Are you, or the your condo-working staff, often approached by residents with questions while working in and around the corporation? Of course, such interactions can range from pure conversational politeness, to plain curiosity and community involvement, and even a symptom of a lack of community communication about the ongoing work.
No matter the reason, you’re still there, in front of a resident (hands on their hips) staring at you while asking “whatcha working on?”. What do you do… and more importantly, what do you say? Ahh, the on-the-spot stress of a vendors communicating with residents! Saying nothing or too little may be interpreted as rude, saying too much may get you in trouble with the building’s leadership… what a fine line to tread!
In the dynamic condominium industry, effective communication between vendors and residents is key to maintaining harmony and successful operations. Ideally, a proactive approach should be taken where the building’s leadership is maintaining adequate communication with the community via official channels such as e-blasts and bulletin notices. But, even if that was the case, it doesn’t always guarantee that you won’t face residents with questions about your work.
While it's important to be professional and approachable, it’s important to be mindful of finding the right balance when sharing project details with residents. Often, a balanced approach begins with understanding the importance of avoiding over-communicating opinions and project specifics, and by directing residents to the proper channels (such as property management and the board of directors) in order to avoid potential problems and conflicts between any parties down the line.
It’s crucial to understand that this isn’t about gatekeeping information - ultimately, condo owners are entitled to information about their corporation. In fact, they can get just about any information by submitting a Records Request to management or the board. Furthermore, it’s not even about guarding secrets of property management and/or the board. Rather, despite best intentions and expertise regarding their part(s), contracted staff may not have the building history and/or full context of the project, and sharing partial or subjective information may lead to misunderstandings.
Consider the following quick tips for when you encounter your next resident request for on-the-spot information:
😊 Establish a professional demeanor: Maintaining a professional demeanor when interacting with residents is crucial. Demonstrate a high level of competence, integrity, and respect in your communications. Treat every resident with equal importance and show genuine interest in their concerns. A professional approach helps build trust and fosters positive relationships within the community.
🤔 Consider the essential project information: While it's important to keep residents informed, it's equally important to strike a balance in terms of the level of detail shared. Focus on providing residents with essential information such as the major disruptions that they may notice, and any necessary precautions they may need to take. This approach ensures that residents are aware of important developments without overwhelming them with unnecessary technical details (which they should, and could, get directly from management or the board).
➡️ Direct residents to the appropriate channels: To avoid potential problems and streamline communication, vendors should direct residents to the proper channels for more detailed project information. Property management and the board of directors are the designated authorities for handling and disseminating project-specific details. Encourage residents to reach out to these entities for comprehensive information, as they are equipped to address concerns and provide accurate updates.
🤝 Collaborate with property management: Establishing a strong working relationship with property management is crucial for effective communication. Work closely with property managers so they may relay project updates promptly. Management can help filter and disseminate information to residents in an organized and efficient manner, and staying informed about they information they have shared and plan to share can help you navigate conversations when approached by residents. By collaborating with property management, you can ensure that communication channels remain clear, consistent, and aligned with community guidelines.
🕬 Avoid potential problems caused by over-communication: Over-communicating project details directly with residents can sometimes lead to confusion, misinformation, and unnecessary concerns. Sharing excessive technical information may inadvertently generate unnecessary anxiety or misconceptions. By encouraging residents to rely on property management and the board of directors for comprehensive project updates, vendors can avoid potential problems arising from misinterpretations or incomplete information.
💥BONUS TIP💥 Being proactive is always best. Some of the top vendors we’ve worked with have drafted communications for property management to send to residents. These included key information relevant to the residency and the project. This approach is often appreciated by the board, management, and the residents… and we’ll dive deeper into this strategy soon!
Effective communication between vendors and residents in the condominium industry requires finding the right balance. While it's essential to maintain professionalism and provide residents with essential project information, vendors should also direct them to the appropriate channels, such as property management and the board of directors, for more detailed updates. By striking this balance, vendors contribute to a well-informed community while minimizing potential problems that may arise from miscommunication or misunderstanding.
So, whatcha working on?
P.S. Did you know that Stratastic has an extensive Vendor Directory that's absolutely free to join? Register now and we'll get you set up and a step closer to showcasing your business to our collective condo community!
Tags: condominium communication, vendor-resident interaction, effective communication, condo project updates, community involvement, condo management, property management, condo residents, balancing communication, proactivity, community harmony, condo industry tips, resident requests, vendor professionalism, communication channels, avoiding miscommunication, condo living, condo projects, condo tips and tricks.