The lack of good condo communication is a recurring problem in many condos, and though it’s often the #1 complaint at the AGM, board directors are often at a loss to fix the issue. They direct the manager to “post this”, “mention that”, “let them know about this”, and after a flurry of emails, letters, notices posted on board (digital or cork), the road paved with good intention all to often leads to you-know-where. You want good communication?
Here are 10 quick tips:
1. IDENTIFY THE PLAYERS
Is your condo communication breakdown happening between board and resident? Is it board to board? Board to management? Identifying your audience and determining what they need to know and when will help you plan.
2. GET A STRATEGY
Good condo communication means you need to cover off the who, what, where, when, why and how. It’s a big job, but critical. Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail. So says Winston Churchill.
3. KNOW THE SCIENCE
Ad agencies have been doing it for years… they know the reach and frequency required to successfully get their brand clients noticed and recognized. It’s not an accident that you know the jingles for Sleep Country and Tim Horton’s. Your condo is a brand too… your condo communication needs to recognize that.
4. GET CREATIVE
Literally. Condo board directors and property managers already have jobs, and creating effective content for your condo communication is not usually one of them. If you are still creating notices with tons of text… well, you may want to get some help with that.
5. WATCH YOUR TONE
USING CAPITAL LETTERS TO GET YOUR POINT ACROSS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA. In effect, you are “yelling” at residents, so unless you are a drill sergeant or Owen Meany you may want to rethink your approach to your condo communication.
6. HONE YOUR TOOLS
There are lots of ways you can communicate these days – voicemail, email, text, digital notice board, even good, old-fashioned face-to-face. Determine what to use and when.
7. MAKE THE INVESTMENT
Like anything else, good condo communication takes an investment. Whether it’s the tools (a digital display instead of a cork bulletin board), or the personnel (hiring a communications company to help you), taking the steps to success includes budgeting for communication. And since bad communication is bad for business, you can increase your bottom line by implementing a communication strategy.
Once you run a campaign, figure out the return on your investment. Break it down. If you have a “cleaning” line item on your budget, know what that means. Cleaning windows? Pet messes? Cigarette butts? Know the costs and track them.
You can’t solve all the issues all the time. Pick and choose what you want to address and how. Then repeat the process with the next ones.
10. MAKE THE COMMUNITY THE BACKBONE
Your strategy will cover all sorts of things but always keep the brand in mind and build that community. After all, even if your condo has the best address, it’s how well-run it is that will make people want to buy there, which in turn boosts your property value!