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Prioritizing a Condo Board Budget
When sitting down to compose a board budget with your fellow members, it’s important to have an idea of what needs to be accomplished on a more granular level. Obviously, everyone wants a healthy budget and to not waste money but how does this actually get accomplished? There are so many questions that need to be asked and answered, but how do we prioritize them and ensure we’re taking care of the biggest issues first? That’s why we thought it would be important to put together a list of said questions and which ones, five of them exactly, should be prioritized at the top.
Since these meetings are of the utmost importance, and occasionally can be challenging to get everyone in the same room, knowing what’s important right off the bat and tackling those issues first is paramount to building a successful budget. With that in mind, let’s get to talking about those five useful questions and what makes them so important. Having a powerful budget is key to managing a property successfully and keeping everyone on board happy. It can be difficult to make everyone happy all the time, but we think these useful questions will at least be a step in the right direction.
Condominium Property Management and the Board Budget
Which condo projects are a priority?
Prioritization of projects is one of the major keys to putting together a strong budget. It should be apparent what needs to get done and what doesn’t at your building. It’s probably best to hold off on aesthetic matters when there are structural or integrity projects that need to be taken care of. Get the important jobs out of the way, and tie them into your budget, first and then see what’s left over for less important matters.
What do the board reserves look like?
You’ll need to know what is there in reserves and what needs to go in to keep the account healthy moving forward. Unforeseen events do happen, and not having a healthy reserve account can really put a building behind the eight ball. This will also help in dictating what projects you can go forward with and what needs to be helped back for when cash is more abundant.
What are our vendor costs?
Vendor costs, like any contract, are subject to change year over year. Be in constant contact with all important vendors and try to pin down their costs for your fiscal year as you go into the meeting. Perhaps if costs go up it’s time to start looking at different providers or to go into negotiations about a rate reduction with your current service providers. These things are all very fluid so having an idea of where you stand is important.
How did last year’s budget perform?
When the budget for last year was created was there enough there or was there a surplus/shortage? This is important as it will influence tenant dues one way or another. It’s also important for people to be able to adjust their personal budgets accordingly. This also takes into account some of the other questions here. If there are major projects on the horizon than last year’s is clearly not going to be enough moving forward. It’s helpful to take a holistic view of the current and former budgets to see what worked and what didn’t.
What are our utility costs?
Traditionally, utility costs don’t go down. These costs will rise, and it’s important you take note of this. It can be an easy cost to overlook but can make a significant dent in your budget if it’s something you forget. Something as seemingly insignificant as a 5% increase can eat into a set budget and cause you to dip into your reserves before you know it. Consider utility costs and how much they may rise. Easily overlooked but as important as anything else on the budget.
Magnum York helps prepare a condo board budget and more
At Magnum York, we offer professional property management services throughout Alberta with offices in Calgary, Edmonton, Olds, and Red Deer. A call to any of our offices will go a long way in alleviating any immediate and long-term concerns or questions you may have. The value our services can add is immeasurable and something we take pride in doing. Don’t hesitate to let us know if your property needs the care and assistance it deserves; we’re always standing by waiting to offer you our services and professional touch.