7 innovative cost-saving strategies for NYC condo and co-op boards

Board member education
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May 9, 2024
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min read
7 innovative cost-saving strategies for NYC condo and co-op boards

Managing the finances for a New York City condo or co-op building is a big responsibility. As a board member, you're charged with keeping costs under control while still providing an excellent living experience for residents. It's all about striking that important balance.

The good news? There are innovative cost-saving strategies that can help boards hit the sweet spot. We'll dive into seven unique ways for condo and co-op boards to trim expenses wisely, without sacrificing desired amenities, services, and quality of life. With some creativity, boards can identify meaningful savings opportunities that benefit the building's bottom line as well as the environment. Because cutting costs doesn't have to mean cutting corners.  

1. Energy efficiency upgrades

Reducing energy consumption is one of the most straightforward ways to lower utility costs. And these days, there are smart tech solutions that make it even easier. Smart thermostats can automatically adjust temperatures based on occupancy patterns, preventing energy waste. LED lighting is also a bright idea - using up to 75% less electricity than traditional bulbs.  

There’s even more behind the scenes opportunities - buildings that leverage LogicalBuilding’s SmartKitAI, can further reduce their monthly energy usage - and bills in the summer, and even make a bit of revenue for the building!

2. Water conservation tactics  

The average New York City household wastes about 50-100 gallons of water per month, thanks to leisurely showers, issues like leaky faucets and running toilets. You'd be amazed how simple fixture upgrades can put a serious dent in usage. Low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets can dramatically cut down on waste without compromising water pressure or performance.

Go beyond that and install smart leak detection sensors, and nip leaks in the bud before they cause serious damage to the building. 

3. Group buying

Leveraging the power of your community itself can open up all kinds of cost-saving opportunities. Let's start with purchasing agreements. By teaming up with other local buildings, you can combine purchasing power to negotiate better rates on services like cable, internet, and insurance. We’re big fans of group buying, and have worked to bring those opportunities to Daisy network buildings.

4. Preventive maintenance

This one might sound counterintuitive at first for cost-saving, but hear us out - prioritizing preventive maintenance for building systems and equipment can actually help avoid way bigger expenses down the road.

Think about it - regular inspections, tune-ups, and upkeep may require some investment upfront, but they'll extend the lifespan of costly assets like HVAC units, elevators, plumbing, you name it. Way better than having something fail unexpectedly and getting hit with a ginormous emergency repair bill.

5. Waste reduction programs

Reducing waste isn't just good for the planet, it can also trim serious cash from your budget. Something as simple as improving recycling practices cuts down on disposal costs for the building. You could even look into composting programs to further shrink that waste footprint.

For real innovative points, some buildings partner with waste management companies that'll actually share revenues from recycling pickups or turn food waste into energy. Talk about turning one building's trash into another building's treasure!

6. Smart vendor diligence

You might be tempted to go with the vendor that offers you the lowest rate. But make sure you dive into the details - what's the scope, what's the insurance, what’s their track record, etc? Without confirming that all falls into place you could end up spending more, between change orders, insurance coverage lapses, or shoddy workmanship that ultimately needs to be redone. The right vendor will have transparent and clear pricing and planning and will set your building up for success in the long run. Read more on that here.

7. Volunteer initiatives

Chances are your building is brimming with talented, skilled residents ready to lend a hand. Organizing volunteer programs can unlock cost savings while also fostering community engagement. 

Something like a rotating resident gardening crew could eliminate pricey landscaping labor costs. Same goes for starting a volunteer handy-person group to help with painting, basic repairs, and general maintenance. Just be sure to provide proper guidance and oversight.  

Do any of these approaches feel like a good fit for your building? Explore the possibilities and collaborate with experts, like a property manager you trust, to determine the right strategies and how to implement effectively. An open mind to new solutions can translate into major money-saving opportunities. If you need some help, Daisy’s here for you.

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