Communication is an essential skill for every property manager. Your residents look up to you to address any emerging issues within the community. However, this is easier said than done, and many property managers often confuse others because of poor communication.
Communicating with your residents is easy with the right approach. Here are five tips to get you started:
Your residents may have a lot to say about matters affecting your community. For example, they may have viable opinions about making improvements. They may also have complaints about problems facing them individually or the community as a whole. It is important to listen to what they have to say, as their queries will help inform your response and general communications.
Listening to each resident can take up a lot of your time and energy – especially when the subject is irrelevant. As such, it is advisable to provide your residents with a platform where they can leave their messages. However, consider discussing important matters in person.
Property managers have often been accused of ignoring their residents' queries because they usually take too long to respond. Slow response times make the residents feel frustrated and undervalued. It also gives rise to new problems that could have been avoided by addressing the former queries faster.
As such, respond promptly to all incoming communications from your residents. Prioritize the most pressing matters first, but don't ignore the smaller issues lest they become complicated.
Create a Communications Framework
What do you do when you need to communicate with your residents? Do you call each resident in person, or do you convene a community meeting? More importantly, does it work to everyone's benefit and convenience?
Creating a communications framework will help streamline communication between you and your residents. For example, you can schedule communications for specific dates periodically. Additionally, you can develop a distinct procedure for making emergency and crisis communications. The idea is to make your communications organized.
Your community's communications framework should be inspired by the nature and frequency of communication with residents. It is also prudent to ask for the residents' input when developing the framework, as it affects them too.
Ensure Transparency in Your Policies
Unfortunately, many of the complications affecting communities are caused by poor communication from their property managers. For example, multiple residents will have queries about the same thing because no one understands it. This is especially common with contentious issues affecting policies such as communal infrastructure, maintenance charges, and more.
You will reduce the need for constant communication–and the number of complaints sent your way–by making your policies clear and transparent. This is especially important with issues such as leasing, billing, service requests, emergencies, and local events.
Making your policies transparent is good, but it doesn't mean that your residents' queries will cease. As such, you will also need a friendly policy to reduce residents' complaints.
Leverage the Right Tools
It is impractical and inconvenient to summon residents for community meetings every time you need to communicate. In-person meetings should be reserved for important issues affecting everyone in the community.
Smaller issues can (and should) be addressed through a range of communications tools. You have lots of options at your disposal, including making phone calls, sending text messages, or communicating via one of the many popular social media platforms. Additionally, consider setting up a communications database where residents can find answers to common issues affecting the whole community, thereby reducing the number of queries.
Communication is essential in every community setting, especially among residents of one property or HOA. It is also one of the main responsibilities of property managers. Put these tips into practice to establish better communication with your residents.
Feel free to contact us now and learn more!