Monday, July 12, 2010

The Fallout from poor management

The evidence is now clear.   We have first-hand knowledge of real estate agents in Calgary who have told clients they either refuse to show property in our complex or try to dissuade potential buyers from plopping money down for a unit here.  This comes from having a bad reputation, not maintaining the property, high contribution fees compared to other neighbouring condominiums and a history of leaks that, in our case, only got worse after spending millions of dollars to fix.

A recent resident of our complex did a survey of contribution fees and determined that our complex has the highest fees for the least benefits.  That makes sense because so little has been done on the energy side to control costs since 1995, so much is spent on needless legal battles, contractors that that don't repair their mistakes leaving the insurer or owners to fund the fix.   This means all of the volunteer time is probably going to putting our fires, dealing with complaints, collecting from unhappy owners and other unproductive activities.

When owners aren't happy they sell.  When real estate agents stop people from buying here, prices fall.   The tax base erodes.  The complex becomes a statistical outlier and people ask "why".   The City of Calgary reported to us directly that our complex has had one of the worse declines in value because of the "problems" in our complex.   The news is out and the City and real estate agents know what is happening and knowledgeable buyers are being told to stay away.  

We heard from one resident who has viewed the declining state of the property for the last few years and wanted to sell.  But, when that owner saw the devalued prices it was a big surprise.   We've heard now from a few owners who have decided to stay and try and move the board off this destructive decline and try to turn the property around but that will likely take years and many more dollars of wasted money.

The result of bad decisions at the board level have now hurt owners, property prices and our reputation which will take years to fix.   The news is now driving away prospective buyers and has the attention of the City and Provincial governments.  

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