Serving on the Board of any condominium association can be challenging. Serving on the Board of a self managed condo can be even more so. This is due to the fact that there is no intermediary between the volunteer unit owners that serve on the Board and the residents whom they govern. This can create a neighbor versus neighbor mentality that can be both challenging and confusing for residents and members of the Board alike.
Self managed condos are no different in their governance structure than professionally managed condos. All decisions are handled through a Board of Directors that are democratically elected by the association of unit owners at their Annual Meeting. These directors are tasked with managing the day to day operations of the non-profit corporation that is the self managed condo. They collect common fees; they hire vendors and contractors to do work on behalf of the association; they perform important banking and accounting functions; they interpret and enforce the rules and regulations of the condo. They do all of this and more as volunteers. They are not compensated in any way for their many hours of service to their community.
Where does a self managed condo association find these volunteers? Fortunately, enough residents are possessed with a sense of civic service that it is possible to have enough interested volunteers willing to serve. The democratic election process is in place to assure that people who prove to be poor choices for this job can be voted out of office.
Self managed condominiums have many more resources available to them today to assure their continued success. Without taking on the full expense of a property management firm, many self managed condos find a hybrid model works quite nicely for them. The hybrid model allows the Board to employ outside firms to help with some of the more challenging tasks of association governance. Hiring a third-party firm like Community Association Management (http://www.CommunityAssociationManagement.com) makes sense for self managed condos that would prefer to spend less time handling accounting and bookkeeping tasks. This allows the Board some distance between themselves and their fellow residents when it comes to uncomfortable matters such as delinquency, collections, and foreclosures. Many self-managed condos will also outsource their communication and newsletter programs to companies like MyEZCondo (http://myezcondo.com). This allows for them to have professional condominium newsletter, condominium website, and communication products without relying on volunteers to do all of the work.