Creating a Communications Plan for Managing Your Residential Community

Communications is an incredibly essential part of any business.  When it comes to managing your residential community, you’ll most likely agree that it is a core part of your operations.  Whether you are managing a condo, HOA, or multi-family units, you’ll want to integrate a strong communications process in every key aspect of your business so you can continue to create enriched value for your residents, employees, and board members.  Community managers that we work with find communication very important so that they can instantly connect and exchange information with residents, employees, managers, board members, and vendors.  Additionally, a good communications plan helps speed the process for managing critical problems.

A common question that our customers ask us is how to better streamline communications with all people who are important for their residential/community management business.  Thus, we found it beneficial to highlight six key steps you can implement to create a solid communications plan that will help you better organize and manage the exchange of information in your community.  We’ll also navigate through Jackie, a residential property manager’s, experience and journey from creating a communications plan, to executing the plan, and revising for better results.

  1. Set High-Level Objectives

    Courtesy: "adidad8" from VecteezyIdentify what purpose communications will serve for your business and how it can create value for all the individuals you interact with.  Create goals that are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.  Make sure the goals resonate well with where your residential property company has been in the past and how you envision the future to be.

    Jackie is a community manager who is responsible for creating and executing high-level objectives.  She wants to cultivate an informative culture within her community by increasing quality communications to residents.  

  2. Pull in the expertise of team members and assign roles

    Depending on the size of your company and the objectives planned for, you may choose to pull in the expertise of team members and assign them various roles.  Utilize the talent around you.

    Jackie realizes that she has a huge task in front of her.  She decides to assign group members specific roles and also inform the Company Director of the strategy and accomplishments.  Be sure to document all your processes and ensure that each individual is clear on his or her goals, tasks, and the expected outcome.

  3. Create recurring tactics that align with your objectives

    Courtesy: "adidad8" from VecteezyTactics will serve as mini-milestones on your journey to achieving the objectives and SMART goals.  Tactics are daily or one-time tasks that roll-up to the high-level objective and should be timely and relevant.  

    Cody completed an important milestone by sending weekly emails to community members about latest community events and new updates on the company.  These emails are an important component of the company’s high-level objective to keep their residents engaged.  Essentially, a communications plan should consist of several concise, relevant, and timely tactics that will help to achieve the end results.

  4. Invest in software/latest technology

    A multitude of considerations must be made when planning to invest in a piece of technology or software for community and residential communications.  During consideration, your energies are directed toward researching tech/software features and trying to find the best fit for your departmental/organizational needs, testing out the ones that you like, convening with other team members, creating a budget for the investment, and then selecting a vendor to go along with.

    That’s why when Jackie decides to make a large investment, she ensures that the software she selected provides the desired features for the best value.  For a communications software that will potentially enhance communications with her residents, partners, managers, and the board members, she looked for features such as multi-channel, multi-lingual, customized, and scheduled communications all in one simple and intuitive interface.

  5. Monitor and analyze

    Evaluating the results of your communication is an ongoing process and will inform you of aspects of the program that are yielding the desired results and which aspects are coming short of the objectives.  

    Jackie and Cody both monitored the results of the weekly emails and are getting a decent click-through rate, but they realize they can do better.

  6. Revise your communications plan

    Based on what you have monitored and evaluated, it’s time to make some alterations to the plan or continue with the same objectives and tactics to keep the momentum going.  So, how did your communications strategy work (we hope it did!) for you?  

    Jackie, Cody, and the team are succeeding so far.  In the next emails, they plan to add a personal touch to their tone and branding to make the content more relatable to the residents and increase click-through-rates to their events page link.

Creating a plan for how to effectively engage with your residential community, managers, board managers, partners, and other individuals is a first step that you can take to enhance value for your community management company.  You will also be better equipped to improve community and vendor relations as well as manage problems of any level of criticality.