Why working closely with your OC Manager can achieve better results.
Are you on a Committee, or even a Lot Owner, within an Owners Corporation where you just can’t seem to get anything done or communicate with your Manager? Are you not sure what your Manager does and why they haven’t replied to your email or phone call sent this morning?
It is unfortunately a common story in the Owners Corporation industry and there are many reasons why this may be the case. From being inundated with requests from the OC, attending numerous meetings, staff shortages, lack of experience or even a lack of motivation to complete yet another time consuming task that is outside of their contracted duties that they know will go unacknowledged by the Owners Corporation (sense the frustration?).
The OC Manager may also appear as a roadblock in some instances through no fault of their own. The OC Manager must advise Committees of the rules and regulations and that may be seen by some as attempting to prevent an action from occurring where in fact the Manager is protecting the Committee (and all other Owners) from undertaking an unlawful act or not following due process. Don’t get me wrong, there are OC Managers out there who treat their Committees and Owners with contempt – if you have one of those feel free to give me a call and we can work something out.
As a member of the Committee you must understand that your OC Manager has many obligations to fulfill that mostly go unnoticed by the Committee and Lot Owners alike. These are in additional to your meetings, phone calls and emails with them. Items such as negotiating with contractors can take up a huge amount of time going back and forth to ensure the Committee expectations are met on a job. As a Committee member you will generally only see the end result of this hard work, but not the drama behind the scenes – this is what you should expect of a professional manager .
Day to day activities such as chasing down Lot owners who haven’t paid fees, processing invoices, obtaining quotes, liaising with insurance brokers on claims, to name but a few, take up a lot of the hours in a day. This is on top of the late-night meetings the Manager attends in their personal time away from their families to meet with the Committee and Owners after they have finished their day jobs. The long days a Manager works is a common reason why they will leave the industry (ever counted how many Managers you have had over the years?).
Owners Corporation Managers acknowledge and applaud those Lot Owners who put up their hand each year at the AGM to be member of the Committee as we all know it’s a volunteer position, which in most circumstances also goes unacknowledged by other Lot Owners in the building. Without a fully functioning Committee, the building will inevitably suffer and start to degrade from a lack of interest – benefiting no one except someone looking to purchase a bargain priced property.
That is why having a good appreciation of what your OC Manager does on your behalf will help you to understand why they do what they do. A good Manager will always want to do what’s best for the Owners Corporation, and sometimes that may mean providing advice that may not be conducive to what the Committee may want – remember you are paying a professional to provide you with advice on OC matters so it would be wise to listen to it.
As you will find in any workplace, a little bit of positive acknowledgement of the work someone does on your behalf, regardless of whether you are paying for it or not, goes a long way to building strong long lasting relationships that benefit everyone. And maybe, in your next call to your Manager, you will be greeted more as a respected colleague who are both on the same team and not adversaries.