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Subject: Property manager monitoring HOA membership communication forum?
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Author Messages
TeresaM6
(Texas)

Posts:1


04/11/2019 9:23 AM  
For some reason, the property manager of our condominium HOA has been added to the email communication forum for owners. What is the usual protocol regarding the interaction between property managers and HOA members (aside from HOA board members)? I served on our HOA board for two terms and resigned in 2017. Before I left the board, however, I was trying to get the other two board members to look into changing property management companies as the majority of owners want the board to do. The company itself has very low ratings, and our particular property manager is less than professional and competent. We've dealt with many problems on our property and with our finances that can be directly blamed on the property management company. The HOA president has a personal relationship with the property manager, however, and doesn't want to change companies. One of the other board members is a good friend of hers and votes with her every time. The person who was appointed to my board position is in the same situation: unable to do anything against the voting block. Suddenly, a couple of months ago, the property manager's email address appeared on the owner email list and she now comments on the content of every email discussion of the owners. Owner discussion has now diminished as people feel uncomfortable discussing matters knowing the property manager will comment on them. I've asked the board members - privately, not on the group email list - to explain the property manager's presence on an HOA discussion forum. I've received no explanation. If this practice is common I'll just let the matter go. If not, can someone please direct me to resources I may use to get the HOA board to make HOA member communication unavailable to the property manager again?

Thank you.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1285


04/11/2019 9:58 AM  
Teresa,

IMO, the Board (and, by extension) PM, should not be posting nor sponsoring social media networks.

Social media for HOAs sounds innocuous at first, but turns into a mess. Best to just stay out of it.

The Board should have a website that allows communications to HOA members, and members should be welcome at Board meetings, but constant back and forth is usually a bad, very bad, idea.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1285


04/11/2019 9:58 AM  
Teresa,

IMO, the Board (and, by extension) PM, should not be posting nor sponsoring social media networks.

Social media for HOAs sounds innocuous at first, but turns into a mess. Best to just stay out of it.

The Board should have a website that allows communications to HOA members, and members should be welcome at Board meetings, but constant back and forth is usually a bad, very bad, idea.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:238


04/11/2019 9:59 AM  
I am a property manager for a master planned community who reads and sometimes posts to the community facebook page. My experience is that most managers don't involve themselves on NextDoor, email lists, or other resident social media because it's usually a cesspool of negativity and complaining, and it's time consuming to keep up with. In my case, I chose to join the page because realistically, that is where the residents ARE and I need to be able to communicate with them. (Only a third of the residents have signed up for my email newsletter).

I guess my feeling is - what are residents saying on the email list that they don't want to say in front of the manager? If they have issues with the upkeep of the property, the actions of the board, or even the performance of the manager - those are things the manager should know. Are you worried about retaliation?

Residents would post things on facebook like "I wish the pool hours were longer" or "We should have more trash cans in the park" but no one ever thought to email me or speak up at a board meeting. I also found that lots of misinformation was posted on the page: rumors, inaccurate interpretations of what was said at the annual meeting, incorrect answers to questions about the CCRs.

I joined the page so I could see what owners were concerned about, answer questions accurately, and debunk rumors. I have noticed that since I joined, there are less posts about how much the HOA sucks and they hate it, or complaints about neighbors (complete with pictures of their yards!) and honestly I'm fine with that. If people are embarrassed to post something maybe it's a clue that they shouldn't be posting it. There are still some complaints about me posted on the page (usually a day or two after I've sent out violation letters) but early in my career and I had a homeowner stick a gun in my face and threaten to kill me if I ever wrote him another violation, so mere insults don't even register with me anymore.

You could always move to NextDoor or a closed facebook group if you feel you need a private outlet.
JaredC
(Texas)

Posts:214


04/11/2019 10:19 AM  
I'm with Barbara on this one. I'm also a computer guy and from my POV if you post it in a public forum then it's public. Don't expect privacy. I also think it could be a good tool for the PM's.

With that said if my little community had a social media forum it would be a NIGHTMARE!
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8729


04/11/2019 2:02 PM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 04/11/2019 9:58 AM
Teresa,

IMO, the Board (and, by extension) PM, should not be posting nor sponsoring social media networks.

Social media for HOAs sounds innocuous at first, but turns into a mess. Best to just stay out of it.

The Board should have a website that allows communications to HOA members, and members should be welcome at Board meetings, but constant back and forth is usually a bad, very bad, idea.



I agree.
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