Is your HOA board struggling to streamline and improve communication? The way your board communicates with your HOA management company is especially important. If you find you’re not able to connect with your management partners, there may be confusion and frustration. You’ll only create additional work for each other.
Your homeowners will also suffer when communication isn’t great.
Whether it’s strategizing for your next annual meeting, working out delinquent homeowners and what they owe, or coordinating preventative maintenance, you need communication with your HOA management company that’s open, transparent, and easy to understand.
Good communication leads to good results for your community. Make sure you’re sharing your expectations with your management company around communication. And remember that it goes both ways. As a board, you also need to be responsive when your HOA management company is trying to get your attention or implement something that you need.
We believe success is only possible with excellent communication. Here’s how to streamline communication between HOA boards and HOA management.
Sharing Information Regularly
As an HOA board, you need to know what’s going on in your community.
With a solid property management partner in place, you may not feel the need to ask a lot of questions or dig for a lot of information. You’re assuming that your management team is taking care of homeowner needs and managing those relationships so you don’t have to.
That’s one of the benefits of working with a management company. However, you still want to know what’s going on in the community. You need to know when homes are selling, new residents are moving in, and violations are occurring. Make sure you’re checking in with your management team from time to time to get an update on how things look in your community. Perhaps it’s a brief morning meeting or a weekly check-in. Work out a system where you’re sharing information on a regular, formal and informal basis.
Even more important is the sharing of information with your HOA members. Your homeowners need to have an idea of what’s going on at the board level and throughout their community.
Communication and information sharing leads to better ROI for your HOA and higher satisfaction among your residents.
Put Together a System for Making Decisions
If a maintenance emergency occurs and your management company responds right away, that’s great.
It’s not so great if they neglect to tell you about it, however.
You’ll need to work out a system of communication when emergencies occur. You also need to know how decisions are made when work needs to be done or emergencies occur. If there’s a water main break in the neighborhood, do you want your property managers to have the authority to take care of any repairs that are needed, or does the board need to give the green light?
During emergencies, you should be able to count on your property managers to mitigate the damage, get the necessary vendors out there, and ensure your community, homeowners, and properties are safe.
Establish who makes the decisions and takes the action during any sequence of events, especially when we’re talking about maintenance emergencies. Who will decide how and when to escalate delinquencies on dues or assessments?
Put a process in place. You need to know how the issue will be communicated, who needs to be part of the discussion, and ultimately how a decision should be reached.
Be prepared to respond to your HOA management company when questions need to be answered and decisions need to be made.
Tips on Better Communication between HOAs and HOA Management Companies
When you’re working with a high-quality HOA property management company, you can count on them to lead the way when it comes to good communication practices. Here’s how you can do your part in prioritizing good communication:
- Keep your contact information up to date so your management company can reach you when necessary.
- Be willing to communicate in a multitude of ways. Phone calls are a good way to keep in touch, and you might also want to schedule in-person meetings. If you’re working with a virtual HOA management company, you’ll want to be comfortable with Zoom calls, FaceTime videos, and other online systems of communication.
- Are you working with a management company that has an online portal? If so, check in with your online portal once in a while so you aren’t surprised by information your management company shares with you.
- Talk to your management company about your ongoing community. This should be an ongoing conversation so everyone is on the same page in terms of priorities and resources
Communicating with the Community
When the community is well-informed, the HOA board is doing its job.
Some of the ways your HOA management company can help you communicate better with your homeowners are here:
- Try a newsletter. A printed newsletter may seem old school, but many people still prefer to have something in hand. It’s also useful when an entire household needs to reference information in that newsletter. It can be affixed to the refrigerator in the kitchen or kept in a communal location. Digital newsletters that are emailed are also an excellent communication tool. It will save on print and postage costs, and distribution is fairly easy. Online services are available and you can even personalize your emailed newsletters. Another benefit to using email is that you can send last-minute information or reminders, unlike a printed newsletter, which will take time to plan, print, and distribute.
- Update your HOA website. Your homeowners will need a place to go if they have a question, and that starting point will likely be your website. Make sure it’s designed to be user-friendly and supportive. Effective HOA websites will engage with the homeowners who visit. It’s a great way to provide real-time information to association members. You can invite homeowners to leave feedback or to get in touch if they need more information about something. You can also provide contact information for specific board members and committee chairs who may be more knowledgeable about specific areas.
Don’t let communication falter. Invest in communication tools and express to your HOA management company how seriously you take it.
Contact us at Hill & Co. so we can tell you more about the HOA services we provide in California for HOA boards and community associations just like yours. We can deliver full-service management or virtual management if you’re looking for something more flexible and cost-effective.