5 Ways Condo Communities Are Better Than Neighborhoods

ways condo communities are better than neighborhoods

Some of us grew up in a neighborhood. A typical afternoon scene would have kids playing ball in the street, cars parked bumper-to-bumper against the sidewalk, and the occasional sound of a lawnmower followed by someone’s dad telling him to come home to rake the yard.

Condo communities, on the other hand, often have a very different feel about them. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, there is a lot one can appreciate about condo communities that just doesn’t happen in a neighborhood.

The most obvious differences are, of course, that you don’t have to worry about replacing the roof all by yourself, or that, at least in larger condo communities, you don’t need to worry about mowing your own lawn. But there is more to it than that. And you condo association board members know what I’m talking about.

Sometimes, condo dwellers forget about the many advantages of living in a condo. If you’re trying to put some spirit back into your community, maybe it’s a good time to remind them your residents of how condo communities are better than neighborhoods. [Read more…]

Top 5 Sessions You Can’t Miss at 19th Annual ACMO / CCI-T Condo Conference 2015

Speaker at Business Conference and Presentation. Audience at the conference hall.

Source: www.ishwmcon2015.com

If you’re attending ACMO/CCI-T Condo Conference this year in Toronto, you’re in for an experience. With thousands in attendance, over 170 exhibitors and 20 sessions, the agenda includes networking opportunities, learning sessions, and presentations by some of the greatest thought leaders in our industry. It is sure to be an action-packed event. Here’s a list of the top 5 sessions you don’t want to miss.

1. The Great Director Debate: Is there a Place for Professional Directors?

When: Friday 11:15 am – 12:30 pm
Where: 1D Session

Richard Elia (Elia Associates) moderates a panel that includes Carol Dirks (Fogler, Rubinoff), Christine Dunn, Bill Thompson (Malvern Condominium Property Management) and Ian Waldron (MTCC # 1385), to discuss the possibility of condominiums engaging “professional directors.” The discussion will explore scenarios where outside paid help for director roles may be more suitable in certain condominiums where there is a lack of participation or consensus.

This is certainly a must-see discussion on a topic that has not sufficiently addressed in the past, but one that is increasingly relevant and one that can drastically alter the condominium landscape in Ontario.

2. Shared Facilities

When: Friday 2:15 pm – 3:30 pm
Where: 2C Session

The current President of ACMO, Catherine Murdock (DEL Property Management), leads a discussion with Stephen Chesney (Parker Garber Chesney), Deborah Holmes and Warren Kleiner (Miller Thomson), on issues with regards to shared facilities.

Managing shared facilities is an issue that comes up regularly in condos as different corporations have different standards, capabilities and resources to manage them. What do you do when a condo corporation has financial problems or high monthly fees and the board insists that the shared facilities fees be frozen or reduced?

It will be interesting to see how such issues will be addressed by the panel.

3. Status Certificates – Managers and Condo Corp Liability – It’s a Nightmare!

When: Saturday 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Where: 4A Session

Lawyer, Denise Lash (Lash Condo Law) moderates a panel consisting of Michael Kalisperas (Royale Grande Property Management) and David Thiel (Fogler, Rubinoff) on the topic of status certificates. Status certificates has been a hot topic of late – this discussion will revolve around recent precedence-setting cases, such as Orr v. MTCC # 1056.

This is one of the talks we are most excited for as there seems to be many misconceptions and ambiguity with status certificates. This talk promises to clear up a lot of the questions we have.

4. Directors’ Toolkit

When: Saturday 10:00 am – 11:00 am; 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Where: 4C/D and 5C/D Session

Geared for condominium directors, this two-part discussion is led by Chris Antipas (360 Community Management), with Cynthia Chung (Del Property Management), Alan Rosenberg (A.R. Consulting), Bradley Chaplick (Fine & Deo), Richard Pearlstein (Northcan Property Management) and Aji Montenegro (TSCC # 2062). It will go over valuable tools and advice to help board members better understand and manage day-to-day issues facing their corporations.

This is a great topic that can serve as a refresher for seasoned property managers and board members or as an introduction to newly appointed ones.

5. How Will the Proposed Changes to the Condominium Act and the Proposed Management Services Act Affect You?

When: Saturday 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Where: Closing Luncheon

The hottest topic in the Ontario condo landscape is the new Condo Act. Current President of CCI-Toronto, Mario Deo (Fine & Deo), along with Armand Conant (Shibley Righton) and Sally Thompson (Synergy Partners), address a wide range of topics on how the proposed changes will alter the industry.

