The foundation of a good relationship is communication. And that also holds true for HOAs and community management companies, regardless of whether we’re talking about a high-rise or a master-planned community.
As important as communication is, some California community management companies are better at it than others. Here’s a list of things your company should be doing to ensure good communication with your community.
1. Making itself available
Let’s face it: If something’s going to go wrong at your community, it’s probably not going to happen during business hours. That’s just Murphy’s Law. For this reason, the best companies offer 24/7 hotlines as part of their HOA management services. So when that water heater ruptures at 3 a.m., there’s always someone there to get started on a solution.
2. Offering useful technology
You look to your community management company for solutions, and technology that facilitates communication should definitely be part of that mix. The right technology enables you to perform important functions with a simple click or tap rather than a phone call.
By way of example, FirstService Residential offers a proprietary platform, FSRConnect. For board members, this tool provides ways to access important documents like reports, payments, budgets, maintenance requests, and meeting minutes. Residents enjoy benefits like amenity booking, valet contact, and package tracking. The platform enables unprecedented transparency between HOAs and community management companies since all communications are logged and tracked.
3. Providing emergency systems
Whether it’s an earthquake in the Bay Area or a wildfire in Orange County, if an emergency situation should arise, it’s important for residents to receive important information in an instant. Look for a community management company with emergency systems already in place. FirstService Residential offers a tool called “Resident Alert” in the FSRConnect portal. This feature sends real-time updates via email and phone if disasters arise.
4. Making complex documents easier to read
Few things are less appealing than sitting down to read the fine print of a contract. Your community management company should do the heavy lifting for you by providing an easy-to-digest contract summary. The summary should come complete with a breakdown of all the essential information including costs, service details, dates of expiration, and renewal details.
5. Asking for feedback
The most important conversation your community management company can have with you begins with the question “How are we doing?” Feedback should be formalized so you know how the company is using this feedback. For instance, FirstService Residential implements what’s called the “Net Promoter Score” system to get annual feedback from its client boards. The company is also the first in the industry to develop a scorecard system to facilitate ongoing customer service improvements.