Healthy communications between you, the homeowner, and your HOA management company is vital to well-being of your home, the building facility and your community of neighbors. Not only does regular, open and honest updates between HOA management and condo owners ensure accountability and that issues are being addressed, but it also works in everyone’s best interests by enhancing the safety and security of the community.
The two key factors to improving communication between HOA Management and homeowners are transparency and consistency. Promptly responding to requests and holding open meetings are great ways to build and maintain trust, while routine updates can be a proactive way to resolve situations before they come to a head.
Just like any working relationship, regular communication between homeowners and their HOA management company helps to keep everyone on the same page, eliminate confusion, minimize conflict and save money. But, it’s not just the property manager or condo board’s responsibility to act as the go-between for all communications, it’s up to you too!
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How Homeowners & Condo Boards Can Improve Communications with HOA Management
As a homeowner in a condo community or building, it’s your duty to keep open channels of communication with your HOA management company. If you want your voice to be heard when there’s a problem, it’s in your best interest to develop this relationship and treat your HOA manager with respect.
A few ways that you, and your condo board, can improve communications with your HOA management company and ensure that your requests are taken seriously and prioritized accordingly include:
- Promptly reporting unit and building maintenance issues and especially emergency requests in a timely manner
- Using the preferred communications methods as suggested by your HOA management team. By using such tools you can help streamline efforts and more easily get in touch with the correct person about your particular inquiry or concern.
- Putting together an agenda for meetings and prioritizing your to-dos and concerns. Such efforts will help your HOA manager handle the most pressing issues first and can help everyone align their expectations as far as prioritization of maintenance requests and other work is concerned.
- Providing as much detail as possible about existing dilemmas or desires. Without a solid understanding of your requests, there is more room for misunderstandings. When you want to make something happen, the more information you can share, the more likely your expectations will be met.
- Understanding the responsibilities of your HOA management company. Not all responsibilities relating to the condo community are the responsibility of your HOA manager, so better understanding when to reach out to specific vendors or managers can improve communications efficiencies.
How HOA Management Can Improve Communications with Homeowners & Condo Boards
Just like you, HOA management companies are also responsible for timely responses to inquiries. In addition, they must work to make numerous parties happy, even when not everyone is not in agreement about a particular project, disturbance or expenditure tied to the property.
At GNP Realty, we adhere to the following strategies to ensure good communication between HOA managers, condo boards, and individual homeowners.
- Providing straightforward methods for getting in touch. A directory outlining who to call for what and when, along with various methods of contact, including a decision tree for how to handle specific problems, can empower the homeowner to quickly and efficiently handle requests. Ensure these contact lists are accurate and up to date. The last thing you want is homeowners (or tenants) repeatedly contacting the wrong person, or getting no response to their calls or emails because they were sent to someone who no longer works for the HOA.
- Utilizing a Resident Web Portal. A web portal provides a central location for all communications with the HOA. This improves communication and transparency, as homeowners can access information and communicate with the HOA at any time. A web portal can also provide homeowners with access to community resources, such as calendars, newsletters, governing documents, meeting minutes and financial reports. Some portals also allow homeowners to pay their dues online, making it easier and more convenient to manage their financial obligations.
- Responding to tenant inquiries and requests with urgency. This shows the condo community that their requests are valid and important. When communications are ignored or take a long time, tensions can rise and can develop into distrust and disrespect over time. Prompt and relevant communication helps streamline work processes, such as receiving and responding to homeowner requests and managing maintenance requests. This can help the HOA operate more efficiently and effectively.
- Limiting the volume of emails to homeowners. HOAs should respect homeowners’ time by limiting their communication to important matters that concern the community as a whole. Additionally, sending too many emails to homeowners can be perceived as spam, causing residents to ignore or delete emails from the HOA. By limiting emails to essential matters, HOAs can improve the effectiveness of their communication by focusing on critical issues and ensuring that messages are received and acted upon.
- Using simple language and easy-to-read formatting. By focusing on essential matters and being as succinct as possible, HOAs can improve the effectiveness of their communication and ensure that messages are easily understood and acted upon.
- Keeping homeowners in the know about scheduled work in common areas so they are aware of any inconveniences, additional noise or debris. These updates are also important to remind the community about how their dues are being spent, such as improvements to the laundry facilities, pool, parking lot, hallways, security, etc.
- Making sure that any disruption to utilities is alerted to the community as far in advance as possible so that people have time to make alternate arrangements and do not feel caught off guard.
- Truly listening to tenants, following through on requests and working to solve issues that are in the best interest of homeowners and the entire condo community.
At GNP Realty, we value direct and timely communication with the homeowners living in our managed condos. Through this ongoing relationship, we endeavor to provide services that exceed your expectations and work effectively to enhance the livability of your community.