The very point of HOA management is to give residents a voice regarding what goes on in their neighborhoods, and the board can—and definitely should—take the opinions of those it oversees into account when implementing bylaws or handling disputes. Running an HOA neighborhood is a community effort, and the board relies on the opinions of that community being voiced to make decisions that reflect its wants and needs.
But what happens when the community is failing to speak up?
There could be many reasons for this—stressful times, inaccessible communication tools, or even disenchantment with or indifference toward the community or board. As implied above, though, the board can’t fix any of these issues without identifying them. The question then becomes how said board goes about getting a quiet community to open up about the reasons for their behavior. While this can seem daunting, Gassen, an Eden Prairie provider of property management services and accounting property management, has some tips below.
Rule Number 1: Don’t Create The Wrong Problem
While it can be very easy to jump to self-blame and assume the community just doesn’t like the board, any number of things can affect the amount of feedback your board receives. For example, your community might simply find your online property management tools difficult to use, but you’ll never struggle with this with Gassen around to help. Leave no stone unturned in your investigations:
● Try to reach community members on as many platforms as you can | This might tell you if they are struggling with a particular communication method. For example, some residents might not be tech-savvy and struggle to understand how online forms work.
● Ask yourself if your feedback requests are too detailed | For example, while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking detailed feedback, not many people have the time to sit down and fill out a form for an hour. If you’re seeking feedback through similar methods, work to make your writing succinct and involve lots of multiple-choice questions. You don’t want to make your residents feel like they’re taking an extensive exam!
● Remind people that negative feedback is still valid feedback | While nobody likes it when others are overly blunt, areas of your HOA that need improvement still deserve to be noted—all boards and communities have them, after all. Provide a space for your residents to air these views as well as to express what you’re doing well.
Need Help Getting Your Community Back on Track? Call Gassen Now
With our years of expertise, we’d be proud to be your community communication solution. Give us a call now at 952-922-5575.