Wait… what?

Complaints are usually regarded as the biggest boil on the neck of every HOA manager. Nobody likes dealing with angry homeowners — even if their gripes are justified.

But what if a simple change in attitude could change everything?

While dealing with complaints isn’t the most pleasant part of your day, it’s still a critical part of your business. The way you handle those grievances can either make or break your success.

When you regard complaints as a nuisance, that attitude projects itself onto the people making them. Your perspective becomes reality — with everyone annoyed and defensive before the conversation even begins. And we all know what happens then.

Try a more positive approach

When someone comes in with negative feedback or suggestions, try seeing it as an opportunity. Open a sincere dialogue, and you’re sure to accomplish more. Here’s your chance to build a relationship, resolve issues, and show yourself and the HOA in a more positive, human light.

If you look at complaints as a contest over who’s right or wrong, they’ll be little more than a source of contention. So how do you adjust your attitude to turn the tides when a steamed homeowner starts grumbling?

  • Listen — Hear them out and try to understand what they’re really saying. Interrupting with a memorized set of rules only makes you look like a tyrant on a power trip, not an advocate who wants to help.
  • Educate — Help homeowners understand the issues. You might need to re-state and explain the reasons behind certain bylaws, but do so with an ear to the homeowner’s feelings.
  • Reassure — Let people see that while you’re there to enforce the rules, your objective is to make sure they are justly applied to everyone. Nobody should be made a scapegoat — even you.

We’re pretty sure the old adage, “attitude is everything” was written for the bedraggled HOA manager. So when you’re ready to bristle at the next complaint, take a breath and see the silver lining of opportunity before you. It’ll make you a happier, more effective leader.

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