Communal Maintenance vs Site Improvement

Communal Maintenance vs Site Improvement

If you missed it in last month’s article I discussed the benefits of selecting the right location for your AGM to get more owner involvement by increasing attendance at the Annual General Meeting. In this article I will discuss the benefits of looking at more than just maintaining a building/resort.

“You must spend money to make Money”

I know before many of you have even got this far, you may be thinking, REALLY? We just about keep to the current budget and you’re talking about spending money on extras!

Ok, I understand you may be finding making collections from owners difficult, and have unit owners grumbling about how much they need to pay already.

But think about a company that’s just ticking on, focusing only on keeping the lights on and not looking to the future.  A business consultant would look at this and say that company is stuck in a rut, and should invest in themselves by doing something different to attract new customers and move the company forward before they start going backwards.

Well a communal building operates very similar to a company; you have income, expenditure and a board of directors (committee).  The only thing different is, you don’t have the option to get new ‘customers’; so you need to work on keeping your existing ‘customers’ happy at all costs.

And this is the problem, unit owners who are unexcited or apathetic about their properties are going to be less likely to be involved, and more likely to pay late or not at all.  This starts a cycle that can cause major financial problems for the buildings.

While paying communal fees is a legal responsibility, it takes a lot of work to get the money in, but it’s far easier to get payments from happy owners then sad or uninterested ones.

So by including in the budget some money to be spent on visually obvious improvements rather than just focusing on keeping the corridors clean and the lights on may be the difference in your income rates increasing, staying the same or slowly declining.

Russell Flick

Experienced Property Professional, Public Speaker & Author of 'The Ultimate Committee Handbook'. In addition to his published books, Russell is a public speaker, columnist and founder of, the online information portal for property owners to get support and advice on all aspects of communal property ownership and management.