By FirstService Residential / Published April 2020
As a board member, you want your community or building to run smoothly and stay financially healthy. That’s why most boards turn to a community association manager. Naturally, you expect your manager and the rest of your management team to provide quality service, but if they don’t have what they need—and what it takes—how can they give your community what it deserves? Find out if they are qualified to provide exceptional service by asking these three questions.
Even the best community association managers can’t know or do everything! The right support is critical for a manager to succeed in delivering the exceptional service your board and residents expect and deserve. According to Heather Peters, business development manager at FirstService Residential, “Good managers are only as effective as the support they have.” That support should include the following items:
In addition, an experienced regional director with a pulse on the community provides important support. “The most capable managers leverage their regional directors,” explains Anthony Gragnano, regional director at FirstService Residential. “When a board member calls, I already know what’s going on in that community. Having that structure in place also helps maintain institutional knowledge and consistency in management if the manager leaves for any reason. The regional director should know the community or building well enough to help replace a manager with the right person.”
Having a manager who is hospitality minded will also benefit your community. Hospitality-minded managers tend to care more deeply and are motivated to go above and beyond for the residents in your community. Managers with this trait take a personal interest in the appearance of your property and thrive on providing great service.
Great managers have a high emotional intelligence quotient (EQ), too, meaning they have an ability to read and assist people, including members of your association. Their empathy enables them to put themselves in others’ shoes and understand their perspective. Other traits of managers with a high EQ is that they are forward-thinking, adaptive, resourceful, hospitality-minded, flexible, self-motivated, and able to communicate clearly. As a result, they are trusted advisors to your board.
Emotional intelligence should extend to a regional director as well. The regional director is the person who needs to match up the right manager to each community or building. This requires understanding the personality of the property and its board and choosing the manager whose personality meshes with it. Even the most stellar manager won’t succeed if they aren’t the right fit for the community or building.
Residents’ awareness and understanding of the role of a manager can affect how they perceive their manager. The most incredible manager won’t be seen as capable if residents have expectations that are outside a manager’s responsibility.
The board takes the lead on creating policies based on their vision for the community, while the management team executes those policies. However, a lot of residents mistakenly believe that the manager sets policy for the community. Therefore, when they are unhappy with a policy or rule, they respond by voicing dissatisfaction with the manager.
Sometimes residents don’t understand what they are responsible for in the community. Does the community pressure wash their front walkway, or is that the residents’ responsibility? Is management responsible for helping with storm preparation? Who cleans and maintains balconies on high-rises? New residents need to be walked through the roles and responsibilities of everyone in the community, so they have the right expectations of their management team. It doesn’t hurt to remind long-term residents of those responsibilities from time to time either!
Great management and exceptional service are essential to the harmony and success of your community or building. To ensure that you get what you expect, you need a manager with the right support and the right personality. And, of course, you need to set the right expectations with residents about the role of management in your community.
As North America’s property management leader, FirstService Residential partners with more than 8,000 communities across the U.S. and Canada. HOAs, community associations, condominiums, and strata corporations rely on our extensive experience, resources, and local expertise to maximize their property values and enhance their residents’ lifestyles. Dedicated to making a difference, every day, we go above and beyond to deliver exceptional service.
FirstService Residential is a subsidiary of FirstService Corporation (FSV), a North American leader in the property services sector. Find out how we can help your community thrive.
For more information about FirstService Residential, visit www.fsresidential.com today!