Skilled homeowner board communication takes more than new rules postings or weekly event updates. Your associations’ boards and residents depend on clear, consistent, two-way information. Board members service their residents better with a proactive commitment to keeping them informed. After all, miscommunication between homeowner boards and residents can spell trouble for the communities you manage, and ultimately your growing business.
Your board members should connect individually with their residents to demonstrate that people who personally care about them are leading their associations. Communication works best when delivered through various methods. You and your company need to ensure that homeowners have multiple opportunities to access and receive information.
Effective communication can help circumvent problems and deepen community ties. The more the associations’ residents feel heard and taken care of, the less likely they are to default on fees or want to move. With residents and association boards in harmony, your company can sidestep non-value added activities and focus on increasing profits and portfolio expansion.
For exceptional homeowner experience, board satisfaction, and association retention, your company should not merely satisfy your associations’ needs but exceed their expectations.
Encourage Your Boards to Be Transparent and Accessible
To maintain a smooth-running business, your boards should communicate to homeowners openly, often, and honestly. Speaking effectively to other board members and homeowners is essential. Therefore, each of your boards should nurture a communication strategy containing, minimally, some of the following items:
- Updating homeowners about ongoing board projects and progress
- Announce meeting agendas to residents well in advance, encouraging attendance
- Supplying homeowners with information about matters relevant to them and how the board plans to solve those issues
- Meeting minutes posted promptly
- Providing a communication method for community residents to reach board members outside of meetings
Furthermore, as part of their communication strategy, encourage your boards to decide on a:
- Point of contact — This helps community members understand where they turn first if they have a comment, question, or concern. If any of your boards lack an effective workflow, have them take some time at their next meeting to sketch one out. Once the point of contact workflow has been established, ensure it is available on the board’s website.
- Consistent voice — It is crucial that your boards each communicate with their homeowners with a singular voice. By agreeing on how to address issues and relay information, your boards can constructively interact with their communities. This voice should be consistent throughout their associations’ messaging, including websites, texts, and emails.
- Method of handling issues — At some point, there may come a time where your associations’ guidelines and bylaws conflict with an individual’s wants. When enforcing the rules, remind your board members to stay calm and remember they are working with the homeowner for a common interest. Properly document communications and phone calls to protect the association against legal actions.
For sizeable associations, committees comprised of resident volunteers can help the board manage its responsibilities while streamlining effective communication. Maintenance, social, newsletter, and welcome committees, for example, can take on tasks and serve as the point of contact for discussions related to their respective area.
Finally, provide your board members with the right software tools to implement their communication strategies.
Homeowner Board Communications and Management Tools
In 2019, the average HOA in the United States served over 200 residents in 76 housing units. As the owner or CEO of an association management company, your portfolio may contain dozens of HOAs and COAs this size.
Communicating with significant and potentially diverse groups of homeowners can be difficult. For your boards to form cohesive communities and effectively reach each resident, they need association management software that incorporates:
- Homeowner portals — Online portals give residents access to real-time communications and information. They increase financial transparency by providing gateways to account details like online payments, balance due, ACC correspondence, work-order status, and more.
- Document access — Provide homeowners and board members with instant access to an organized and secure database of association documents. These may include CC&Rs, bylaws, board meeting agendas or minutes, and community financial reports.
- Heightened board, homeowners, and manager communication — Dialogue among all parties is crucial to homeowner satisfaction and functioning businesses. Association software can give residents a means to submit questions and receive timely responses from management and board members.
- A centralized management platform — Organized workflows empower your managers and board to respond effectively to homeowner issues that could otherwise fall through the cracks.
- A multichannel communication platform — Your association boards should have access to multiple communication methods to ensure they reach every homeowner with updates. Methods include email, broadcast text messaging, and mobile apps. Residents are more likely to receive and respond to messages sent via their preferred method.
- A branded website — Your association management software should incorporate fully customizable websites for each association in your portfolio. Branded and individualized websites enhance community engagement and cohesiveness. This leads to improved association satisfaction and retention.
- Community message boards — Create a space where homeowners and board members can share news and discuss ideas. This serves to strengthen the sense of community and maintain ongoing communication.
A powerful cloud-based association management platform can increase transparency, improve communication, and build trust between your boards and homeowners. Smoother running HOAs and COAs makes it easier for your company to focus on next-level success.