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5-part series: Top five trends for effective community management, part 2

The HOA management industry is in the midst of a shift from those who influence community management, to those who advance community management through new and innovative ways. There is a definite shift in paradigm from the old ways of thinking.

In the not-too-distant past, management deals happened through handshakes, faxes and a lot of trust. In today's marketplace of mistrust and hyper-sensitivity, those looking to close a deal have to constantly adjust their thinking in many areas to satisfy all parties concerned. How have things changed?

Because of the proliferation of online information, facts and figures about you and your community are readily available to pass along whenever anyone wants it. We might think that publishing information is all we need to do, but significant value can be added to your online content to ensure a positive response by the end user.

There has been a new emphasis on transparency. The Davis Stirling Act, along with corporate laws and court cases, give us insight into the importance of transparency. Managers today must practice transparency in every aspect of their jobs including, communication, records, board decisions, and managerial oversight.

New media have exposed a misalignment in communication. Too often, what we say and write is out of line with the message or vision we wish to impart. We see communities that claim "community" and then craft rules and board actions that contradict it. Alignment is all about ensuring that our messages are integrated with our actions and decisions to yield consistent results.

The rise of information and data mining: collecting and using data in a global industry to help inform decision makers in their planning and design is a practice that is slowly filtering into our industry. Yet, even with the abundance of data, much work is to be done to ensure we have productive and useful data about the costs and operating capacities for such communities.

The industry struggles with efficiency. The old adage that inefficient management produces more work is still true in HOA management. Managers must balance legal requirements, developer and board expectations, and members' needs to ensure a successful business relationship.

Customer expectations are on the rise. Community managers who fail, fail first at identifying their customers' expectations. Although contracts and legal requirements are useful for direction, successful managers realize that these are tools to help meet client expectations.

Without education, experience and guidance, today's managers often get lost trying break away from old thinking Associa NNJ, Inc. can help! We're committed to providing our employees with the very best training and development programs available. Come and see for yourself how it is possible to love your HOA with Associa NNJ. See next week's article for Trend #3.

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Written by Rob Felix, CEO of N.N. Jaeschke Inc.

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