The key to an effective homeowners association is top-notch communication. That includes correspondence between community members, board members, your homeowners association management company, and vendors.
Your whole association could end up suffering if communication is not effective, especially in board reports and letters between members. Although formal writing is pretty much dead in certain forms of communication, it is still one of the best approaches when working with others on your board to summarize information.
Here are some tips for improving the quality of your HOA’s reports, letters, and record keeping:
Keep it to-the-point.
The person reading the report shouldn’t have a lot of trouble following it. If you’re dealing with longer content, think about adding a table of contents and page numbers. And always keep supporting documentation in one place for easy access. If the document is being transmitted electronically, add anchors that can be clicked to go to each section.
Ask for feedback.
Ask each meeting attendee to ask any clarifying questions if they don’t understand something when a report is presented. Check in a few times to make sure everyone is following along properly. And ask questions to make sure each person is on the same page.
Focus on your main topic.
To make sure a report doesn’t get off topic, focus on one main idea in each document. If you’re working with a topic that must be more complex, such as board meeting minutes of a development project with several phases, add sub sections to make filtering through information easy and less confusing. Above all, you want the message to be clear and easy to read.
There is always a chance that some people will struggle to understand certain documents, especially if they are complex. Offer special training and support for anyone who needs it. Property management companies like Cedar also offer special training services.