Being an HOA board member is tough work. Firstly, there’s the constant deluge of things that need doing, then the pressure of maintaining resident happiness—and, finally, dealing with complaints from your neighborhood when you’re doing nothing but your best!
Indeed, even if you’re on top of your property management game, you’ll inevitably encounter criticism as a board member. But luckily, it’s how you deal with it that determines the outcome, not the fact that it happened in the first place. Below, Gassen, your local property management company of choice, discusses how to accept criticism as a board member and use it to better yourself and your community.
Assess the Frequency and Nature of Specific Complaints
While all resident critiques are worth listening to and taking action to remedy, you must understand how much weight to give each of them—or you’ll drown in a flood of self-loathing, which gets nobody anywhere! As a rule of thumb, the more complaints you get about a specific topic or behavior, the more it bothers residents. A one-off error on your part, for example, doesn’t deserve as much consideration as something that has come up time and time again.
It’s easy to remember when you’re not facing criticism, but difficult when you are—so it, of course, bears mentioning.
Demonstrate to the Resident That you Have Heard Them
The job of an HOA board member is to take action on the part of the residents whom they represent, but you can’t do that unless you practice active listening skills. Even if you think a resident is objectively unfounded in their concerns, hearing them out and trying to find common ground will do wonders to diffuse the situation.
Keep in mind that just because you’re listening doesn’t mean you have to negatively internalize everything that’s said; you can pick and choose what parts of the critique to act on. The requirement, though, is that you honestly consider each of them.
Give Actionable Results
Lip service is all too common in the HOA industry, so take care that your board doesn’t become all talk and no action! If, for example, residents complain of communication difficulties, you may invest in online property management services to open up new conversation avenues. If they are concerned about the lack of amenities, hire accounting property management to get your finances in order so that you can begin to afford new ones.
Though the results sometimes won’t be immediate, you need to use criticism to steer your behavior, or you risk being seen as negligent and uncaring.
Looking for Local Property Management That Goes Above and Beyond? Contact Gassen Today
Our property management company is filled with just the skilled staff you need to keep your neighborhood shining. Reach our Eden Prairie office today at 952-922-5575.