Condo Media - November 2020 - 25

properties when managers are ill,
take vacations, or leave the company,
Adamen explains. "An added bonus,"
she noted in her newsletter, "The benefits of Team Management will appeal to
millennials in particular! Millennials, comfortable and savvy with tech[nology], are
looking for work-from-home options,
are at ease with online meetings, love
collaboration and regular feedback on
their performance - everything this
team management concept delivers."
First Realty's Sheila Spellman says
the team approach has worked well for
her company, which adopted it several
years ago. "It ensures that no manager is trying to get everything done
alone," Spellman says, "and that helps
tremendously." It enables managers
to create the "work-life balance" that
can keep them engaged and avoid
the burnout that remains a perennial
industry challenge.
PROTECTING CONFIDENTIAL
INFORMATION
Dealing with board members who
can't or won't keep secrets isn't a
pandemic problem nor is it a new
one, but it creates a difficult and often
troubling challenge for managers,
according to Moriarty, who puts it
high on his list of perennial concerns.
Association boards regularly receive
confidential information - about the
finances and medical conditions of
owners, about litigation strategies and
contract negotiations, for example.
Most board members recognize their
obligation to protect that information,
but what happens when a dissident
trustee shares it with owners or other
third parties? What should the manager do? The first challenge is verifying
the source, Moriarty suggests. "You
may suspect someone, but the [leaked]
information probably isn't being displayed on a billboard above that board
member's unit."
If it seems clear that a particular
board member is responsible, should
the manager continue to share confidential information with that individual?
Probably not, Moriarty agrees. But a

"Managers have to walk a fine line between
their obligation to follow the board's directions"
and their potential legal liability if those
directions have adverse consequences.
duly elected member of the board is
entitled to participate in board discussions and managers have no authority
to withhold information from them.
Instead, Moriarty advises, managers
in this position should ask the board
to instruct them in writing to withhold
confidential information from a board
member who can't be trusted with it.
That board member "won't be happy"
with the other board members or the
manager, Moriarty agrees. But making
this a board decision, he says, "takes
managers out of the line of fire and
gives them the legal cover they need."
ADVISING THE BOARD
Conveying advice from experts to board
members, and often translating it for
them, is an essential part of a manager's
job. Boards usually follow the advice
of these experts, as they should, but
not always. Sometimes they choose a
different course, making decisions the
manager knows will be problematic for
the association. This puts the manager
in a difficult and potentially legally vulnerable position, Moriarty notes.
"Managers have to walk a fine line
between their obligation to follow the
board's directions" and their potential
legal liability if those directions have
adverse consequences. His advice to
managers in this uncomfortable position:
Send a letter telling the board: "I'll follow
your directions, but this is the board's
decision, not mine, and I've advised you
of the problems it could cause."
This isn't a step that managers
should take lightly or often, Moriarty
points out. "You can't look as if you
are always trying to cover your [rear]."
And while a letter will document
that the board rejected the manager's

advice, it won't protect the manager
from legal liability, Moriarty cautions.
"A plaintiff is going to put the board
and the manager in the same bucket,"
he explains. "Everyone will be named
in a suit." If managers find themselves
frequently implementing decisions
with which they disagree, they should
consider their potential legal exposure
and rethink their relationship with this
client, Moriarty advises. "Sometimes,"
he says, "you just have to walk away."
PROFITABILITY
Tight profit margins are a perennial entry on the list of condominium industry
challenges, cited almost reflexively by
managers, who note the difficulty of
charging fees that match the scope and
quality of the services they provide.
But Adamen views the issue differently.
The problem, she suggests, is not that
management company owners need
to charge more for their services; it is
that they need to change the way they
manage their companies. "They need
to get out of the weeds," she says
and focus on the "big picture" issues -
developing a vision for their companies,
marketing their services, and nurturing
their employees. "They need to learn to
work on their companies, not in them,"
she says. This is difficult for hands-on
owners accustomed to managing associations themselves - difficult, but
necessary. "Profitability won't be a
problem," Adamen says, "if owners
keep their eyes on the [right] ball."
n NENA GROSKIND IS PRESIDENT
OF ECONTENTPLUS, PROVIDING
EDITORIAL CONTENT FOR WEBSITES,
PRINT, AND ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTERS AND MAGAZINES.

November 2020 CONDOMEDIA

25



Condo Media - November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - November 2020

Contents
Condo Media - November 2020 - Cover1
Condo Media - November 2020 - Cover2
Condo Media - November 2020 - Contents
Condo Media - November 2020 - 2
Condo Media - November 2020 - 3
Condo Media - November 2020 - 4
Condo Media - November 2020 - 5
Condo Media - November 2020 - 6
Condo Media - November 2020 - 7
Condo Media - November 2020 - 8
Condo Media - November 2020 - 9
Condo Media - November 2020 - 10
Condo Media - November 2020 - 11
Condo Media - November 2020 - 12
Condo Media - November 2020 - 13
Condo Media - November 2020 - 14
Condo Media - November 2020 - 15
Condo Media - November 2020 - 16
Condo Media - November 2020 - 17
Condo Media - November 2020 - 18
Condo Media - November 2020 - 19
Condo Media - November 2020 - 20
Condo Media - November 2020 - 21
Condo Media - November 2020 - 22
Condo Media - November 2020 - 23
Condo Media - November 2020 - 24
Condo Media - November 2020 - 25
Condo Media - November 2020 - 26
Condo Media - November 2020 - 27
Condo Media - November 2020 - 28
Condo Media - November 2020 - 29
Condo Media - November 2020 - 30
Condo Media - November 2020 - 31
Condo Media - November 2020 - 32
Condo Media - November 2020 - 33
Condo Media - November 2020 - 34
Condo Media - November 2020 - 35
Condo Media - November 2020 - 36
Condo Media - November 2020 - 37
Condo Media - November 2020 - 38
Condo Media - November 2020 - 39
Condo Media - November 2020 - 40
Condo Media - November 2020 - 41
Condo Media - November 2020 - 42
Condo Media - November 2020 - 43
Condo Media - November 2020 - 44
Condo Media - November 2020 - 45
Condo Media - November 2020 - 46
Condo Media - November 2020 - 47
Condo Media - November 2020 - 48
Condo Media - November 2020 - 49
Condo Media - November 2020 - 50
Condo Media - November 2020 - 51
Condo Media - November 2020 - 52
Condo Media - November 2020 - 53
Condo Media - November 2020 - 54
Condo Media - November 2020 - 55
Condo Media - November 2020 - 56
Condo Media - November 2020 - 57
Condo Media - November 2020 - 58
Condo Media - November 2020 - 59
Condo Media - November 2020 - 60
Condo Media - November 2020 - 61
Condo Media - November 2020 - 62
Condo Media - November 2020 - 63
Condo Media - November 2020 - 64
Condo Media - November 2020 - Cover3
Condo Media - November 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202102
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