Darren Bagnall of Manage Your Block, looks at the challenges with residential block management.
Managing a residential block brings with it a unique set of challenges.
One that is sometimes underestimated is the importance of great communication- with residents, contractors, landlords and managing agents alike.
Effective communication doesn’t always come naturally to Directors, who may not have handled a property before and aren’t used to appeasing several stakeholders while sticking firmly to the legislation and requirements of their lease.
Here we’ll be discussing the importance of effective communication, how and why you should be engaging with your residents, and how Mange Your Block can support Directors in this area.
Why is Communication With Residents So Important in Block Management?
A key point to remember when managing a block of flats, is that the residents are all incredibly invested; financially and emotionally. Leaseholders will have, most likely, made the largest investment of their lives when buying their flats and will have faced significant costs through services charges etc. They will have put down roots, made the flat their own, become part of the community and found comfort in their space.
Highly motivated to ensure their block is looking it’s best, that their investment is protected, and that they’re getting value for money for their fees, leaseholders will expect top-notch communication re the decisions being made on their behalf.
How to Communicate with and Engage Residents
Instead of relaying the bear minimum in terms of works updates, insurance policies and current issues, approach your communication with the residents of the block with a sense of mutual respect.
Some ways to go about this are:
- Establish regular communication channels.
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 and that information is updated regularly.
- Genuinely listen to resident concerns.
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. Make sure that you listen to and address their concerns promptly.
- Be transparent.
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.
- Use clear and concise language.
Avoid using technical jargon or complex language that may be difficult for residents to understand.
- Be timely.
Ensure that residents are informed of any changes or developments in a timely manner.
- Use multiple channels.
Use multiple communication channels such as emails, text messages, social media, and phone calls to ensure that all residents receive important information.
- Provide opportunities for residents to get involved.
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. Say the lift has broken down, let they 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 – 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 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.