My family doesn't so much "go" out to eat, or "get" on an airplane. No, think invasion and temporary occupation. Entering a restaurant, we recon the dining room. That couple in the corner is already glaring at us...let's try another corner. A small IED appears to have detonated under a table over there...good, we should sit nearby.
The six of us are evenly split: three for the men and three for the women, but when it comes to leaving a memorable impact, we guys are shock and awe. At a vocal 2-years, a clever 4-years, and a perfectly innocent 40, we're full of potential. Though in all fairness...when it comes to firing plastic straw wrappers, my 8-year old daughter can send a clean shot up her brother's nose from over three feet away.
Getting on an airplane flight, we distribute ear-plugs and Valium as we navigate the aisle and thank God that our 4-year-old can't yet read the instructions on the emergency exit - though I'm convinced that his determination and his kid brother's brute strength would be adequate to yank it free and save us all if necessary.
So, you can imagine my wife and I's apprehension as we pulled into the driveway of the Airbnb we rented last Spring. We've long since had to face the fact that we are "that family." I just feel bad for the neighbors....
|They aren't as innocent as they look...|
Seemingly unrelated, and on the opposite side of the continent, HABITAT Magazine reported that an Upper West Side Co-op has been billing owners $1000 per month during private remodels in Manhattan. But it's not really unrelated because, again, at its core is the same issue. The disturbance of remodeling is lowering the standard of living for the neighbors and thus is reasonably penalized with a fee. Maybe you agree, and maybe you don't, but you can certainly understand the concerns.
There is another side to these issues where vacation rentals and remodels actually add value, but this post is hardly the place to hammer out thorny issues such as these, rather it is an opportunity to look around a community and think more deeply about what really does raise the value of homes?
Everyone has an opinion. As a Contractor and Project Manager/Consultant my customers often declare their perspectives and opinions on what adds or detracts from home values. One board member is determined to remodel the clubhouse while another is lobbying for new roofs. As you know, opinions are rarely aligned. You, the manager of these communities, face the same irreconcilable perspectives, personalities, and problems daily.
While a quick visit to the Chili's bathroom may be the opening for a spit-wad battle - eliciting glares from the corner table and sending soda swirling as sticky hands commandeer plastic straws and shred napkins gunning up for battle, a not so dissimilar HOA battle between the re-roof contingent and the remodel contingent may send owners packing as the 2 sides lawyer up for battle.
The firm and authoritative voice of maturity can avert disaster in the Chili's dining room and can do the same at your Board Meeting. What raises the value of an HOA? You do! Be convinced that your role is to raise the standard of living in each community you touch. Be bold and be prepared to demonstrate professionalism by enlisting other professionals to speak truth into the chaos. Then be confident that you are the best person for the job, and relax. Rise above the storm by seeing the bigger picture - then bring your customers up with you.
Oh, and if you see my kids and I walking into Chili's without my wife - you better hope you have a quick-draw with your spit-wad straw and a handy kids-menu shield....