It is election times again, not just in UK or Spain, but also very soon in the USA and with all the presidential campaigns; I cannot help but think of communities of properties.
In fact communities of properties are pretty much the same. They have annual general meetings and elections. They have a budget, general expenses, fixed income and unexpected costs. There are also different groups of people in all communities and each group has a different agenda and priorities.
So how can one determine the winners and losers? Up until a few years ago, I considered the community meetings and the country elections a waste of my time. Well voting in Iran you could almost say is useless and in Spain pointless. Yet in 1997 I was moved by the energy of young people and I took the time to go and vote. The difference spoke for itself as a moderate president took hold of office and did his best to improve what he could.
Fast forward to 2007. I had purchased my second property and we were in the middle of a turmoil with our new community president that had taken over the previous one. The situation was so bad that I had already resigned as a committee member and did not really want to participate or even attend the Community’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). A series of events and sudden death in my family, before I knew it I was encouraged by several neighbours to stand for the Presidential post at my urbanization and a few hours later, I emerged as the new President of El Porton de Mijas.
So what would have happened if I had not stood for this post. Well, one scenario is possibly not much, but equally that possibly not much could have equated to, possibly not much improvement. A president, who was never there, would obviously have achieved equally little. We could have carried on paying our communities fees and increased it by 5% on a yearly basis and we could have been looking at a budget that had gone up by 35% since that day. Yet with effort and help from many owners, we managed to keep through the turmoil of the crisis, keeping the community healthy, a debtor list of less 10% of the community budget and no increase in the community fees.
Coupled with a simple online system and called OCM (short of Online Community Manager) I have built a fairly good relationship with all owners, kept them informed and year after year pulled everyone to vote. Present or Absent, they have been able to follow everything that has happened and is about to happen in the community and vote accordingly.
You may ask now, who is then the winners in any election? The answer is the voters. The voters are the winners as they get what they want. If any election the opposition, writes off the meeting for any reason, such as time or of no importance, they are the losers. Over the past years, I have seen thousands of good presidents and hundreds of corrupt presidents. Presidents who take a cut on all community jobs, pay themselves extra costs and salaries that I find it difficult to understand how they even managed to get it approved. The answer though is simple in the absence of your vote, they can get anything approved. Need I say more. Vote at your community meetings.
Urbytus offers a simple web service that allows online proxy voting. Try it for free and see how easy you can keep up with your community agenda and making sure that things go to your benefit. Try it for free by signup now.