If you’re like most strata corporations, building maintenance is a divisive issue. And if you’re reading this, it’s because you care, perhaps more than most.
Proactive councils understand building life cycles and depreciation reports and are knowledgeable about various project costs. In contrast, other groups seem to oppose any proposal to spend money except for regular operations. Or worse, they are indifferent (or oblivious) to the need to regularly maintain their strata property. Welcome to strata living.
But there is hope. Major painting projects are a valuable investment of time and money. Done well, they immediately improve property values, reduce future maintenance expenses, increase community pride of ownership, and make people feel better about their homes.
So, walking into an AGM, owners will be thinking of all of these things as they decide whether to give approval. But they are also weighing these benefits against the joy of buying a new car, taking a vacation, building their savings, or just keeping up with their regular bill payments. Everyone’s situation is different.
Our advice? Here are four ways to build the momentum needed to get your painting project approved:
- Engage the owners early on, survey with options, gauge interest
- Hold an information meeting, invite input, summarize and distribute findings
- Form a non-council advisory group
- Invite a credible industry spokesperson to the AGM for questions
These are ideas for wider consultation and can allow the process to gain energy. They will also provide insight into what is most important to owners since its unlikely to be the same for everyone.
Once you have this information, you are in a better position to decide if there is enough support to move forward. If it’s close you may see opportunities to provide more information, answer concerns, or simply work to persuade the swing group.
For example, do they need to know that the resale value will increase? Are they more interested in improving community pride? Is there concern that if we don’t paint now, then it will cost us much more in the long run. Perhaps they need someone to share their enthusiasm about the project results or a past experience that proved worthwhile.
We’re quite certain; your best success will come from a mix of practical information and emotional convincing. And, if you are aware of what’s important to owners, then you’ll be better equipped to get your approval.