New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community
One reason for the success of the surveys is that they kept them short. Too many questions and respondents will lose interest. In addition to keeping the subject matter narrow, keeping questions concise encourages participation.
Survey aficionados advise to focus on tightly worded questions that elicit responses that can be put into action, such as, "What amenities should the building add?" The point of the Bay Country Owners and Bell Owners surveys was to find out if people would use a gym — not what to do about residents with their own noisy equipment, or whether there should be stricter rules on what equipment a unit-owner could have. As such, the response was exactly what the board needed.
Short and Sweet
Michael Berenson, president of AKAM Living Services, points to a short and sweet survey his firm conducted at one of their co-ops. "One survey we sent out was just a short questionnaire on what they thought about a transfer fee," he says. "We said, 'The board is considering a transfer fee. What are your thoughts on a two percent gross tax on the gross sale price? Or one percent? Or three percent?'"
Typically, the board should send out a survey that gives people a two-week time frame to respond. If the time frame is short and the topic is hot, the board can expect upwards of 40 to 50 percent of residents will respond.
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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
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