Keep your maintenance projects on track and your residents happy with these simple tips
Have a lengthy maintenance project coming up? Maybe your community pool is due for resurfacing, or your clubhouse needs some renovating? Whatever the project may be, updating community spaces and amenities can be disruptive for your community.
If your homeowners don’t have their usual level of access, you may run into some pushback as you’re getting things repaired or updated, especially if the project will take some time. Here are five ways to keep residents in the know while limiting interference and annoyance on all sides.
First things first: communicate. In fact, over-communicate. Don’t just tack an announcement onto the end of your quarterly meeting agenda. You might think you’ve covered your bases, but if your residents don’t know they won’t have access to the pool this summer or that the gate won’t be functioning for a few days, they are going to be frustrated when they encounter these inconveniences.
So go ahead and communicate the disruption in ways that get the message out there. Try a mailer, an e-blast, meeting discussion, and more. The more up-front you are at the beginning, the more likely it is that your residents won’t be caught off guard by the maintenance.
2. Remind your residents that the neighborhood is improving
While lengthy repairs can be annoying, try to remind your community that the end result will be a better living space for all. Sure, no one likes to have their amenities limited, but it will all be worth it when you debut the shiny new clubhouse lobby or the brand-new resurfaced tennis courts.
If you encounter frustration about the delay, frame the discussion in terms of how wonderful the new updates will be. No more peeling paint, musty locker rooms, or rusty entrance gate! These are things people can get excited about.
If your homeowners know that you are working hard to beautify the community and maintain (or even raise) the property values and protect your communal investment, they will be much more understanding and patient as you work through the task.
3. Don’t make promises about timelines
The old saying goes, “building projects take three times as long and cost three times as much as you originally plan for.” Sadly, this is often the case. It’s impossible to fully predict how long a big project will take because there are so many variables that come into play. Everything from weather, sourcing materials, the state of the current system, and more can affect your timeline.
For this reason, it is unwise to make solid promises to your residents about your project timeline. If you say the pool will reopen in exactly three weeks, then run into delays, you might have to answer to your frustrated homeowners when their expectations are not met.
Therefore, you can (and should!) give your residents a timeline and keep them updated on the work as it progresses. Just don’t promise anything you can’t be absolutely sure about, especially regarding the timeline.
4. Let the community share at open meetings
One thing you may want to do in order to garner support from your neighborhood is to allow members to speak up at regular meetings. Giving people the chance to voice their opinions or concerns in an open environment can do a lot to keep the lines of communication open and squelch the neighborhood rumor-mill.
Often, people just want the opportunity to be seen and heard and to receive reassurance that you are taking their concerns seriously. Providing a space for them to talk with you directly about your plans and progress can go a long way invalidating their feelings — which is often all you need to do to resolve any concerns.
5. Get the best service with quality vendors
While there is a lot you can do to keep your residents happy, the most important part of a seamless building project is hiring the right people to do the job. At VendorSmart, we know it isn’t always easy to find and vet high-caliber vendors. That’s why we’ve created our easy-to-use directory that makes it simple to source capable vendors for any project. Our vendors are vetted, and our reviews are 100% authentic, so you know you’re getting the best information as you search for a provider.
In addition to qualified vendors, our system helps you with bidding and requests for proposals, implementation and support, and compliance management — saving lots of time and money as you choose the best possible candidate for your needs. At VendorSmart, we understand that third-party vendor relationships are critical to the success of any association or condo. Our software and team of industry professionals guarantee full compliance vetting for every vendor employed by your management company at no cost to you or the vendor. Want to learn more? Schedule a demo today.