The Importance of Proactive Communication in Community Association Management
Oftentimes, management companies and the HOAs they manage, acquire a negative reputation due to the perception that homeowners are only hearing from them when they are sending statements, late notices, or violations.
Notice is rarely taken when operations run smoothly within a community, but the moment problems arise the sentiment is far too often, “I hate my HOA!” This pattern presents a challenge for management companies who endeavor to build positive, lasting relationships within their communities and protect their own reputation in the broader market.
Proactive vs. Reactive Communication
Community association management companies are charged with many responsibilities for the communities they serve but perhaps none more important (yet undervalued) than communication. Historically, communication between management companies, boards, and homeowners has skewed heavily reactive, contributing to the often-negative perception homeowners have of their HOA. Further exacerbating this point, the communication toolsets historically available to management companies are often antiquated and highly limiting, leading to inaccurate and untimely communications.
Proactive Communication can be defined as, “creating or managing a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after the fact.” For management companies, this means anticipating issues, providing answers or clarity, and solving problems before they arise.
For example, a condominium community is having maintenance done on the water pipes servicing the third floor that will require the entire building’s water to be shut off between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm on Tuesday. Aware that this maintenance will cause an inconvenience to many residents of the community, the management company sends a series of reminders in advance so that residents are both aware and prepared.
Perhaps it is also possible to post signage alerting residents of the maintenance. In this simple scenario, getting the basics of proactive communication right pays back tenfold in the prevention of inefficient reactive communication and potential reputational damage.
Communication and Vantaca
Vantaca understands the value of effective proactive communication and the Vantaca Community Operating System makes these interactions seamless and simple. Communication is configurable to meet the unique needs of each community, and Vantaca is designed to send communications based on individual preferences, (paper or electronic) and can be controlled by the homeowner.
Proactive communication is also achieved as homeowner transparency is increased and the ability to self-serve is enabled. In Vantaca all items associated with a homeowner’s account are accessible in their homeowner portal, meaning residents can stay current with the status of ongoing items (work orders, violations, amenity reservation requests, etc.) all on their own. Homeowners also have the convenience of sending various inquiries directly through Vantaca that can be answered quickly and easily.
Vantaca also allows management companies to send broadcast emails to entire communities with a few simple clicks. These emails can be standardized via templates, and easily customized for management company review before they are sent to the community. Emails are also seamlessly embedded into Vantaca so there is no need to import or use separate disconnected methods of communication!
Finally, management companies have the option to create special “tags” when they want to communicate with specific audiences in their communities. For example, if, maintenance is being done in a condominium association only affecting “ground floor” units, an email blast can be sent that solely to “ground floor” residents. This same concept can be applied to sub-associations, billing groups, or entire portfolios.
Community management companies and the associations they serve must communicate proactively with their communities. Strategic and timely proactive communication can contribute significantly to both management company efficiency and community satisfaction.
Vantaca makes effective proactive communication simple to meet the diverse communication requirements of each unique community. Vantaca also realizes that proactive communication can be supercharged through self-service opportunities, which is why Vantaca enables homeowners to make inquiries, track progress, and have full insights into their accounts.