Whether it be between board members, between residents and the board, or between the HOA and vendors, a lack of communication can cause a myriad of problems within the community. Here are the top HOA management issues that are caused by a lack of communication, the likely reasons for this deficiency, and how HOAs can fix the problem.
What Issues Can Occur With Lack of Communication?
Angry Residents- A lack of communication can often mean that residents are in the dark about things that they have the right to know. This is especially true when it comes to finances. Homeowners have the right to know where their money is going each year in the yearly budget. Unexpected policy changes can also make homeowners angry when communication breaks down. This anger can lead to costly litigation which HOAs should always avoid.
Policy Violations– When the board is not communicating with homeowners about policy changes, this can lead to a rush of policy violations that are probably due to a lack of knowledge about the changes.
What is Causing the Lack of Communication?
Homeowners associations are unique in that the leadership team is comprised of volunteers who have many other pressing things on their plates. The members of the board have limited time and resources to manage the large amount of details for which the board is responsible. The biggest problem is that there is often simply too much to do and too few people. Utilizing an HOA Manager could be very beneficial in facilitating communication between board members.
How Can HOAs Fix the Problem?
Set Aside A Task Force for Communication- One of the best things your board can do is assign the job of communication to a specific task force within the board. This team can vary in size, but its main responsibility should be to make sure that every line of communication is open between the board, residents, and vendors. They can be responsible for posting notices, sending emails, and making phone calls to keep everyone abreast of important information.
Invest in an HOA Management Company- There may come a time when there is just too much for a volunteer board to handle. If this is the case, it may be time to invest in an HOA management company to take care of some of the more time-consuming details, leaving the board free to spend more time building the community. Additional assistance can be gained by contacting contractors, lawyers, or acquiring software to take care of overwhelming details. Never be afraid to ask for help.
Determine What is Important to Communicate- It can be extraordinarily helpful to spend time with the board deciding which items need to be communicated to homeowners. After these things are concretely established, set up a plan for when these important communications will take place, and who will see to the job.
Excellent communication is what sets average HOAs apart from extraordinary communities. It is worth the effort that it will take to avoid conflict with residents and other problems.