How Do You Communicate?


During our busy days and evenings, we try to fill the hours with as much as possible to sustain our business and personal lives. Our companies have provided us with tools to produce reports, statements, formats for resolutions, rules and regulations, newsletters and notices for violations. It is up to us to use these tools, as well as our communication skills, to be successful in our business lives.

Communication is a Critical Responsibility

Communication between the board members and the Community Association Manager becomes our critical responsibility. In today's society most of our managers and clients are looking for instant results and responses. Recently a manager that was defending themselves against an issue that was brought to a senior management's attention said "Well, I did tell them; I emailed the board". After a further review of the issue, it was determined that one director had a computer that wasn't working and one director was new to the Board and his email address was wrong. Additionally, the president was on vacation and was only available by phone. In this manager's haste to inform the board, the manager did not take enough time to realize that, although his intentions were good, he failed to communicate the issue to the board. Time was wasted and the manager's ability was questioned. The lesson learned was there are many forms of communication and a manager must determine which form of communication works for each board member.

In our firm, the boards of directors commonly consist of professionals who are usually inclined to use email and prefer that to a phone call that may interrupt their work day. Normal mail is usually much too slow for this type of board member and reaching them by phone is next to impossible during a work day. Therefore, four of your five board members will be involved in an issue if you are using email. But then what happens to the seasoned board member who has been around for a number of years and knows the members, the buildings and grounds, the irrigation, etc., better than anyone else but doesn't own a computer? He would rather be outside picking up the debris after the trash company leaves. Are you keeping him informed and are you using his knowledge? Are you taking the time to place a phone call and/or leave a message to keep him "in the loop"? It is the manager's responsibility to communicate with the entire board. An alliance with one or two directors often results in "sudden death" to the manager and management company when those directors are no longer on the board.

In our busy days we must take time to determine what the best method of communication with our associations is. Is it email? What happens when the chain gets so long everyone has forgotten what started the communication in the first place? Do you pick up the phone; do you go to the site and talk to members in person? Would this communication be better on paper so your members can see what you are trying to communicate? Managers must determine the make up of each board and association and determine what will be the best way to keep this board and association aware of the business of their community association corporation.


Source: Association Times
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