Your board works hard to stand up for owners and residents, but sometimes it can be hard to determine the best way to communicate. Depending on the scenario, there is a wide range of directions that it seems you should take, but do you have the most professional and respectful course of action in mind?
There are protocols you should follow, boundaries that must be respected, and there are ways to clean up your communication process so that every person involved feels respected.
If you are a board who is muddling through how to communicate with owners and residents professionally and respectfully, this post is for you. We are putting a lens on everyday scenarios and giving you the best response to real-life happenings. Here is the way your board should communicate with owners and residents.
Scenario #1: An Owners Meeting
Owner’s meetings need to be attended by as many unit owners as possible, and they need to happen at times that work best for owners and board members. Owners should also have a general understanding of what you will talk about during the meeting. Here is the best way to get the word out:
Solution: Email Notifications and Correspondence
It is imperative to send all owners an email alerting them to an upcoming meeting well in advance and close to the scheduled meeting date. Reoccuring owners meetings (which happen once every two months or so) need an automated email reminder. Send out a heads-up two weeks in advance and a few days before.
Include a detailed list of what you will talk about during the meeting. You can easily attach a meeting point of discussion file or paste it in an email body. Doing this gives owners time to review all topics of discussion ahead of the meeting. Also, owners get the chance to come up with questions of their own!
Bulletin boards are not a great way to remind owners of an upcoming meeting, as often, owners do not have the time or interest to look out for messages there. A digital notice board would undoubtedly grab their attention, but written reminders are better in this case.
Scenario #2: Building or Community Renovations
If your building is undergoing extensive renovations (to fix an ongoing issue or an unexpected problem), then there are two ways you need to communicate that to owners and residents. People may get the news the first time, but life will often get in the way. That is why you must remind residents and owners, more than once, that there are upcoming renovations set to take place. Here is the best way to do that:
Solution: Email and Digital Notice Boards
An excellent first step involves sending an official email to all owners and residents in the building to let them know that critical, moderate, or minimal renovations are about to take place. This heads up allows residents time to make peace with the reality that renovations (and all the noize and mess that comes with it) will be taking place.
The next step is ongoing and entails a public reminder to residents that those renovations will occur. People need that reminder: many residents will push the upcoming renovations to the back of their mind and then lament when the renovations begin. Digital notice boards are a great way to alert residents and owners about renovations.
If you are looking for a great, cloud-based solution for your elevator and common areas, consider MaxTV Media. Our technology is highly responsive, engaging, and hard to miss. Let us help you connect with residents and owners.
Scenario #3: A Community Vote on a Christmas Party
If your board is hosting a Christmas party for owners and residents and you want to know what day works best for most people, you need a community poll! Perhaps your community is large (800-1000 units), and although you know that not everyone will go, you want to know who will. Here is your solution:
Solution: A Digital Notice Board Poll
A digital notice board poll, installed in your elevator and other high-traffic areas, is a great way to gauge how many people will be interested in attending the Christmas party. Maybe you sent an email, and people failed to respond. That is OK because a digital notice board is hard to miss.
People love to have a say in their community. Running a poll, where you ask for resident’s opinions, makes them feel like their voice matters to you.
MaxTV Media’s digital notice boards have touchscreen technology, allowing residents to vote on small, moderate, or critical issues that matter to your community. With us, you can hear from residents in a streamlined and efficient way.
Scenario #4: Boundaries Overstepped
Your board members came on to be of service to your community. Owners felt confident that you could do the job, and they voted you in to protect their best interests. Owners might think that they can say whatever they want to you (at any time). While you desire to make yourself available to them, the last thing you want is for personal and professional boundaries to get overlooked.
Now an owner is threatening you, and you wonder what you can do as a board member. Well, here is your answer.
Solution: Respond in Writing
Perhaps boundaries are routinely overstepped by specific persons, and it is so severe that it is impacting a board member’s ability to do his or her job. Maybe it goes beyond heckling or saying inappropriate things at your annual general meeting, and it has devolved into severe harassment.
Write a letter. An official letter does several things:
- It puts weight behind the seriousness of the issue.
- It ensures a paper trail (should you have to take it to court).
- It protects you as a victim who tried to resolve the issue respectfully (again, very important should you need to take it to court).
In the letter, outline your complaint against the person overstepping their boundaries (and or harassing you). Clearly describe the next steps you need them to take and detail consequences should they choose not to respond appropriately.
Writing and sending an official letter might be the thing to stop the behaviour (as many people are unaware that they took things too far in the heat of the moment).
A Great Misconception
Some people think that board members must bend over backwards to please everyone, even when boundaries get overstepped. To be clear: this is not true. While board members must serve their community, they must be respected just as much as owners and residents.
Whether your board is trying to connect with owners about a meeting, remind residents of renovations in common areas, get a poll for a Christmas party, or if an owner is overstepping boundaries, professional and respectful communication is a process. The critical point is that you understand your community, and you act in a way that is appropriate to the circumstance.
Excellent communication is open, responsive, polished, and professional. Although there is a time and a place for casual correspondence, the scenarios outlined here are ordinary circumstances that require a professional response.
Let Us Be Your Solution
Behind every great board is healthy communication. If you want to learn about how you can better communicate with your owners and residents, and encourage trust and openness in your community, contact us today! We would love to show you how MaxTV Communication Systems can be of service to you.