Homeowners associations (HOAs) are wonderful community-building organizations. They create bonds over the universal sense of pride that comes from working together to maintain a beautiful neighborhood. However, despite the high sense of morale a good HOA management instills in its community, there undoubtedly will be times when individual families struggle with their personal lives—that is, their lives outside of HOA activities that the rest of the community might not fully see.
A death in the family, financial difficulties, mental illness… the list of potential private problems is endless. Not only are these problems distressing for the family in question, but they can also mean said family will struggle to maintain their home. Over prolonged periods of time, this can mean property values will tank. It’s crucial that an HOA neighborhood rally around a struggling family and form a much-needed emotional support system.
But, how do you comfort struggling community members without looking like you’re being nosy and overly authoritative? Gassen, an Eden Prairie provider of property management services, has the answers.
Be There, but Don’t Prod
Depending on the severity of the private problem, members of a struggling family might not be ready to chat about their woes right away. Asking them point blank what’s wrong can make a person feel pigeonholed and defensive. Instead, try the following to show a struggling HOA member that you’re safe to open up to:
● Spend time with them—with no ulterior motives. Simply going for coffee or a nice meal with the person can provide them with a much-needed break from their problems. Don’t badger them to open up, but instead, enjoy the fact that your company is able to lift their mood.
● Offer to help. If, say, at board meetings, the struggling member mentions how hard it is to find a babysitter, offer to fill in. Easing any stress you possibly can will help that person get back on their feet, and it also shows that you’re there for them.
● Contact them through online property management services. If you feel it would be healthy for the struggling community member to open up, initiate the process by messaging them online. Digital communication keeps a physical barrier between the two communicating parties; opening up through text is often easier than face-to-face. Don’t take it personally if they brush your attempts at connection off. It can be difficult to admit when something big is wrong, especially if you two aren’t close friends.
Property Management Services can Help Your Community get Back on Its Feet
Consider hiring Gassen for accounting property management or general property management services to ease some of the strain of running an HOA. To find out more about our how we can help you with your property management needs, call us today at 952-922-5575, or you can message us on our contact page.