The last thing you want on a Sunday morning is to open up your front door to hear about how so and so down the hall annoyed the gentleman in front of you. It just starts your day off on the wrong foot. However, with a multi-family property that can house a large number of people, you may have to deal with a lot of owner complaints when personalities clash and patience wears thin.Demographically speaking, there most likely will be a range of ages in your building, which adds fuel to the fire. Additionally, a large property like that may also see a lot of requests from its residents.
It probably isn’t your most favourite thing to do, but it’s important to keep track of owner complaints and requests and resolve them quickly. As a condo board member, keeping track of complaints can help you identify possible troublemakers. Without clear records, it’s next to impossible to follow up with condo residents or establish accountability. When resolution doesn’t happen promptly or at all, you’ll have some pretty angry residents on your hands. To keep complaints and requests organized, and to mitigate owner clashes, follow the three tips below.
- Establish Standards: How will condo owners submit their requests or complaints? This question is an important one. You don’t want to be opening your door just like in the above story only to forget what the guy complained about an hour later. Similarly, taking complaints and requests during random encounters won’t help you remember them unless they’re really unusual. If the information is written down, it’s easier to organize, remember, and act. Therefore, to keep processes organized and vital information together, create a standardized form for owners to fill out. If they have a request, fill out the form. If someone’s venting about a noisy neighbour, direct them to the form. It will save you from having to go back to them to clarify information. Including specifics such as date and nature of the complaint, the reason for the request, etc., will help you understand the situation better and determine your course of action. This form will also make it clear to condo owners how they must proceed when an issue arises.
- Create a Spreadsheet: Once you have all the details collected by the form, input them into a spreadsheet for easy reference. It may involve a lot of work at the start, but it will save you more time if you have to look back on them. Having a system to track and resolve resident complaints and requests helps you spot reoccurring problems and lets you organize them based on severity. It’s important to note in your spreadsheet the date of when anything occurs—when you received the form, when you acted, when there was a resolution, etc. You should also note what form of action you took, whether you personally talked with the noisemaker or sent them a letter. If the person who filed the complaint or request, later on, asks you specific details, you can easily tell them what the result was and when it happened.
- Keep Transparency Going: If you see there’s a reoccurring complaint or request, like a maintenance issue or a request to keep a service running longer, bring it to the attention of the rest of the condo board. If you’ve received many opinions on it, you’re likely to get more if the situation isn’t addressed. It’s also crucial to keep the residents who made the complaint or request in the loop. It lets them know things are getting handled and fixed. Communication transparency keeps condo owners happy.
Keeping track of hundreds of complaints and requests can be a huge job. If you and the other condo members aren’t up to the task or simply don’t want the headache, property management companies like Braden Equites Inc. are there to help. They have easy systems already in place to organize and track things. If you feel you have a handle on things, remember to create a form and spreadsheet, communicate often with your fellow condo owners, and, if all else fails, remember you have backup.