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News: Condado Next Steps Workshop

Condado Next Steps Workshop
21 Jun 2019 - Andy Watkiss (La Isla Presidente)

Condado “Next Steps” Meeting 20th May 2019

It was decided to hold a meeting between the Level 1 Board of Presidents and the Senior Management team of Admiburgos on 20th May 2019. Admiburgos were in the second year of their administration and it was important to map out the future of the resort and detail some of the opportunities we have to improve the lives of the owners and guests of the complex.

Firstly to establish where we are currently with the management of the resort the Board undertook an investigation into work achieved over the last year and found the following outcomes. This was done as a brainstorming session looking at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

It is a strength of Condado that the Board of Presidents have a wide variety of skills and expertise that are supported by strong Admin, utilising good communications. Whilst the level of Spanish language skills on the L1 Board is minimal, the Administration team ensure that they are well supported in communicating with Spanish people whether they be owners, residents or outside partners. Overall, there is a positive feeling about the resort felt by owners, with many owners willing to contribute towards providing feedback. Although we can and do receive feedback currently, it is recognised that an official mechanism for feedback remains an item to be developed. Utilising the skills of more owners is also an asset that needs exploring. It has become abundantly clear that clear, concise direct communication is essential to help shorten meeting times that are both numerous and extremely lengthy. There is an issue with L3 Presidents engaging in communication, which if improved could possibly eliminate the perception of some Spanish people that the resort predominately has an English bias.

The resort is improving therefore more positive news is available. This has been achieved by ensuring that communications have improved, is clearer and more regular. Much of this communication has been through the website, that is working and being used by owners. However, more work on this is required to improve navigation for users.

Financial Management has improved and continues to do so. This is evidenced with the now comprehensive, detailed financial reports. The issue of debtors and Polaris World can deflect from positive messages and news. The same applies to ill-wishers and troublemakers on unofficial Facebook sites, and sadly the neighbourhood association providing fake news. All of which can potentially distract the Board of Presidents towards items outside the strategic goals that are currently being defined. Time spent on quashing false, but at the same time damaging information, could be more effectively spent on moving the resort forward. Similarly, the amount of wrongdoing or illegality performed with regard to the internal rules, aesthetics and statutes of the resort is extremely time consuming. This sometimes can lead to the Board not enforcing what they say they will do.

Whilst contractors that we use are willing to provide regular reports, these are sometimes incomplete, irrelevant or nonsensical. This is an issue that needs addressing. It is felt that with increased level of engagement with contractors and partners the quality in level of service including reports will improve. It is recognised that there is also a need to produce an asset register that should enable more effective forward planning. With better facilities and estate management working alongside Admiburgos, it is felt that the resort will continue to progress in a forward direction.

In recognition of the huge amount of work achieved over the last two years it would appear that for relatively a small amount more of concentrated, focussed effort, results could improve significantly.

Following on from this the Board decided that this years’ work should include a focus on the following different areas. Information from L1 working meetings will be published 1 week later with links to all news.

Communication

Bob & Andy are to continue to develop the communication strategy.

With regard to Facebook, that has substantial engagement from both owners and residents, Presidents will not respond on official business except by putting links to the website on official FB pages. Whilst there are only small groups / individuals that stir up trouble with fake news/ information the scaremongering incurred can be extremely damaging to the resort and unpleasant for owners to read.

Presidents are to receive a mail shot on how to put information on the website to enable a quicker dissemination of information to owners. Owners must be subscribed to the website in order to receive urgent news and automatic email links. Infrequent spasmodic news that affects everyone resort wide eg water cuts, will be published on FB with links to the website and noticeboards. (The front page on the website needs redesigning with boxes for the news items). This will involve talking to an expert website designer for ideas.

Admiburgos when they receive communications will then forward it to the appropriate Presidents and /or committees.

Admiburgos responds to both emails & complaints. They are to investigate how a Helpdesk might operate by looking at La Torres system. The system for employment has recently changed. All employees have to record the hours they have worked. Bearing this in mind they are to record the number of people that visit on Thursday when it is late opening and also Saturday openings in August to decide if this is a good use of admin resources. During August it has been found that Saturday opening is infrequently used and then only mainly to register cars. It may be more effective to register by email. Garden visits by admin are to be conducted every 2 months by Admiburgos staff to check on current issues / problems.

