As a long-standing expert in the area, we know that communication is one of the most important things to keep in mind when working with the communities we serve as a Washington D.C. association property management company. The relationship between you—as the association—and those who live in your community is one that needs to be mutually beneficial.
When you serve as a volunteer to support the needs of your community, you are often placed in the precarious—and often highly-charged—position of needing to find common ground while still protecting the overall interests of those you serve.During a disaster, it is critical that you keep the lines of communication open to ensure that the members of your community know how you intend to approach your response to the crisis.
In our opinion, as a professional provider of Washington D.C. association property management, the more information you relay to those you serve (as long as this relay is calm and collected), the better. However, there are several ways you can maximize such contact during a time of social distancing that will make your efforts more effective.
As a note: This post is not a substitute for proper legal counsel. When in doubt, it's best to reach out to a professional Washington D.C. association property management company or to obtain guidance from a skilled attorney.
Email Is Your Best Tool for Staying Connected
Communication is of the utmost importance when talking about expectations moving forward during this time, and as we emerge from it. As the board for your community, you have to professionally outline policies for how your neighbors will need to work with and around each other to keep everyone safe, especially in common areas like shared amenities, if you have any.
When you are trying to manage this delicately and safely, you may need to get creative. Going door-to-door during this time or trying to communicate major changes through posted flyers is not a professional answer. This makes communicating by email one of the best ways to keep everyone in your community informed.
Checking in on the pulse of your community is not only a sound policy as an association, but it also has the added effect of showing that you care about the situations of the homeowners you serve. This care and contact, when genuine, strengthens the bonds between neighbors—and it makes your community an ideal place to live in, move to, and own homes.
In our role as Washington D.C. association property management, we feel it's important to note that there are going to be both dark days and light in your work as a board. The good days will be uplifting and remind you of why you enjoy the volunteer work that you do. When you send an email to check on your residents, the responses may be pleasant.
On days when everyone is struggling, the responses you receive from your neighbors might not bring you the same recognition. The important thing is to be consistent and also even-keel throughout. Do not take the responses personally—focus on keeping communication strong.
If You Message Frequently, Let It Be Relevant
As an association, you may already know that the best form of contact is never a "one and done" affair. Instead, you want to be sure you are communicating on a frequent (can consistent) basis. Think about your role as an association as the guidance and structure for your entire community: it is your duty to not communicate with them once during a time of great change, but to maintain this stream of information consistently across the duration of the crisis. However, the communication you do engage in should be relevant.
Maintain a Professional and Positive Tone
Even if it's as simple as posting a notice about the availability and access to shared amenities community-wide, staying professional and positive in all forms of communication now will help provide structure and stability for those you serve. It also makes your board stand out as reliable in a time when so many are struggling. When you maintain your sense of calm, you preserve and protect the value of your community and make it a more desirable place to live.
Building Good Rapport Yields Results
The benefits of good rapport for a Washington D.C. community association are many: your role is to enhance the community you live in and ensure that the investment people have made to live in your community was worthwhile. Building relationships with your neighbors, providing excellent services as the community board, and maintaining the value of property and shared amenities is easier to do when you have developed a working relationship with those who live under your service.
While these are just a few of the tips you can take advantage of from our perspective as a professional provider of Washington D.C. association property management, if you need extended guidance, don't hesitate to reach out to us. At EJF Real Estate Services, we've made a name for ourselves as the premier provider of association management services in the D.C. community.
More than ever before, having the right hand to guide you in your role as a board—or choosing a partner to step in and help relieve some of the burdens—is crucial.