For any homeowners association, hoping for the best but preparing for the worst should be the unofficial motto. For clients in this industry, understanding various crises that can befall an HOA helps to be as prepared as possible for the unexpected and limit reputational and legal fallout. This is where HOA Crisis Management comes into play, giving HOA members an outline of what to look out for and how to navigate community-wide problems. Board members need to be careful when drafting crisis communication and remember to ask themselves a few simple questions before sending any type of communication out. They must keep in mind that making the wrong choices sometimes unintentionally creates a more significant crisis than the original problem at hand.
Here are some useful steps that HOA clients can take to handle various crises.
Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More
HOA boards need to develop a notification plan and ensure that when a crisis is at hand, the members can access employee and association information from any location at any time. Training helps members and the communications team map out various scenarios in advance and work through potential challenges.
It’s important that HOA board members start early when building out a crisis communications team, so protocols are in place before they need to be used. This team consists of board members, managers, legal counsel, and even public relations consultants. Key spokespeople who work well under pressure should train beforehand to be the individuals who speak on behalf of the HOA.
Try to Resolve Things Early
Usually, crises within an HOA only reach the public when homeowners feel that there’s no other option than to go to the media. And with social media, an easy tool to use, word of mouth is easily spread. If an HOA sees that an issue has the potential to become a media crisis, it needs to do what it can to resolve it early and efficiently before the media is involved.
Show Compassion and Transparency
In most HOA crises, people don’t care about the HOA board proving what they already know. Instead, people need to see that the HOA cares about the problem. With any crisis, HOA’s should make it a point to show that it isn’t confrontational, but rather that it’s making an effort to resolve the issue and ensure that it isn’t a recurring problem.
Stay Informed, Stay Engaged
With a constantly evolving situation, it can be quite challenging to stay on top of news about a crisis, such as COVID-19, and figure out what information should be shared with homeowners. Ensuring that HOA members only pay attention to trusted news sources, such as a health department, can help keep HOA’s connected and informed on a proper response plan.
About Kevin Davis Insurance Services
For over 35 years, Kevin Davis Insurance Services has built an impressive reputation as a strong wholesale broker offering insurance products for the community association industry. Our president Kevin Davis and his team take pride in offering committed services to the community association market and providing them with unparalleled access to high-quality coverage, competitive premiums, superior markets, and detailed customer service. To learn more about the coverage we offer, contact us toll-free at (855)-790-7393 to speak with one of our representatives.