One of the nicest things about residential communities is that they feature a diverse collection of personalities and opinions. Of course, this can also be one of the biggest challenges, particularly for association managers. In addition to their mountain of other responsibilities, community managers face the monumental task of keeping a melting pot of temperaments happy, all at the same time.
The most effective way to do this is to identify the most common expectations and address them proactively. To get you started, we’ve narrowed down our top three suggestions below.
Bridge the Gap Between Homeowners and Board Members
As the liaison between homeowners and board members, community association managers have the unique advantage of being “in the know” with both sides. As such, you are privy to information about residents that the board might otherwise not know and are also involved in decisions and changes that could impact homeowners.
In your role as this intermediary, you have the opportunity to establish and nurture a positive relationship between both parties. There are a number of ways you can accomplish this and demonstrate the value you bring to the table.
For instance, you could contact new homeowners to welcome them, introduce yourself and explain your role. Likewise, you can attend board meetings and be a vocal participant, using the opportunity to remind everyone of your role and how you are there to assist them.
Be Generous with Your Knowledge and Expertise
If you’ve served as a community association manager for a while, you’ve probably amassed a great deal of experience over that time. You’ve seen it all – the good, the bad and the ugly – and this provides you with valuable perspective.
Tap into this knowledge and share it freely with homeowners and board members alike. Offer suggestions and ideas. Provide advice on what to avoid and draw from your background to help develop best practices. For instance, when a conflict arises, offer guidance based on similar situations you’ve personally navigated in the past.
Having this inside scoop can make you an invaluable resource and help you proactively prevent issues from occurring.
Make Yourself Available
As an agent of the community association, it is your duty to serve both the homeowners and the board. You simply cannot keep these parties happy if you are not readily available for them if and when they need your services.
To eliminate frustration and keep everyone satisfied, make sure you and your company are easy to contact. We’re not saying you have to be on call 24/7, but it’s more than reasonable for you to be easily reachable any time during regular business hours.
Yes, you’re busy. But if you ignore texts and emails or let calls go to voicemail without following up in a timely manner, people won’t feel as though they’re adequately being represented, and unrest will be inevitable. Don’t have an answer? No problem. Let them know, do some research and get back to them.
And don’t be afraid to use technology to your advantage. With community association management software, you can leverage tools like online portals to facilitate self-service support. Homeowners and board members will enjoy instant access to their community information at their fingertips, often enabling them to find the answers they need without having to involve you. This will save you time while also maximizing satisfaction. That’s what we call a win-win!