Darren Bagnall from Manage Your Block discusses the problems caused by a lack of transparent communication between leaseholders and property management.
Taking care of a block of flats means taking care of more than just the bricks and mortar. Property Managers’ soft skills are also put to the test, with multiple leaseholders to manage and build relationships with.
Communication is at the top of the list (alongside organisation!) and the way you go about it will set the tone for how leaseholders treat you in return. When communication breaks down, or never gets started to begin with, problems quickly arise.
Here we’ll be discussing strategies for open communication, initiating feedback mechanisms, and improving overall resident-management interactions.
Establishing Open Communication
Leaseholders expect top-notch communication regarding their biggest investments and their emotional security, both of which are tied up in their flats. Each leaseholder’s unit represents their financial security and their physical safety- it’s easy to forget this when you come up against a very particular leaseholder who’s constantly in your inbox or calling you.
But to them, that dead lightbulb is their top priority. It means they don’t feel as safe entering the building. That peeling paint is another priority. It makes the place feel shabby which can affect the value of the building and their investment. This is why great communication is so key to great management.
All leaseholders should feel that they can get in touch with management quickly, easily and in the knowledge that they’ll be responded to in a timely manner. Here are a few ways to grease the wheels of communication:
- Set up regular communication channels such as newsletters, notice boards, and online forums to keep residents informed about upcoming events, maintenance work, and other important information. Make sure that these channels are easily accessible to all residents (not just those who are online) and that information is updated regularly.
- Encourage residents to share their concerns and feedback by providing multiple channels for them to do so, such as suggestion boxes, surveys, and feedback forms. Genuinely listen to resident concerns and make sure that you listen to and address their concerns promptly.
- Be open and transparent about the management of the building. Share information about the building’s finances, maintenance schedule, and any changes in the management team. This will help build trust and credibility with residents. Avoid using technical jargon or complex language that may be difficult for residents to understand. Keep things honest, simple and clear.
- Respond to requests or alerts within 24 hours if at all possible and ensure that residents are informed of any changes or developments well ahead of time. You can use email, text messages, social media, and phone calls to ensure that all residents receive important information. Not all your residents will be online or find navigating apps or websites easy- make sure you take note of anyone who may need a phone call instead.
- Encourage residents to get involved in the management of the building by joining committees, attending meetings, or volunteering for events. This will help to build a sense of community and ownership among residents.
How Can Manage Your Block Help?
Aside from the fantastic features that are designed specifically to support Directors in their day-to-day duties, Manage Your Block is also the perfect tool to help you communicate effectively with your residents.
You can store all your residents’ contact details within the system and then use the Alerts function to make everyone aware of issues or works being carried out, all in one go. If you have scheduled maintenance coming up, let them know. For example, if the lift has broken down, let them know and inform them of the plan to fix it. If a resident reports that an external light is out or that some cleaning is needed in the hallway, you can let all your residents know that the issue is known and will be dealt with.
This can save you so much time and stress as you won’t have to deal with multiple reports for the same issue or angry residents who have been inconvenienced without notice. You can also upgrade your package to include our Service Charge Collections feature which will enable you to prepare, process and print out service charge demands for your residents- minimising the need for back-and-fourth over service charge issues.
Overall, effective communication in block management requires a commitment to transparency, timely communication, and listening to residents’ concerns. By establishing regular communication channels, using clear and concise language, and providing opportunities for residents to get involved, you can build a strong sense of community and ensure that residents are engaged and informed.
Manage Your Block aren’t here to tell you how to run your block of flats, but we can provide you with highly specialised software to make the management of your block much easier. Call us for more details on 0333 577 9070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.