Talking the Talk: Communication Between Communities and Community Management Companies
The success of any relationship depends on one thing: communication. Same goes for the relationship between homeowners’ associations (HOAs) and their community management company.
But it’s not always as easy as it sounds. Different people have diverse ways of communicating, including the means by which they choose to do so. To that end, the best community management company will use many different tools and channels to keep in touch with their client communities. The result? A better connection, in every sense of the word. Whether it’s a matter of working with neighborhoods or they’re involved in high-rise management, here’s a look at some of the ways the best community management companies communicate.
Breakdowns and outages never take a holiday. In fact, it seems like a ruptured water heater or a leaking roof will always strike at a time other than standard business hours. So what happens when your community manager is the clock-watching, nine-to-five type? Nothing good, that’s for sure. Great HOA management means keeping the same schedule mishaps do: 24/7. A good example is FirstService Residential, Nevada’s community management leader – and its 24/7/365 Customer Care Center, a dedicated call line where emergencies are addressed right away by a real person. After all, peace of mind should never take a moment off.
A word and a handshake are great, but sometimes it takes technology to do the trick. That’s why excellent community management means providing forward-thinking ways to communicate. One example is a dedicated online portal accessible via laptop or any smart device. There are some great examples of this technology already at work – many Nevada homeowners’ associations access FirstService Residential Connect™, proprietary software developed by FirstService Residential. This tool is available to both board members and residents. For board members, it’s a quick and easy connection to reports, budgets, payments, work orders, minutes and maintenance requests. Residents can enjoy fingertip access to capabilities such as reviewing association documents, paying assessments, tracking account information and more.
If this sounds like going above and beyond for HOA management, that’s because it is. When disasters arise, the more communication tools to get warnings out the better. That’s why FirstService Residential developed the Resident Alert tool – an innovation that gives real-time updates during emergencies, delivered right to email inboxes or via audio message or text to a telephone.
Making sense of contracts.
Let’s face it: a contract is pretty dense reading. Yet it’s a pretty big part of the community management industry. But who has time to wade through all of that legal jargon? That’s where a great HOA management company comes in. The best ones will give you a sort of Cliffs Notes to your contracts, such as a spreadsheet that shows costs, how frequently you enjoy service from the vendor, the scopes of work, and breakdowns of expiration and renewal dates.
You’ll know you’ve found the right management company if they do as much listening as talking. Part of that is customer satisfaction surveys that let them know how you think they’re doing. This kind of feedback is essential to improved performance – for instance, FirstService Residential uses a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey of its client board members every year to get a better understanding of customer satisfaction.
Great community management takes great communication, too. And great communication takes a multitude of tools and channels. Contact FirstService Residential, Nevada’s leading HOA management company, to find out how they keep in touch with their customers.