Thinking about becoming a board member for your co-op or condo? There are many reasons why it could be a good idea.
Maybe you’d like to give personal input on ways to make the building better, help your building reach its full potential, or maybe you’d just like to keep a closer ear to the ground on the latest happenings in your building. No matter what, drafting up a sample board candidate statement will be your first step to joining your building’s board.
A good candidate statement will have two objectives:
- It will clarify in detail what you will do for your building and why they should trust you
- It will share a little about you, what you value, and where you come from
Remember, you want to persuade people to vote for you. Obviously, be honest about yourself and your capabilities, but this is no time for false modesty.
Lead with your offer first
The most common mistake people make when running for the board of their condo or co-op is leading with their biographical details. You will want to include these, but later. You need to first catch your reader’s attention by specifying what you can do for them. In other words, don’t bury the lead! Start with things like, what your personal goals are for the community and how they align with the goals of others who live in your building. Good examples include:
- Increasing transparency between the board, residents, and owners of the building
- Taking steps to raise the property value, such as a renovation or addition that you know others have been thinking about
- Implementing new and technologically innovative ways for community members to make suggestions to the board and influence their decisions
- Better budgeting and fiscally conservative policies
- Brainstorming ways to beautify the building and create an even more aesthetically pleasing or luxurious environment to live in
- Increasing lines of communication and opportunities for feedback and input from owners and residents
Since you and voters share the same community, you can bet others will share your interests and concerns, too. Take advantage of this knowledge as you craft your “offer,” thinking carefully about why someone should cast a vote on your behalf.
Apply your unique skillsets
Being a member of the board is a lot of responsibility that benefits from a wide variety of backgrounds and prior administrative positions. You’ll want to align your personal history with the goals you have in view. This will help voters see why you’re the right candidate for them.
The board will be responsible for the building’s overall security procedures. If you have a background in law enforcement or something related, this could be a great area to focus on.
You may also be tasked with implementing policies against discrimination or harassment, or devise procedures for resolving disputes between neighbors. If you have any security skills in your background, be sure to advertise them in your statement.
Finances and budget management
Maintaining a building correctly requires a lot of money, no surprise there. But beyond having enough money, you need to make sure that things are being budgeted properly: owners’ dues are being collected, the operating budget and capital expenditures budget have enough money, that your building will have enough money to make necessary improvements to meet city codes ... the list goes on. One of the most important roles on a board is treasurer. If you’re a CPA, or even just experienced with budgeting and numbers, this could be a great position for you!
Have general background or experience in real estate, more specifically property management? This knowledge could be a game changer for your board. If not property management, were you employed in any kind of public works? Have you assisted in budgeting for any major projects and helped keep costs low? These are all things to work into your offering to show people what you bring to the table.
Unequal enforcement of the rules - “rules for thee and not for me” - is one of the biggest complaints sent to the board. Inevitably, you’ll be handling your fair share of disputes. Many, however, can be headed off in advance by clearly articulated and precise policies for all community members as a condition of residency. If you’d like to set in motion amending the existing procedures or creating all new ones, say so in your letter.
The board will additionally be responsible for staying in compliance with local laws and regulations. Failing to do so can cause you hefty fines or worse. So, you’ll need to stay on top of these to provide a smooth living experience for the entire community. If you have a background in government or have served in any kind of regulatory agency, these skills will be invaluable here.
Now tell them who you are
Having clearly stated in writing what you can do to help the community, what your specific goals are, and the skills you have to get the job done, this final section is where you can tell voters who you are. People like to vote for people that they like, so be sincere and tell them things like:
- Your name, where you were raised, and where you went to school
- Whether you’re married and have kids, or if it’s just you and your faithful animal companion
- What you like to do for fun: If you have any unusual or adventurous hobbies, now is the time to express them all
Try to be likable and amicable in this section, but don’t come off like you’re not serious or are trying too hard to impress people. Say just enough to let people get to know you and realize you’re an actual human being.
With all this in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating an excellent candidate statement for joining a condo or co-op board. Remember, the important thing is to make it about your building community, not about you.
If you’re looking for more detailed advice on this process or are learning to be a more effective board member, the team at Daisy is happy to assist you. We can help you develop a thoughtful approach to your board membership, so you can focus on building the strong and vibrant community that you want.