Problem Resolution begins with Good Communication

February 2020

As with personal relationships, good communication is a cornerstone for both cooperation and collaboration in condo communities.  Unlike personal relationships, communication involves many more individuals.  Residents, board members and management all get involved.  Some communications relate to personal matters not to be shared; others impact on a large number of people.

Condo communication is more challenging than personal communication.  There is greater potential for misunderstanding and misrepresentation.  There may be personal agendas behind certain communication intended to sway support.

Poor communication within a community can cause division, dysfunction and poor choices.  All can be easily avoided.

The best way to make concerns heard is not to make a public spectacle or grandstand at a meeting, text messaging or social media.  The best approach is to send a letter or e-mail to management.  For management and condo directors, written communication is a tracking tool.  It documents concerns for future reference and provides a clear path to resolution.  It can be referred to as a reminder and as proof that contact has been made.

For maintenance matters many corporations prefer that communication come through condo management software.  This system retains a permanent record of resident communications and is used to manage building maintenance concerns.  The system keeps track of who has seen a message, responses and updates, and who has addressed the matter.  Should more information be required, requests and responses come through this system.  Once tasks are complete, residents receive confirmation that a matter is resolved or maintenance ticket closed.

Avoid directing concerns to condo directors.  The condominium manager is tasked with addressing resident complaints and concerns.  Directors are volunteers whose role does not include day-to-day matters and direct response to residents.

Management can receive dozens to hundreds of communication contacts daily.  Keeping up with this volume can be challenging to even the most capable managers.  Responding to these communications constitute a majority of management time.  Ensuring your concerns don’t get lost or forgotten is best achieved by following accepted communication protocol for your building.  Matters requiring board involvement will be brought to their attention at the appropriate time.  Condo boards typically meet monthly or quarterly.

When communicating with management, it is not unreasonable to anticipate a response taking from a few hours to a few days depending on urgency.

Despite the best of intention, communications will get lost or misplaced.  If you have not received a response within a week for a non-urgent matter, it is best to call and inquire.