Summer is right around the corner, and you know what that means: Summer vacation. Not enough businesses are willing to admit that vacation time is crucial.  

 

It's not just a luxury or a perk — it's a necessity. Ensuring that your staff members are mentally healthy and can separate work from play goes a long way toward business success.  

 

That said, vacations can be challenging, especially in community association management, where managers are heavily involved in the HOAs and condos they manage. When you're hands-on, it can be hard to go hands-off, even for a much-needed long weekend. 

 

Thinking of Adding a Global Flair to Your Local Team? 

 

With fewer and fewer CAMs entering the industry every year, relying on coworkers to cover all responsibilities might be impossible. The trick to successfully navigating HOA manager vacations is to plan ahead.  

 

Get Ahead to Stay Ahead 

 

It all starts with a plan. You know that HOA manager vacation time will be challenging for your business operations, but, as we said, it is a huge component of overall success. Taking steps in advance will set that success in motion before the vacation requests come. Here are a few ways to give your team the sharpest edge this summer (and for all future vacation seasons)! 

 

Tasks That You Can Delegate to a Virtual Employee 

 

Keep Everything Updated  

 

When managing communities, your databases are your keys to success. This covers everything from contacts within each community, like board and committee members, to vendor contacts for your technology and payment providers to internal team contact information. Anything can go wrong at any time, and somehow, it always happens when someone takes a day off, doesn't it? Having those files in order will keep everyone on the same page and make any fires that crop up simple to extinguish. Communication is a huge part of the task load someone will be shouldering during an HOA manager vacation. Keep your records, files, and contact information updated to streamline task delegation when the time comes.  

 

Set Up Processes in Advance 

 

The management company shouldn't be the only team keeping things in order to prep for vacation time. Managers should work with their boards (or any relevant points of contact in their communities) to establish processes to be used in their absence. This can include anything from general day-to-day outreach and communication to specific emails or notices regarding community activities, website or user portal maintenance, or vendor communication. Regardless of the task load, collaborating with the communities that will be seeing a new face for a few days and hearing from someone other than their standard point of contact can be a game changer when it comes time for HOA manager vacation time.  

 

Delegate to the Right People 

 

It's not enough to know that you'll need coverage for HOA manager vacation outages — it's essential to determine who covers whom and which tasks end up on each plate. Fellow CAM managers should be handling on-site needs like overseeing community meetings and recording violations. But off-site tasks can gum up the work for them. Instead of tasking managers with both sets of responsibilities, generate a list of off-site tasks like those communications we mentioned. Hand them off to administrative team members who will be more available to answer emails or phone calls quickly. 

 

Break Out the Beach Chairs! 

 

Vacation is not a dirty word, and it doesn't have to be a headache. Sure, your team of managers can handle a lot, but they shouldn't have to handle it all. Equipping them with the tools and processes they need to succeed guarantees everyone a worry-free vacation.  

 

HireSmart VE Is Always Available for His Family and Profession 

 

A virtual employee (VE) could be a useful tool in your toolbox. Bringing on a person dedicated to filling in the gaps during an HOA manager's vacation can be the difference between treading water and breezing through the vacation season.  

 

For more information about how a VE can support your community association management company for vacations and beyond, click here and schedule your free 30-minute consultation.  

 

Cheers! 

   

Anne + The HireSmart Team 

Co-Founder – HireSmart Companies 

Direct: 678-389-9929 

Helping Business Owners Find Great Workers – HireSmart Virtual Employees 

www.HireSmartVirtualEmployees.com 

Helping Kids – HireSmart Cares in Action 

Thank you to our clients who are creating an impact 

www.HireSmartCares.org 

Need to talk? Schedule a time – www.MeetHireSmart.com 

 

There’s an old saying about how there’s more than one way to…well, let’s say “peel a potato” (we’re kind to our furry friends here at HireSmart Virtual Employees). In any case, the same can be said of community association managers – there are many right ways to do the job. Often, though, managers tend to fall into one of two categories of CAM management style: task-oriented or relationship-oriented. Neither is inherently right nor wrong – both are incredibly valuable in many ways!

While both CAM management styles have advantages and disadvantages, management company executives need to identify which category each of their managers falls into to set up ways for all of their staff and clients to succeed.

Identifying CAM Management Styles

To identify your CAM’s management styles, consider the following:

Once you've identified which CAM management style each of your managers falls into, you can better understand their strengths and weaknesses, how to foster their success, and how to translate that into success for your clients.

Some Managers Are “The Doers”

Task-oriented management is focused on getting things done efficiently and effectively, and these managers know the importance of the timely execution of responsibilities. This CAM management style places a high priority on completing contractually designated tasks and meeting deadlines. These managers are rockstars in efficiently managing day-to-day operations such as paying vendor invoices, posting notices about meetings or announcements to the community, and keeping records appropriately filed digitally and physically when needed. They also tend to excel at quick thinking and decision-making, which can greatly benefit monthly meetings.

However, there is a downside: task-oriented managers may not emphasize building relationships with residents as much. This lack of focus on relationships can lead to communication breakdowns and resident dissatisfaction. They also may not prioritize community involvement or building a sense of community, causing a lack of engagement and participation from residents.

Overall, while a task-oriented CAM management style can effectively manage day-to-day operations, management companies need to give these task-focused managers the tools they need to better their communication skills and foster more successful community engagement and satisfaction.

