Why you should have a Manager Task List to Help Communication?
Why would you want to create a manager task list to help communication?
The sole purpose of having an organized manager task list is to increase communication and transparency. It also improves the community experience between homeowners and property managers. A few common examples may include:
- Meeting times & cancellations
- Landscaping community updates
- Changes in state law that affect homeowners
- Community event dates and times
- Amenity closures/overall status
- Announcing new neighbors
- Welcome letters to new homeowners
- Voting/ballot instructions
- Candidate qualifications
- Election news
Why is communication important for HOA property managers?
As a property manager, your job is to maintain strong relationships with not only your board members but also homeowners. Communication also allows managers to seek new community opportunities, such as new vendor relationships or enhancements to new properties or facilities.
- Community - Communication is a key essential part of maintaining a positive environment for all residents. Property managers use communication as a resource to engage with their community.
- Increased business - More membership drives property value — this includes maintaining community retention. “According to RentPrep, when you successfully retain one tenant itself, the company can save an average of $1,750 per unit per month from tenant turnover costs like administrative work, vacancy, and marketing.”
- Increases LTV (lifetime value of a customer) - Contrary to belief, an HOA can spend thousands of dollars in marketing expenses in order to obtain new homeowners. It’s when tenants are retained is when an HOA increases in value. A large contribution of this is due to communication — the longer tenants are retained, the higher the lifetime value of the customer (tenant).
Most common problems due to a lack of a manager task list
- Financial miscommunication - When it comes to managing money, every detail counts, especially when you manage a large property. When projects regarding financials are not organized without a proper list of tasks, finances tend to get messy. It can cause a lack of transparency for others working on the project, along with higher authorities that may need to approve the project.
- Complaints - Complaints are often due to a large lack of communication. With the many tasks that sit on a property manager's shoulders, juggling multiple things in one day can be overwhelming. If task lists are not utilized, it may become easy to forget to follow through on complaints - members may start to feel a lack of concern for their problems.
- Communication tools - As HOA software and technology continue to rise, so will the need for communication. Property managers are now having to adjust to a whole new way of communicating with their community — whether that be through text, email, or their community portal. Keeping an organized task list of responsibilities will be an important part of making this adjustment. Without it, property managers will lack attention to detail and often face difficulties having to juggle too many tasks at one time.
5 tips for creating an HOA manager task list to help communication
- The 4 W’s - The 4 W’s of HOA communication are: what, where, when, and how. Many find the 4 Ws to help communicate with others, especially groups. In fact, many HOA associations refer to the 4 Ws regularly when deciding how they should communicate with the residents most efficiently. You may be wondering why we included “how.” The how helps define how you will communicate — meaning how the HOA presents itself. Using the 4 W’s is a great way to prepare your list before taking action on the actual task. It also works as a great starting point, if you’re unsure how to start your task list.
- How - How will you communicate? Is the task more sensitive or requires more one-on-one time to discuss?
- Where - Where will you communicate your message? Some examples may include; email, social media, or text. “In fact, 58% of boards find that using 4-6 channels to communicate is the most effective.”
- Consider your audience when using where. Where is your audience most likely to hear or see what you’re communicating? Remember, everyone obtains information differently — consider a mix of traditional (mail or hard copy newsletters), along with newer forms of communication such as social media or push notifications for those that may prefer more virtual chains of communication.
- When - When will you communicate? When listing when consider the severity of the issue. Is it time sensitive, or can it wait until more time-sensitive topics are discussed?
- What - What actually needs to be communicated? Many times we may find ourselves communicating something that’s completely off-topic. In these situations, be sure to review back your 4 W’s as a way to stay focused on the initial task.
- Accountability - Hold yourself accountable for what you communicate. We often consider accountability as a way of ensuring people do what we want them to do. But let’s turn the table for a second — what accountability do you have as the person communicating the message? When communicating your message, it’s important to communicate, explain and justify what you may be asking or telling others to do. A strong way to hold yourself accountable is to write everything down, such as a to-do list — this works as a form of reminder and visual self-awareness.
- Example task 1 - Assist the board with new landscaping policies.
- In this example task, you’ve volunteered to help your board with their policies regarding landscaping. Accountability for this would be to ensure you have time available to assist them.
- Keep it easy - Have you ever found yourself reading a to-do list or email with tons of detail and words you can’t even pronounce? Considering that the average human only has around 8.25 seconds of an attention span, imagine trying to keep your attention on a 5-page reminder of community updates or legal verbiage that’s unfamiliar.
- Use simple wording
- Easy-to-read formating
- Be clear and concise
- Use bullet points
- Utilize graphs or charts for those that prefer more visual forms of communication
- Limit the number of times you send memos
- Allow people to process the information before sending a new update
- Prepare software tools/equipment - There are many options to choose from when finding a communication tool. Here are some of the top-rated forms of communication among HOA communities:
- Online payments – Residents can obtain financial information through a virtual platform.
- Customer service – Enables residents to request services like work orders, support, or approval for architectural requests.
- Event notifications – Informing residents about upcoming events such as board or community meetings.
- Document sharing – Post and share documents to keep residents informed about community policies.
HOA software, like TownSq, helps to increase communication between managers, boards, and residents. TownSq also offers the benefits of payments, document storage, event and announcements, reservations, and much more, all in one easy-to-use platform.
- Branding - Embracing your company's brand identity is a great way to communicate your company's visions and mission. For example, style guides can be a great way to create consistency and a clear message. When writing a task list, consider the look and esthetic of your message. A cohesive layout will help establish a strong voice that resonates with your audience.
- Helps familiarize your message to your community or team
- Keeps things consistent
- Simplifies communication
- Serves as a rubric