Staff changes in your HOA management company can be stressful, but they are unavoidable even in the best of times. In the wake of a global pandemic , we’re all facing challenges we never thought we’d see. Being aware and prepared can help ease the strain for all parties. Here are a few tips on adjusting to an otherwise common occurrence in these uncertain times.
Why Do Staff Changes Happen?
Before we get into how to manage these situations, let’s talk about some of the common reasons they happen. Obviously, the coronavirus has caused a lot of uproar—people out of work, sick, and, in the worst of cases, dying. Major social events tend to cause shifts in individual lives, and many are finding themselves moving closer to family, or to less populated areas. Others are experiencing career shifts for themselves or their loved ones, or schooling challenges with their children.
Beyond COVID, though, there are plenty of other reasons for staff changes in your management company. Your association manager might get promoted. Administrative personnel might shift within the company, or move on to another job or career. And, of course, people occasionally retire as well.
How Do I Make Sure the Transition Is Smooth?
This is likely one of the first questions on your mind. You want to avoid as much disruption to your community’s day-to-day lives as possible. And you want to know your Board Members will be supported throughout the change process.
The key to making the transition simple and straightforward is making sure your management company has a thorough and tested procedure for transferring responsibilities and community and industry information. Constant communication from and within your management team is crucial at all times, but especially during this phase. Talk with your community manager about the company’s process, their understanding of their roles and responsibilities, and what’s most important for your community during times of transition.
How Is My Community’s Information Protected During Changes?
Whatever type of association manager you have or their level of involvement, they have intimate knowledge of the workings of your community, your finances, and your vision. When undergoing a manager transition, you want to know this information will be relayed in a timely, and comprehensive, manner.
The good news is your association manager is not the only person with this knowledge. Though your relationship with your manager is vital, the from the company is just as essential to everyone’s success. Other managers, their leaders and senior directors, and their administrative staff all play a part. Your association manager is part of a larger team that all do their part to make sure your community stays on track, and your new manager is properly trained and equipped to step into the role.
How Do I Know the Replacement Will Be a Good Fit?
Over time, you build a relationship with your association manager. They, in a way, become a part of your community. When changes happen, you’ll want to know if the new manager will fit into your community as well.
An experienced association management company knows this, and will make sure to find a replacement who connects with your community. The company should provide comprehensive training for all managers, and should have a thorough onboarding procedure for new community-manager relationships. And managers should so they are always up-to-date on industry and community knowledge.
How Do I Let My Residents Know About the Change?
It’s important to keep your residents informed on HOA staff changes, especially major ones like a new association manager. Use multiple platforms to make announcements to ensure as many people are getting the message as possible. Mass emails, your community’s website, text messages, and virtual conferences are all great ways to get the word out—and open up communication with your residents about the change. Once the new manager has come on board, schedule a (virtual) meeting where residents can ask questions, express concerns, and generally get to know their new ally.
You can also use a community portal, like the VCM Bridge , to communicate important news and announcements to your residents.
Change can be scary, but having the right support system helps keep things smooth and worry-free. While staff changes are an unavoidable part of HOA life, they don’t have to be stressful. Talk to your management company about their support process for substantial staff transitions.
Learn how we make your transitions smooth so you can stay on track for your community’s vision