in the building. "We feel it's important to survey people on various issues,” observes Michael Berenson, the president of Akam Living Services, a management firm. "It gives the board a sense of how the community feels.”

Surveys also insulate the board. "If people complain about the new lobby design, you can point to the survey and say, 'Hey, it's what the majority of you wanted,'” Greenbaum says.


Illustration by Dave Bamundo

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