If you are a condo board director or property manager, no doubt your condo building experiences the classic “people, pets and parking” issues common to the industry. But if you think that the responsibility for knowing the rules lies solely with the suite owner, or if you fail to examine budget items to identify problems and create communication strategies to fix them, then you just might be that dreaded foe to the relaxed enjoyment of condo life – the comm-blocker! Communication blockers (comm-blockers for short) either wittingly or unwittingly keep all sorts of info to themselves, thus negatively impacting the overall lifestyle and financial health of the condo building and its residents. How to tell if you’re a comm-blocker:
1. You Like Going Solo
If you’re still posting notices one-at-a-time, and expecting them to get read, much less digested and acted upon, you may want to reconsider. The average person is exposed to hundreds of messages over the course of a day, so if you want to impress your residents, get their attention and more importantly their commitment, the one-message wonder ain’t gonna cut it. Communication means campaigns, and that usually means a little help beyond the scope of the average management contract.
2. Nagging is in Your Nature
Nothing kills the communicative mood more than being yelled at, yet this is probably the most common of all comm-blocker behavior in the condo industry. Notices typed ALL IN CAPS, tons of exclamation points!!!! and the use of visual aids like BIG RED WORDS won’t make your residents engage in the behavior that you seek.
3. Your Notices are Plain & Unattractive
When it comes to communication, ugly notices can be helped, yet most comm-blockers insist on posting the same old pdf and Word document notices that they’ve been using for years. Some have dressed things up a bit with the odd clip-art or two but since the consumption of all things video continues to skyrocket, the clip-art trick is starting to look a lot like putting lipstick on a pig. Good communication means spending a bit, to save a lot. You might not need Chanel, but you do need to lose the old bell bottoms.
4. You Need to Love It, to Do It
Condo property managers are paid to manage. Condo board directors volunteer to direct. They aren’t always passionate about good communication and while some managers like to make notices and can be good at it, the average condo building has way too many topics to cover for a manager to do it properly. Even boards with communication committees can run into problems when it comes to skill sets and succession planning. Making use of external services with professional copywriters and graphics people (yes, a shameless plug for DigiNotice here) means more love in the task – and less comm-blocking.
5. You Refuse to Pop the Cork
It’s 2018 and digital displays are everywhere, including our own pockets, so if you haven’t popped that old cork bulletin board off the wall of your elevator and replaced it with a sleek, more efficient digital one, then you just might be the best comm-blocker of them all! Digital elevator screens allow you to rotate multiple notices at a time, can be remotely accessed at any time of day or night, and enable the scheduling of “campaigns” as well as up-to-the-minute condo information. They are also seen by the vast majority of residents because most people need to take the elevator to get home. And don’t be fooled by email – according to Hubspot the 2017 mean open rate across all industries was 32% – not bad if you are an email marketeer but not ideal in a condo community where you need everyone to be informed about all aspects of condo life – both the healthy and the selfie types of info.
Good condo communicators identify an issue, plan and execute the steps to correct it, and then measure, tweak and repeat. That’s a tall order for most condos, but if you are truly serious about improving things at your property it is absolutely required to achieve success. No more comm-blocking!