’m pleased to be able to update past, present and future clients as to my current activities on behalf of the GTA condominium community. The enhancements and extra services now provided by A. R. Consulting have been inspired not only by my observations and experiences through the years, but also in direct response to specific requests made by you, the GTA condominium Board members.


Mentoring re Management

There are more and more new, inexperienced Board members serving their condominium corporations. There are more and more challenges imposed on these directors, whether from the new Condominium Act, aging buildings, or depleted reserve funds. There are more and more new condo projects being built in the GTA. There are fewer and fewer qualified, experienced property managers to go around (or so it seems).

In response to this, I’ve intensified my information flow to my clients, during the management appraisal and search process. It’s a “given” that the industry is desperate for on-site managerial talent. Therefore, I realized that I needed to place even more emphasis on helping my clients analyze and appraise the support resources and operational structures of the various management companies who might qualify as candidates in the A. R. Consulting search process. The Board and I look with increased vigour and greater analytical emphasis on the entire condominium management routine, in terms of:

  • Accountability
  • Communication
  • Condominium expertise, in-house resources
  • Cost-savings/economies of scale
  • Financial/administrative services
  • Safety
  • Site Operations

That list is organized alphabetically, not necessarily in order of priority. Every condominium corporation I deal with encounters different priorities (while sharing many of the same issues and responsibilities).

I’m aware of the instructional courses for condominium directors run by the Canadian Condominium Institute. I’m one of their instructors. They do a great job. But the CCI will be the first to admit that you can only learn so much in a classroom. Then it’s time for the real world, and condo Board members had better be prepared.

I speak from a fairly unique position, having served in the management industry for some twenty years, and providing a condominium consulting and advisory service for a further twelve, not to mention a decade serving on condo Boards.

Mentoring re: The Board of Directors

When there are disputes, or differences of opinion or philosophy between members of the same Board, the condominium’s decision-making process can be slowed or even jeopardized. I instruct Board members in the basics of working co-operatively. Remember:

  • You’re representing the whole community, not just one point of view.
  • Differences of opinion between Board members are common, sometimes even healthy – they don’t necessarily mean there are “conspiracies” afloat.
  • If there are conspiracies afloat, discontinue them.
  • Make every effort to keep informed (CCI courses, inter-acting with Board members from other condominiums, etc.). Share that knowledge with the other members of your Board.
  • Make sure every Board member feels as though he or she is being allowed to contribute. If there is a perceived “weak link,” try to help that person to contribute by accessing his/her strengths.

I hold a Certificate in Mediation from the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor. While not every difference of opinion calls for a mediation process under Section 132 of the Condominium Act, it’s helpful to be able to facilitate dialogue between the holders of those differing points of view.

New Services

I’m thrilled to report that a number of my previous clients encouraged me to branch out. They said “we like your analytical, step-by-step approach. Why don’t you help us in other areas besides management?” I said “I don’t do windows” but they wouldn’t take no for an answer. So the activities sphere of A. R. Consulting has expanded.

Security/Access Control

I’ve just recently completed another successful search and appraisal process in the area of security, analyzing the routine, checking and reporting on the service providers, designing and conducting the interviews, and helping the Board of Directors strengthen their decision-making position.

While there are of course many differences between security and property management, there are at least two fundamental similarities:

  • It’s a service, not a product
  • It’s tough to find good people

In each of my “security searches,” we’ve achieved better service for less money. I’m proud of that.

Recreational/Pool Maintenance

A. R. Consulting’s latest venture, again at the request of a previous client. Same approach.

I may yet do windows.


Alan Rosenberg is President of A. R. Consulting, who provide a variety of advisory services to Toronto area condominium directors. Alan’s long, rewarding career with a large condominium management company, most notably as Vice-President, included client liaison and counselling, legislative advice, financial reporting, creation of maintenance specifications, organizing building inspections, and editing of newsletters and other communications materials.

A. R. Consulting now assists condominiums in radically improving their own management situations. Alan’s comprehensive investigative and interviewing methods are renowned throughout the condo community.

E-mail: ar@condominiumconsulting.ca
Phone: 416-932-9510; Fax: 416-932-9769

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