Painting remains problematic and meetings will be held with the owners of the company. One of the main problems is poor management of painters. It is envisaged that funding for painting in the future needs to be included in community fees.

Regarding the AGM 2020 everything needs to be completed by 31st December 2019 except final accounts. Agenda items need to be submitted by the end of November. Information packs will again be produced but only for AGM voting items. Last year’s showroom was excellent and the streaming successful. Areas that need to be investigated include alternatives to streaming only on FB, cameras that move to the people speaking, use one company for both the translation and broadcast

Looking towards the future, Condado de Alhama includes a lot of people that are not just owners.

With this in mind it could be beneficial to perhaps meet with other resorts to exchange ideas. There is already a meeting in July planned with the Urban Entity Committee, Business owners, Council and interested parties to discuss planning for the future of the resort.

Finances were explained in detail. The main goal to get the resort to a financially stable position demonstrating strong management whilst providing transparency and value for money to the owners. The main objectives being:

· To ensure each Level 2 community has a positive cash flow each year

· To build reserves to establish a 10 year asset maintenance and replacement scheme

· To reduce debtors to 5% of current years income

· To demonstrate value for money of community fees to owners by producing information which gives clarity and comparisons

· To ensure L2 presidents and Vice Presidents understand and manage their budgets, reserves, cash flow and debtors with quarterly review sessions of key financial indicators with an appointed L1 Board member and Admiburgos

The Finance Committee next steps are to set up regular meetings, produce historic income and expenditure summaries for Urban Entity and all Level 2s, produce a scorecard for all 5 areas of the resort including UE commencing in June, External benchmarking against other resorts to be examined.

Admiburgos produced a report that was based on the original 3 year Adminstration project presented in 2017. It includes:

-Implement a Transparency Committee together with the Organisation committee to regulate the way of communicating between the different levels of Presidents and owners.

-More involvement of keyholders

-Implement insurance protocol

-The Urban Entity needs to carry out its mandatory annual audit due to it being a Public Entity. The other committees are also obliged to do this by express mandate from the AGM of owners.

-The new security company is not providing the security and experience we expected. We hope that they will improve their performance in order to adapt to the conditions and requirements of the Resort. It is time to start demanding that they comply with what was agreed in the contract with this company. In addition, we should implement a general protocol for security as planned.

- Gardening and water consumption: Implementation of the irrigation water reduction project via the installation of precision nozzles and control of their use throughout the resort. We should implement this as soon as possible.

- Start studying landscape transformation for the inner ring. A long term project will be promoted to modify / adapt gardening on the inner ring along the same lines as those for the outer ring.

- Resolve the situation with the boundaries for the lake on La Isla: The Council has undertaken to resolve this issue. At the same time, all the exposed and committed areas of the Urban Entity will be proceeded to be fenced, such as the irrigation pumping system.

- Campaign for census registration on the resort. We will start work on this campaign with the new council after the elections this year, if this is deemed appropriate by the Management Board.

- Long term urbanistic agreement with the Town Hall for the maintenance and improvement of the Urban Entity. The Town Hall must in the next few years improve and extend its monetary contributions to improvements and developments on Condado de Alhama. This will be discussed with the new administration and a 4 year agreement proposal will be the objective.

Issues to be considered by Admiburgos in the future are the possibility of:

- Yearly early payment discounts on Community fees

- Better agreements and relations with the Town hall

- Managing calendars for all related meetings for all Level1-L3 and calendars of personnel

- Publicise availability of Community Charge statements on the website by safe logging in mechanisms

The latest in Security is that Presidents have ownership and can access the control system. This will facilitate monitoring of vehicles.

Internet & TV information regarding a changeover from Co- axil to Fibre Optic will be given to owners at next AGM

Gardening. Work on the Outer Ring is currently being done and plans are being made for the Inner Ring to save money. The efficiency of irrigation needs to be investigated and monitored. Future gardening contracts will contribute towards our assets

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