From the establishment of the Condo Authority, to the use of electronic tools in condo management, to reserve funds and many more, this session will hopefully debunk some of the mystique surrounding this new Act.

Stop by to meet the Evercondo team at Booth #903. We’ll be giving away our awesome custom designed “Condo Management Rocks” t-shirts. We hope to see you there!

If you can’t make it, be sure to follow us at @EvercondoApp on Twitter for updates from the event. (You can still register to attend.)

How To Improve Participation in Condo Board Elections

condo board elections

Does the apple pie contest get more votes than your condo board elections? These tips will bring even the most reluctant of residents to the ballot box.

Let’s be honest, getting condo residents out to your association meeting is challenging at best. Some meetings don’t require a huge turnout, and that’s fine. You probably don’t need a large turnout for voting on a landscaping contract.

It’s a different story when you are scheduling condo board elections. This is a vote that will directly impact residents, and in order to keep your condo community happy, residents need to feel like they have a vested interest in how the property is managed.

[Read more…]

Traits of a Successful Condo Owners Association Member

Condo Owners AssociationFive ways to be a valuable asset to your condo owners association

You’ve been elected, and now you’re wondering how to be the best condo owners association (COA) member possible.

You want to be sure that you’re doing everything necessary to live up to your new responsibilities. You take your job seriously, and you want to be someone who improves life around you, not just sits by and watches things change.

Being a member on the board of any association is similar to being a part of a community. While a community gathers people together with a common interest or background, an association forms a group with a goal to better their common interest.

You already know that being part of the condo owners association is an important job. You’re creating a better living environment for yourself and your peers, and that, my friends, takes a lot of effort.

Want to be the best member of the condo owners association? Try one of these five tips: [Read more…]

5 Common Condo Board Responsibilities & How to Be a Superhero at Your Next Meeting

You might not get a comic book named after you, but if you tackle these condo board responsibilities, your neighbors will definitely consider you a superhero.

condo board responcibilites evercondo app

It’s Wednesday afternoon, and you’re preparing for your next condominium association meeting. As a new board member, you’d love to see the condo community more involved. Since you’ve been living here, the meetings have been pretty lackluster, with only a small number of association members attending, and even fewer speaking up.

In fact, it seems as if condo association members rarely mingle much at all, despite the beautiful common areas like the gym, courtyard, and barbecue pit.

But that’s going to change. You’re taking the condo board responsibilities seriously; after all, you live here with all these people. What exactly are those responsibilities, though? Even though serving as a condo board member is a volunteer activity, it’s still an important job. To residents, you are the face of the property management, and to the management, you are the representative of the condo association.

Here are five common condo board responsibilities, and how you can turn a boring meeting into your chance to be a superhero (cape not included). [Read more…]

6 Things Every New Condo Owner Needs to Know

Just purchased a new unit? Congratulations! And if you’re thinking to yourself: ‘Now, what?’, fret not, here’s a quick new owner’s cheat sheet on the basics of condo living to get you started on your new adventure!

New Condo Unit

Photo via westelm.com

Being the Good Condo Neighbor

Photo via style-flies.com

1. Neighbors

Yes, you now have neighbors! The rule of thumb is to really be the type of neighbor you want to have – the basics of course include being reasonable with noise levels, especially when it comes to music during house and/or dinner parties etc. And because this is a home where you will spend, at least the next few years living in, it pays to cultivate a good relationship with the people living around you.

[Read more…]

Introduction to the 2015 Condominium Act (Ontario) Reform: Major Changes Coming

Introduction to the 2015 Condominium Act (Ontario) Reform: Major Changes Coming and How It Alters the Toronto Condo Landscape

Photo via urbantoronto.ca

If you’re involved in the Ontario condominium industry or even passively follow news with regards to it, chances are that you’re aware there will be a significant reform of the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”), which essentially governs condo communities across the province. A refresh of the Act has been long overdue as there is a dire need for it to reflect today’s realities.

A Whole New World

Before addressing the major changes coming to the Act, context is required. The Act came into force in 2001, where the condo landscape was merely at the tip of what it is today. While the intense growth of the condo market is shared across the board in many North American cities, no other city has rivaled the explosive growth of Toronto’s landscape during the same period.

[Read more…]