Get ready for the spring condo owners expo!

It’s that time of year.  The big annual spring condo expo is coming up this week.  I guess if you want to be fancy you can use the official title, “The Cooperator Expo 2016 Chicagoland: Everything Condo, HOA & Co-Op.”  Organizers bill it as “a must-attend for all board members, property managers, condo, HOA & co-op decision makers.”  After having attended last year’s fall expo held at Navy Pier I would definitely agree.  The expo offers visitors the opportunity to see more than 150 exhibitors, attend educational seminars, get free advice from experts and network with peers in the industry.

It’s held twice a year in Chicago, once in spring and once in fall.  This time it‘ll be held at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont on Wednesday, May 18 from 10am-4:30pm.  Registration is FREE.  Organizers have also arranged for free parking for attendees.  When you register at, use the VIP Code: CPark.  Valet parking is located at the main entrance drop off.

I have no experience with owning or renting out condos.  I attended last year’s expo partly to see if I would like to expand my investing portfolio and partly out of pure curiosity.  Since then, I’ve received some great mailings and emails with ideas to even help me with my non-condo rental properties.  I can only imagine how much these resources would help a rental condo investor or even someone who owns a condo simply for personal use.  The Chicagoland Cooperator has been sending me great information through their monthly newspaper, The Chicagoland Cooperator, and their Official 2015 Directory of Condo and HOA Services.  A lot of it would be helpful to the owner of any type of rental property.

For example, I had no idea that a company exists to provide the service of restoring (versus replacing) a damaged sidewalk.  Let’s say you have a length of older sidewalk in front of your property.  It’s generally in good condition except for one square which is sinking at one corner, causing the opposite corner to rise.  This causes a dangerous double tripping hazard.

I used to think the only budget-friendly solution was to break up and re-pour that one square.  This solves the tripping hazard, but it creates an unsightly patchwork between the old and the new concrete.  And I’m sure you know that you marry new concrete.  Actually, it lasts a lot longer than most marriages.  You would be stuck with that ugly business until beyond the time when your grandkids drive their friends past the property and proudly say, “This is one of the first buildings my family purchased to build our massive real estate empire.”  Then more quietly they would add, “Pay no attention to the ugly patchwork sidewalk though.”

The other, higher-budget option would be to break up and repair a much longer section to make the repair less obvious.  But who has the extra money to replace perfectly good sidewalks?  If you do, shoot me an email.  I would like to propose that you fund a great grilled shrimp-flavored chewing gum venture I heard about.

I learned at the expo about a company which will come in and lift the one uneven square while leaving it intact.  They will then level and support the foundation underneath the square before lowering it back in place.  How cool is that?!!  Forgive me.  I’m such a nerd about learning the mechanics of things and finding alternative solutions to problems.  Not only does this eliminate the tripping hazard and preserve the uniformity of the sidewalk, it SAVES YOU MONEY.

I’m not a paid endorser nor do I have any connection to the Cooperator organization, their newsletter The Chicagoland Cooperator or the concrete repair company.  I just think this is some really great and useful information for rental property owners and I like to do what I can to make our lives easier.  I’m looking forward to attending the expo on Wednesday.  If you see me dragging around a big bag of useful information, make sure to say “hello.”

The Cooperator has scheduled other expos this year for New York, New Jersey, New England, South Florida and Western/Central Florida.  If you know condo investors or owners in those areas, do them a favor and pass this information on.


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