Community Management for Condominiums
Whether you are a developer, construction manager or property manager, you are responsible for some aspect of community management. You may be designing a neighborhood with hundreds or even thousands of new residents expected to move-in. How do you create a community that fosters collaboration, healthy living and maintains environmental standards?
In existing condo communities, the property manager is the central point for all communication. The board members and residents must work with the property management team to ensure the condo community is thriving. Although your job title may not be ‘Community Manager’ there are many aspects of designers, builders and managers jobs that require community know-how.
Community managers embody the company or condominiums brand and overall attitude.
Without acknowledging it, you may represent your condominiums brand through your job activities as a property manager or developer.
For example, each new condo building has a colour scheme chosen and displays specific ads that portray a feeling. The feeling that is portrayed will be different for adult lifestyle communities versus young family-oriented communities. As a developer or construction manager you have to keep the brand and feeling of the community at the forefront of all your development plans. Will the condominiums be primarily 1 bedroom or will there be a mix of floorplans and maybe even some 3- and 4-bedroom townhouses? Again, depending on the target audience and potential buyers, the style, layout and design will change. Another consideration is how much green space must be included around the condominiums.
In Toronto, new mid to high-rise residential, and all industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) development must provide drought-tolerant plants for at least 50% of the landscaped site area (including at-grade landscapes, vegetated roofs and walls). (https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/9297-City-Planning-Toronto-Green-Standard-2017_MidHiRise_Standard.pdf)
Furthermore, these same new buildings must plant the landscaped site area using a minimum of 50% native species (including trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants).
As a manager in the condo management and development industry, you should be familiar with all industry regulations and laws. If you do not know the answer to a question from one of your community members, tell them you will have to do some research and get back to them. Set a reminder in your phone to follow up with the individual within a week’s time if possible. Taking your managerial role seriously and ensuring you are a reliable person will strengthen relationships that make a condominium community successful.
Take a look at the Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010 (the “Act”) and Ontario Regulation 389/10 that came into force on January 1, 2011.
The Act requires that all newly constructed condominium buildings have suite meters (submeters) installed for all units in the condominium prior to the units being occupied. This is a newer law that some developers may not be familiar with. Staying on top of industry changes and developing external relationships with vendors and private companies will ensure you have the proper network of people surrounding you when they are needed.
The Unit Sub-Metering Code explains that only licensed service providers, such as Priority Submetering Solutions, can bill and collect payment from owners of a condominium corporation for the consumption or use of electricity. Therefore, board members, property managers and any other individuals should not be reading suite meters and invoicing the owners of a condominium corporation for the consumption or use of electricity.
Call 1-866-836-3837 ext. 2 to find out more about suite metering and how Priority can support you through the whole suite metering process whether you are a developer or property manager.
Take away some positive actions following the community manager initiatives below to use in your own career.
- Community managers should be able to rely on their experience with their organization to confidently address their audience.
- Community managers should think in the long term — the more you invest in an improved strategy, new direction, or the position itself, the more you’ll get out of it.
- Community management can be based on human and emotional attributes, it also requires organisational skill and the ability to manage a fast-paced workload.
- Work on developing and embodying strong positive public relations. Good community management provides enhanced customer service and support.