Want to Have Pleasant Conversations With Your Condo Management Company? These Tips Can Help
We’ve all heard horror stories about condo living. From noisy pets that won’t stop barking, to visitor parking battles and hefty maintenance bills— residing in a condominium community can come with its challenges.
But before you get dismayed, know this: the vast majority of condominium complaints and disputes can be resolved with a little effective communication.
Quite often when an issue arises, it is a relatively small concern. It is only when poor conflict management is used that fuel is added to the flame and the problem begins to get out of hand.
As a condo management company that is committed to raising standards across our entire industry, we feel it is our duty to educate both condo owners and property managers about the importance of proper communication.
After all, Eckhart Tolle once said: “Awareness is the greatest agent for change”.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of effective communication tips for condo owners who want to strengthen their relationships with property managers and mitigate problems before they reach a boiling point.
5 Tips for Communicating With Condo Management
1. Only Speak for Yourself
It’s normal to become acquainted with your neighbours—especially when you live in a tight-knit condo community— but it isn’t always a good idea to take up your neighbour’s battles. If another resident is disgruntled, encourage that person to voice their concern in accordance with the policies your management company has put in place. Conversations can quickly become confusing (and important concerns can get lost in the noise) when there are too many voices speaking at once.
Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule, like if your condo community has decided to take action as a united group (by signing a petition, for example)— but as a general rule of thumb, direct, person-to-person conversations are best.
2. Leave Emotions at the Door
We completely understand that it is extremely difficult to set aside emotions when you are discontented, but doing so will make it possible to expedite the resolution process.
When we approach conversations with anger or irritation, we often fail to focus on common ground— leading to back-and-forth exchanges where both parties care more about making a point than finding a mutually-beneficial solution.
It is important for Albertan condo owners to remember that property managers are simply doing their best to fulfill a role and find a happy medium for all. Approaching conversations with this in mind can alleviate frustration and encourage kindness.
3. Be Aware of Your Body Language
This isn’t just an important skill for those wondering how to communicate with condo managers— it’s important for anyone who could benefit from better conflict management.
In fact, one study found that body language accounts for 93 percent of how humans determine the intent of a conversation.
When interacting with condo managers or condo board members, pay attention to how you are presenting yourself. Avoid clenching your fists, pointing aggressively, or forcefully stepping towards the person you are speaking with, as these can all be perceived as threatening actions.
Remember, when communicating with condo management, the goal is to find a solution, not to release emotions or berate the other person.
4. Focus on the Facts
This is another tidbit we often touch on when sharing advice for condo owners in Alberta.
We can all be guilty of making assumptions or using speculation— but when it comes to communicating with your management company, this can do more harm than good.
Just like you can’t rely on hearsay in a Court of Law, your condo management company isn’t able to act on unsubstantiated claims. Thus, it’s important to present verifiable evidence to your property managers when a problem arises.
For example, let’s say you have a neighbor who routinely leaves garbage on their balcony and it is started to attract birds. It would be wise to document how long the garbage was left unattended and even take a photo, if possible.
Simply writing to your condo management company and ranting about how the presence of birds and the smell of garbage is unacceptable would not be adequate information.
5. Ask Questions
This seems so simple, but it’s something many people forget to do when they find themselves in the midst of a tense conversation.
This skill is particularly beneficial when communicating with condo management because it greatly reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings or incorrect interpretations.
By asking questions, you give your property manager the chance to clarify any details and fully explain their plan of action.
It really is the best way to ensure both parties are on the same page and clear the air.
We’d also like to note that all of these same skills should be utilized by property managers, as well. Conflict management can only be successful if it’s a coordinated effort by all involved.
When it comes to strengthening the relationship between condo owners and management companies, both sides must be willing to meet in the middle.
At Catalyst, we’re always ready to listen, act, and raise the standards!
If you’re ready to work with a condo management company that will actually be your advocate, get in touch. We’d be happy to provide you with more info.