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Subject: Improving communication with the Management Company site manager
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MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:300


11/11/2021 4:50 AM  
The issue we are having with our new site manager (one year), who comes once a week, is the lack of timely communications with residents, with vendors and with the Board. His primary form of communication is by email and that is slow in coming. As of now the Board appears to be managing the Management company when it comes to doing the communicating. Advice/suggestions. Thank you.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10584


11/11/2021 5:03 AM  
I am confused. Is it not the HOA's board's job to manage the MC? They are the one's they hired to do the job. So the MC most likely is told NOT to directly communicate without them consulting with the HOA Board first.

Recently had to apply for a fence. You have 2 options for fence installations. One no attachments and one with attachments to neighbors. I filled it out. The MC submitted it to the HOA board. (Developer owned still). It was a few days later got the confirmation was approved. They have up to 30 days to reply.

So if it's a problem then set a date/time must receive their communication. That way you know if do not get something at 12 PM on Tuesdays as an example you then know they are slow to respond or fast. Setting a time from the sky doesn't prove your point.

Former HOA President
AugustinD


Posts:1905


11/11/2021 5:08 AM  
Posted By MichaelS56 on 11/11/2021 4:50 AM
The issue we are having with our new site manager (one year), who comes once a week, is the lack of timely communications with residents, with vendors and with the Board. His primary form of communication is by email and that is slow in coming. As of now the Board appears to be managing the Management company when it comes to doing the communicating. Advice/suggestions. Thank you.
-- Did the Board go cheap when it hired this company?

-- Why is the HOA Board resisting taking bids for a new MC?
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:290


11/11/2021 6:29 AM  
Unless the HOA has an urgent issue, our MC requires all communication to be by email. This limitation by our MC has restricted our vendor pool, but I do understand why they want everything in writing for a paper trail.

For urgent matters, our Board President has the authority to work in our community's best interest and has a cell number for our PM, as well as to important vendor's(OUR PLUMBER). Those abilities need to be carefully considered when giving authority.

Depending on the issue, Board communication expected turn around time is 24-48 hours even for our PM. PM's often are responsible for multiple communities and are not always available to respond immediately. Resident's contacting the MC over general issues are advised of a turn around time of up to 5 days.

It is best if, and sometimes contained in the MC contract, there is only 1 designated Board member that is the contact point for the PM.

If the Board it not happy with the MC's or PM's response times, they can always change MC's. If you take your concerns over your PM's response times up to their MC management, be prepared for hopeful improvements or a total breakdown in the MC relationship.

Take your concerns to your PM directly and discuss if any changes in your expectations vs. their timely response can be agreed to. Then the Board can make communication changes based on their response or seek a new MC.



Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
BillD16
(Texas)

Posts:73


11/11/2021 6:34 AM  
I can’t resist commenting here.

1. I think what MelissaP1 is saying (and I agree) is that you should assemble a list of specific instances of untimely / slow response. If nothing else, it will help you determine the response times that are required.

2. Would it help if the PM quickly acknowledged receipt of an email, and followed up with an actual answer at a later time? Just tossing this out because sometimes it’s a relatively simple fix for this kind of issue.

3. MelissaP1 wrote: “Is it not the HOA's board's job to manage the MC?” Just an aside, I’ve noticed that some HOA Boards seem to take the opposite view: the Board expects to be “run” by the MC. I disagree with this, but for some Board members it’s a great way to be “on the Board” with minimal investment of time and effort. Further, I think some MCs encourage this.

4. AugustinD wrote: “Why is the HOA Board resisting taking bids for a new MC?” I think an awful lot of HOA Boards seriously fear switching MCs. In this forum I’ve read that it’s typically not as difficult as was anticipated - still, it seems like something that involves Real Work. And (again) I think some MCs encourage this belief.

Bill
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:588


11/11/2021 8:21 AM  
Posted By MichaelS56 on 11/11/2021 4:50 AM
The issue we are having with our new site manager (one year), who comes once a week, is the lack of timely communications with residents, with vendors and with the Board. His primary form of communication is by email and that is slow in coming. As of now the Board appears to be managing the Management company when it comes to doing the communicating. Advice/suggestions. Thank you.




What kind of communication are we talking about and what do you mean by slow? I've had people call me a rage because they emailed me an hour ago and I haven't answered yet!

If homeowners and vendors are calling or emailing with questions, those should be promptly returned. My standard is 24 hours, but I only have one property; if you have a portfolio manager they have a heavy workload so I'd give them 48 hours.

I do prefer email to phone most of the time, because there can be disagreement over what was said in phone call.

As for managing the manager... in the big picture that is the board's job. You should not have to follow up with the manager to get them to respond to homeowner emails, but you should communicate your expectations for timely responses, and be prepared to impose some consequences if those expectations are not met.




MarshallT
(New York)

Posts:179


11/11/2021 11:00 AM  
Is there anything about communications in the PM's contract?

It seems as though expectations are not the same. This many improve if you make your expectations clearer (emails from owners need to be acknowledged in 4 business days or less, for example). However, if that doesn't resolve anything, the association may look at investing in a management software for the PM, or hiring someone else.
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