Every NYC buyer must make the decision whether or not they want to live in a condo or co-op. If you want to go with a co-op, then understand that there is a process involved. A big process. With lots of steps. Lots of paperwork. But the last step in the process can sometimes be the most frustrating (and scary!)…The board interview. (cue Jaws theme song)
If you’ve gotten this far though, please remember that it’s a great sign. It means that the board feels your paperwork was sufficient and now they want to get to know you better as a person. So here’s a few tips of the trade that we advise our clients before the big day:
1. Make sure you know the time and location before the day of the interview. Nothing could be worse than showing up at the wrong location or arriving late.
2. Answer only the questions that are given to you. No need to add extraneous information that they have not queried.
3. Smile! Above all, these people will be sharing the elevator, mail room, etc with you — they want to know that you will be a good neighbor.
4. Dress like a job interview. Try to be as “put together” as possible. Nobody wants a messy neighbor.
5. If it comes up, try to express any long term plans to stay in the apartment. Absolutely do not mention anything about wanting to sublet or leaving the apartment vacant for too long. Even if it’s a pied-a-terre, they want to know that you will be using it as a weekend residence as opposed to a hotel.
6. If it pertains to you, talk about your stability of career, family ties, etc. Do NOT mention if you know anyone in the building unless you are sure everyone loves them. (Being friends with the neighbor who takes out his garbage in the nude won’t do you any good.)
7. Do NOT mention anything that would infer you would be coming into/out of the building late at night or hosting parties.
8. Do NOT bring a gift or flowers.
9. Do NOT tell them you are a smoker, and if you are, please do not smoke before the meeting. (although you might want one afterwards!)
10. Try not to ask too many questions. You are the one being interviewed.
11. Don’t be offended if they ask you personal questions. This is par for the course and unfortunately part of the process. Answer these questions with direct responses and try not to elaborate too much.
12. It’s the 21st century, so please realize that the board members will likely google you either before or after the interview, so it’s important to take a quick look at what the public can see on your twitter/FB/instagram accounts. Make sure that whatever you are telling them about your job, living situation, etc matches up with what they can find online. (aka take down any pictures of you hugging a 200-lb pitbull)
13. Board interviews can range from exchanging simple niceties to an all-out inquisition. The best policy is to expect the worst, but hope for the best. That way there are no surprises!
14. Be yourself, be polite and don’t forget to mention how much you love the apartment and want to live in the building!
Best of luck!