May 27, 2024 - Blog Post

How to persuade owners to accept a board proposal

It has been over six weeks since my last blog post.  My apologies.  I was away for a while and was distracted with other work, including CCI activities.  However, I was still thinking about topics for the blog and one topic kept recurring; the art of persuasion.  Board directors will be challenged in getting acceptance from owners on proposals even if they are the right thing to do, especially ones that will be expensive and/or are an addition or replacement to the building systems such as solar panels, new types of climate control systems, and a current favourite, EV chargers.  These endeavours require capital and often engineering studies, evaluations of current system capabilities and possibly building modifications. Persuading condominium owners to accept these kinds of proposals from the board involves a combination of clear communication, addressing concerns, and demonstrating the benefits.  Here are some effective strategies:

1. Clear and Transparent Communication

  • Detailed Presentation: Create a comprehensive presentation that outlines the proposal. Use visuals like charts and infographics to make the information easily digestible.
  • Information Packets: Distribute detailed information packets to all owners. Include the proposal, benefits, cost implications, and an FAQ section.

2. Engage with Owners

  • Town Hall Meetings: Organize town hall meetings to discuss the proposal.  This allows owners to ask questions and express concerns directly.
  • Workshops and Q&A Sessions: Host workshops or Q&A sessions to provide more in-depth explanations and address specific queries.

3. Highlight the Benefits

  • Immediate and Long-term Benefits: Clearly outline both the immediate and long-term benefits of the proposal.  Explain how it will improve living conditions, property values, or financial stability.
  • Success Stories: Share case studies or examples from other condominiums where similar proposals have been successfully implemented.

4. Address Concerns and Objections

  • Listen Actively: Pay attention to the concerns of the owners. Show empathy and willingness to consider their points of view.
  • Provide Solutions: Offer solutions or compromises to address the objections. For example, if cost is a concern, explain financing options or phased implementation plans.

5. Engage Influencers

  • Key Influencers: Identify and engage key influencers within the condominium community who can help advocate for the proposal.
  • Testimonials: Get testimonials from respected community members who support the proposal.

6. Financial Transparency

  • Cost Breakdown: Provide a clear breakdown of the costs involved and how the funding will be managed.
  • Financial Impact: Explain the financial impact on individual owners and the overall financial health of the condominium.

7. Utilize Multiple Channels

  • Digital Communication: Use emails, a dedicated website, or a community app to share updates and information.
  • Printed Materials: Distribute printed materials like brochures and newsletters for those who prefer physical copies.

8. Voting and Decision-Making Process

  • Clear Voting Procedures: Clearly explain the voting process, including how and when the vote will take place.
  • Encourage Participation: Encourage maximum participation by making voting as convenient as possible (e.g., online voting options).

9. Professional Endorsements

  • Expert Opinions: Include endorsements or opinions from professionals like property managers, financial advisors, or legal experts to lend credibility to the proposal.
  • Consultants: If applicable, bring in consultants to present an unbiased perspective on the benefits and feasibility of the proposal.

10. Follow-Up

  • Regular Updates: Provide regular updates on the proposal's progress and any adjustments made based on owner feedback.
  • Feedback Loop: Establish a feedback loop where owners can continue to voice their opinions and suggestions even after the proposal has been accepted.

Sample Persuasion Plan Outline

  1. Introduction
    • Brief overview of the proposal
    • Purpose and objectives
  2. Detailed Proposal Explanation
    • Scope and specifics of the proposal
    • Visual aids and supporting data
  3. Benefits Analysis
    • Short-term and long-term benefits
    • Case studies and success stories
  4. Financial Overview
    • Cost breakdown and financial impact
    • Funding and budget management
  5. Addressing Concerns
    • Common concerns and objections
    • Proposed solutions and compromises
  6. Engagement Plan
    • Schedule of town hall meetings and workshops
    • Communication channels and materials
  7. Voting and Decision Process
    • Detailed explanation of the voting procedure
    • Encouraging owner participation
  8. Follow-Up Actions
    • Plan for regular updates and feedback
    • Establishing a continuous feedback loop

By combining these strategies, you can create a comprehensive and persuasive approach to gaining support for the board of directors' proposal. It may seem like a lot of work but the effort will be worth it.

Michael Kennedy
CCI Nova Scotia


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