Waseem Ahmed gives an insight into the essential elements for an effective communication between Board Members and Managers
Community association managers play various roles in managing their residents and communities. One of the most important roles is managing the association board or owners' committee. Effective and efficient communication and collaboration between the owners' committee and community association managers are essential to ensure a strong bond and trust among them. As a certified M202, I will discuss some of the most critical elements for effective communication and collaboration between both parties.
Community association managers must maintain a good relationship with their owners' committee. Ineffective communication may lead to misinterpretation and misunderstanding of information. Along with quarterly meetings, community association managers must keep the owners' committee informed regularly about key updates regarding the community.
The members of the owners' committee have invested a considerable amount of money in buying a single or multiple units in the community you manage. Therefore, they may be over-communicative or extra cautious on matters that may not be an emergency or priority to be resolved but are important. Managers should listen well, show empathy to their queries, and inform them of their plan of action to resolve their queries. If the action is planned already, managers should share the timelines.
Community association managers must be a resource for the owners' committee. They should provide good knowledge about the community, the most important matters, and their solutions. Managers should also share innovative ideas on how to improve the community experience and lifestyle.
It is crucial that the owners' committee and community managers know and respect each other's roles and responsibilities and establish a fair understanding of expectations. During the first or introductory meeting of the owners' committee, community managers should present in detail the roles and responsibilities of the owners' committee as well as the community association management.
As a community association manager, it is essential to ensure transparency with the owners' committee and the residents. Community challenges, whether financial or operational, should be well-explained to the owners' committee along with the solutions. Managers should provide multiple solutions and give solid reasoning on recommended solutions and how they shall add value and benefit.
Sometimes to maintain a good relationship with the owners' committee, community association managers end up making false commitments on timelines for providing information, resolving matters, or initiating a community improvement program. Sometimes it is okay to say no, ask for realistic timelines, or disagree and agree, provided it is communicated professionally and with logical reasoning.
Community association managers usually have experience managing multiple owners' committees or boards, which allows them to learn from their experiences to provide the best services while coordinating with the owners' committee. Similarly, board members may have been involved in similar roles earlier. Along with personal or professional experiences, it is always recommended for community association managers, board members, and owners' committee members to enroll in accredited courses, attend workshops and conferences. It will help both parties continue to improve communication and collaboration with each other.
In conclusion, effective communication and collaboration between board members and managers are crucial for building trust and achieving the common goal of providing the best possible experience for the residents and the community. By following the above-mentioned essential elements, community association managers can build a strong relationship with their owners' committee and ensure smooth functioning of the community.
(This article is written by Waseem Ahmed, Operations Director of Solana Living KSA.)