Talking the Talk: Communication Between Communities and Property Management Companies
The relationship between a community and its property management company is like most relationships in your life: its success hinges on communication.
And, just like those other relationships, communication can sometimes present challenges. That’s why a good property management company will engage with you using a variety of tools and communication channels. This will ensure clarity in every interaction – which makes for a happier relationship all around. Here are some ways your property management company should be connecting with you.
Ever notice how a water heater never seems to rupture during business hours? Or how a roof leak always seems to strike at the worst possible time? Challenges and maintenance issues never take a holiday, and that means your property management company should always be on call, too. Your company should provide you with a 24/7 hotline that you can call in case of emergencies.
Forward-thinking property management firms may even provide you with tech-based tools that give you and your neighbors exclusive communication portals via laptop, tablet or smartphone device. These portals can act as repositories for meeting minutes, account information, association financials, calendars, documents, newsletters and more. One great example is FirstService Residential Connect, proprietary software developed by FirstService Residential, which provides valuable communication capabilities for both board members and community members. That means a single tool that can enable everything from board member access to reports, budgets, payments, work orders, minutes, and maintenance requests to capabilities for residents such as booking amenities, contacting the valet, tracking packages, managing their account and more.
- Alert Services.
When emergencies like hurricanes, tornadoes or other disasters arise, it’s prudent to have a ready-made tool that enables you to communicate with your residents. The best property management company will help you prepare for these scenarios proactively. This is future-forward thinking that’s available now, specifically through ResidentAlert by FirstService Residential’s FirstService Residential Connect tool. ResidentAlert makes possible real-time, immediate updates during emergencies that arrive in residents’ email inboxes or by an audio message to their phones.
- Contract Summaries.
Reading a contract is nobody’s idea of a good time. Yet understanding them is essential to a healthy relationship with your property management company and the entities that serve your community. That’s why the best firms will provide you with a contract review – an analysis of your vendor contracts that breaks down and examines all of the essential information needed. This can take shape as an easy-to-read spreadsheet, complete with costs, frequencies of services and dates for expirations and renewals.
- Customer Satisfaction Surveys.
Hey, good communication is a two-way street, right? Beyond providing your association with documents and reports, a great property management company will ask you for your feedback as well. This will help the company align their processes and practices with your expectations.