Communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship, especially when it comes to something as important as managing the value of your home. Your HOA board members are responsible for making important decisions that protect and preserve the value of the community. Your management company is tasked with providing sound business advice to the HOA board and performing community management duties, from holding community building events to enforcing the rules and regulations the homeowners association outlines.
Understanding the level of communication and follow through you should expect from your management company team can help you evaluate whether the company is truly serving your community’s needs and promoting harmony within the community. Look for these seven signs that your management company is providing the level of communication and follow through your HOA deserves.
- Your Management Company Offers Multiple Ways to Get in Touch and Uses Them Often
It is essential to communicate frequently through a number of different mediums. Your management company should be sensitive to the needs of various cultures, age groups, and lifestyles by offering multiple ways to reach your community management team, 24 hours a day. Besides traditional communication mediums such as mail or a phone call, your community management company should be available to you via a range of technologies, including email, text message, and web portal. Modern technology facilitates easier communication, ensuring that your management company can address your needs right away.
- Your Management Company Responds to Your Requests in a Timely Manner
Immediate response is critical when it comes to emergencies, but is also important for simple inquiries. By responding to requests from residents or the community association management board right away, your management company is letting you know that you are a valued client and your community’s needs are important to them. Response times will fluctuate depending on the circumstances, but your management company should acknowledge standard requests within 24 hours and emergencies within fifteen minutes.
- Your Management Company Offers Online Tools for Your Convenience
Gone are the days of racing to the post office to mail your HOA fees or waiting on hold by the phone to submit a maintenance request. As a courtesy to residents and HOAs, management companies should provide helpful online tools like bill pay, online billing history, maintenance requests, and educational information that can be accessed at your convenience.
- Your Community Manager Exhibits Patience, Understanding, and Other Hallmarks of Quality Customer Service
Your community manager is tasked with helping your HOA board understand the nuances of managing your most valuable asset: your community. Your community manager should be friendly and personable under all circumstances, acknowledging the importance of every issue–big and small–without losing patience. By doing so, your community manager lays the foundation for a trusting, long-lasting personal relationship between the HOA and the management company.
- Your Management Company Understands the Needs of Various Cultures
Southern California is truly is a multi-cultural region, as we are home to residents that hail from all over the United States and the world. Your management company should adapt their communication style to match the needs of the cultures that comprise your community. This might involve translating written communications into various languages, meeting with residents or the board in person instead of talking by phone, or taking the time to address specific concerns that are unique to various cultures or age groups. Should you have an on-site community management team, they should set up and participate in events geared towards the demographics in the community. This may include community building events such as a movie night or a Chinese New Years party. By exhibiting flexibility in communication style for your community’s unique cultural make-up, your management company is able to serve you better.
- Your Management Company Pro-Actively Provides Information About Your Community
In addition to a standard mailed or emailed newsletter, many companies offer websites for the communities they manage as a means of keeping residents and HOA board members informed of news and events in their community. In addition to empowering residents with important information, community newsletters and websites bolster community spirit.
- Your Management Company Follows-Through on Promises–Every Time
Your management company should do what they say they’re going to do in the time frame they say they’ll do it. Ask your management company to set clear deadlines for benchmarks and hold the company to these dates. In return, HOA board members should follow through on their own goals in a timely manner to ensure that the process isn’t slowed by either party. If a missed deadline is inevitable, each party should inform the other (both verbally and in writing) so everyone stays on the same page.
When communication breaks down between the community association management company and the HOA board, it can jeopardize the connection between the two. By maintaining clear communication and consistent follow through on promises, your community management company protects this important relationship, thus protecting the overall value and enjoyment of your community. Don’t hesitate to evaluate the level of communication your management company offers, and if it isn’t stellar, start looking elsewhere.