Other Managers Are “Hand Holders”

Relationship-oriented CAMs build and maintain positive relationships with board members and residents. These managers know every current resident is a potential future board member and stress the importance of every interaction in the community.

This CAM management style prioritizes communication and engagement to create a strong trust between the association and the management company. These managers are great at instilling a stronger sense of community and generating high resident satisfaction. Residents appreciate managers who listen to their concerns and provide timely, friendly responses! These CAMs offer improved communication, transparency, and increased resident involvement and participation.

Of course, it’s not all sunshine, even if their attitudes say otherwise. Relationship-oriented managers may be less efficient at completing tedious, routine tasks and struggle to meet deadlines. Their focus on relationships may lead to long meetings and discussions, which can take away time spent on other important tasks.

So, while relationship-oriented management can lead to a strong sense of community and resident satisfaction, management companies must offer these managers adequate resources to help them succeed in task-oriented respects so that day-to-day operations run efficiently and effectively. Community associations can achieve a successful and thriving community.

Meeting in the Middle

Ultimately, the success of your community association managers (and the communities they serve) depends on balancing task-oriented and relationship-oriented CAM management styles. By identifying each manager's strengths and weaknesses, you can be better equipped when the time comes to find resources and tools that will help them grow in their careers and support their communities.

HireSmart Virtual Employees provides a wide range of services to help managers thrive, regardless of their CAM management style. For task-oriented managers, this can mean offering a helping hand in resident outreach, email communications, and board relationship management. For your managers focused on relationship-building, this can mean creating daily to-do lists to keep management tasks on track, setting up calendar reminders and email alerts to guarantee deadlines are tracked and met, and working with the board or vendors to move tasks when needed.

Regardless of what CAM management styles you have in your management company, a CAM Virtual Employee (VE) can be a game changer in how they support their communities. Click here to set up your free 30-min consultation and learn what a CAM VE can do for you today.

 

As a community association manager, you are responsible for keeping your HOAs and condo associations running smoothly. That means making and giving them the tools to ensure that repairs and regular maintenance are done in a timely manner and helping to manage HOA vendors and contractors who work on their properties.

But managing those communications isn’t easy. Whether you’re overwhelmed with the sheer number of vendors you have to communicate with for all of your properties and maintenance needs, are dealing with unresponsive vendors, or struggling to connect your board members with the vendors directly, there are a lot of ways communication can break down.

Juggling Acts

Most community association managers today handle multiple communities at a time, often breaching double digits. So, handling repairs or other maintenance needs can often be a real juggling act, especially if most of those HOAs are relying on the same services from a variety of providers.

The key to succeeding here is establishing a call rotation of sorts. Managing how and when you call each vendor by setting up a standing rotation of communications you make per service request can create a system that keeps goals and expectations clear for the vendor and for you to pass on to your communities. Consider setting up a process that lays out when to make phone calls, send emails, or send SMS texts if the option is available.

It can also be helpful to create templates for each communication effort so that you don’t have to type out the same email dozens of times. And having a phone script to rely on when making calls to vendors is a great tool to ensure you hit all the important talking points at once, avoiding the need to make follow-up calls.

Missed Connections

Making all the calls is important, but what happens when the people you’re calling are unresponsive or unengaged? When HOA vendors are consistently failing to answer your calls, emails, texts, or smoke signals, you’re fighting a losing battle that your communication strategy can’t fix. It’s important at this point to start documenting what communications are being ignored and start working on a plan of action to address the issue.

One way to do this is by turning on Read Receipts for your emails and text communications whenever possible. This helps to establish a timeline of when you’re sending information to vendors, and if/when they’re viewing those messages. This can also be helpful in determining whether there’s a technology problem – not all unread messages are malicious!

Sometimes emails get sent out and sucked into the Internet abyss. Text messages don’t get delivered, or calls go to full voicemail inboxes with no one the wiser. Implementing and monitoring checkpoints in your communication efforts can help determine which vendors are unresponsive, and which ones are thinking that about you thanks to faulty tech.

Playing Telephone

Vendors aren’t the only ones notorious for missing calls. Your board members are busy, but at the end of the day, it’s their responsibility to do certain tasks, like signing or renewing vendor contracts, settling on service amendments, or issuing payments to vendors. And that can mean a lengthy, discouraging game of telephone.

This is where your communications calendar will come in handy – on top of the calls, texts, or emails you’re scheduling time for to reach vendors, consider adding board members with the authority to make those important decisions. Having the right person on a standing communication schedule can help avoid repeat phone calls or emails being sent out and can streamline the communication process between your HOAs and their vendors.

Maximizing These Processes

Admittedly, while all these solutions have the potential to be highly effective in simplifying HOA vendor communications, carrying them out takes an overwhelming amount of time – more than any one manager realistically has in their day. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still make this all happen. A Community Association Virtual Employee is a great addition to your team to help ensure HOA vendor communication processes aren’t just implemented, they’re efficient and maintained.

More than that, simple communications like scheduling repairs, verifying payment deliveries, and following up with board members can all also be done by a virtual employee. VEs are a great solution for HOA vendor communication needs. Contact us today for your complimentary 30-min consultation to find a Community Association Virtual Employee to help manage your HOA vendor communications.

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