Ever wondered why huge companies such as HOAs lose profit? We’ll make the answer short and sweet - communication. In fact, David Grossman reported in “The Cost of Poor Communications” that a survey of 400 companies with 100,000 employees each cited an average loss per company of $62.4 million per year because of inadequate communication to and between employees. Communication plays a large role in how we work, function and operate a business. As a property manager, a large part of your job is to strategize, operate and most importantly, communicate.
Just like any business, property management companies, along with their managers often face challenges — communication being one of the most critical. Here are just a few common examples of what causes communication challenges.
You’re a manager. People rely on you to tell them what they need to hear and what they may not want to hear. It’s not always easy hearing the truth. But a good manager will always know how to make the best of both worlds. Think about a time when you may have experienced feedback from a manager that was dishonest or worse, gave excuses for everything. How did the relationship feel after your conversation? Perhaps undervalued or untrustworthy? Unfortunately, we’ve all been there at some point. As a property manager, your job is to make people happy, while at the same time doing your job. When delivering your message, be honest and transparent. Allow your team to ask questions. If there are details that can’t be shared, allow the person to know why — remember, we’ve all been there.
You may think over communicating may come off as annoying or overbearing. In fact, people want more communication. The largest part about communication is how you communicate — tone, consistency, and actively listening are all strong characteristics of the best type of communication. Communication is also a two-way street — it’s an important part of learning information and works as a form of taking care of one another.
One of the most successful ways to create a perfect communication strategy is by incorporating a third-party software application. For example, TownSq
If you’re not present, you can’t communicate. Many times communication can get lost in the weeds when we stop being present. Whether that be in-person, over the phone or just through a simple email, if you’re not available to communicate, those around you will lose trust and slowly begin to repeat the same pattern. Think of a time when you tried to reach out to someone, but they never replied. Days go by and no response —your ability to trust that person may slowly come into play. Over time you realize how unreliable that person may be. The same goes for communication — you can quickly lose it, just as fast as gaining it.
When we communicate, we experience emotions. We not only decide how we will communicate, but we also use both verbal and nonverbal communication. A significant sign of emotional miscommunication is when we start to make assumptions or imply motives. In the property management world, it’s easy to put the blame on others or get caught up in the emotional hardships of your community. When we step aside to look at both sides of the story, you may come to realize there’s no one to blame, but communication — the underlying factor of what started the initial problem.
Another way to create an effective communication strategy is by painting the big picture. When you provide a vision for people to see and strategize, you’re providing them a way to better communicate. Like the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” communication is worth a thousand pictures. One way of doing this is by providing a visual approach — this provides a method of taking in information. When all is said and done, a big picture is a tool, albeit a powerful one. To fully exploit its potential, it needs to be used with skill in the context of good old-fashioned face-to-face interaction.
One of the best ways for property management companies to enhance communication is recognizing employees. When we communicate employee value, we recognize that an employee is able to exhibit core values to the company and the communicates they manage. Communication is key in connecting desired attitudes and behavior to rewards.