Barker Martin

Condo-HOA Blog

Unlike Riding a Bike

Recently, I bought new mountain bike, after not owning a bike for years.  When the bike arrived, I unpacked it, put it together, bolted on the wheels and handlebars, hopped on and just rode off.  People often say you never forget how to ride a bike to mean that, once learned, certain skills never go away.  Sadly, that same phrase does not apply to many aspects of managing associations.  While a manager’s skills endure and improve, the facts and issues for each project, and even within the same project, can differ significantly.  It’s a bit like the difference between knowing how to ride a bike in general and knowing how to operate a specialized piece of equipment like a track bike or downhill mountain bike, yet that analogy even falls a bit short.

Associations are defined by their own unique characteristics.  The differences in an association’s unique governing documents are as important as the generalities that makes so many association seem similar.  Payment due dates, meeting notices, quorums, fiscal years, audit requirements, collection policies, voting consent percentages, board composition (# of directors), board term lengths, director qualifications, insurance requirements, and many other important guidelines may and often do change from association to association.  Even managers who have been with the same property for years should always review the governing documents for any unique requirements to ensure proper governance.

The skill of managing an association, like the skill of riding a bike, never goes away, but peak performance requires more than general knowledge.  It requires constant attention to details and nuances that make every association unique.

If you ever need assistance interpreting what is required by a governing document provision, the team at Barker Martin would be happy to help.