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MCL Nov/Dec 2013 - Carin's Corner
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Carin’s Corner: Top Performers Find a Balance Between
"Right” and "Now”

By Carin Rosengren, Keller Property Management

Carin Rosengren

Folks in the community association industry know how it feels to be under pressure. I don’t just mean the usual time constraints that come with a property manager’s full portfolio or added expectations by neighbors when a member decides to join the board. In the community association biz, both volunteers and paid individuals quickly learn that time is money, and not only that, but homeowners are demanding more for less.

In effect, efficiency becomes king. But it remains our job to see that efficiency does not become a dictator. Sometimes, when the homeowners to whom we answer are demanding something "right now,” we have to tell them to choose: "Do you want it right, or do you want it now?” That’s why the quote from John Wooden grabbed my attention when I saw it, although I didn’t know who Wooden was (he led a 10-time national champion basketball team), and I’ve kept it tacked up in my office ever since.

This is the last of my series of columns taking another look at the winners of the 2013 Vision Awards from the Minnesota Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (CAI-MN). This year’s event was the highest-attended in its history — a beautifully executed evening in May where the people who performed under pressure were applauded. Throughout the night and throughout the nominations, it was apparent that the winners had been able to find just the right balance of responding to pressure and acting with efficiency.

Rookie of the Year Meggan Anderson (pictured at bottom left), of Community Development, Inc., earned her Vision Award in part by demonstrating the hard work it takes to be a successful property manager. She also has attention to detail, i.e. "getting it right,” which surfaced when her thorough reading of an insurance renewal uncovered an error and saved the association hundreds of dollars.

Excellence in Service Award winner Kim Schultz (pictured at bottom left), of FirstService Residential, oversees high-profile high rises and urban condos, where she earns praise from board members for her hard work. Kudos like "consistently obtaining quorum at annual meetings” mean that Kim is working efficiently, as well. Without a quorum, an annual meeting needs to be redone, costing the manager and the association twice the time, money and effort.

Surely Franz Eisenbauer, the Above & Beyond Award winner from Creekside of Plymouth, should know a thing or two about efficiency: he’s been serving on that board for 16 years and has held most of the officer positions at different times. Eisenbauer has helped guide the association through two large storm insurance claims and two special assessments, in addition to the laundry list of community living issues. Volunteer or not, an inefficient person would have found himself kicked to the curb by the homeowners in a most efficient way.

Let’s face it — nobody gets it right every time. Sometimes, we make a mistake that forces us to do a task again, or to try it in another way until we get it right. Sometimes we simply have to do it over, despite the inefficiency of it all. But how we respond when that happens offers a chance to practice professionalism and reintroduce efficiency. During one such opportunity years ago, I offered the following to a Board of Directors, "I dropped the ball here and I am sorry. But, I can promise you this: you will not see me make the same mistake twice.” Now is that efficient, or what?


Vision Award Winners Meggan Anderson (right) and Kim Schultz (left)

Published by Community Associations Institute — Minnesota Chapter, copyright 2013. All articles and paid advertising represent the opinions of authors and advertisers and not necessarily the opinion of either Minnesota Community Living or CAI–Minnesota Chapter. The information contained within should not be construed as a recommendation for any course of action regarding financial, legal, accounting, or other professional services by the CAI–Minnesota Chapter, or by Minnesota Community Living, or its authors. Articles, letters to the editor, and advertising may be sent to Chapter Staff Editor Joanne Penn at, or at CAI–Minnesota Chapter, 1000 Westgate Dr., Suite 252, St. Paul, MN 55114.

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