Community Management and Positive Community Relations

Want access to MHCO content?

For complete access to forms, conference presentations, community updates and MHCO columns, log in to your account or register.

October 5, 2015
Tom Petitt
Vice President
Commonwealth Real Estate Services

A manufactured home community manager’s job today is much more than collecting rents and maintaining a community.  Working to maintain the good will of the residents is equally important.  This is not so much an extra task as it is a matter of style dependent upon how you conduct yourself as you manage the business of the community.  You are the leader in the community.  The ability to see yourself as others see you will do a lot to make your job easier.

 

The key is to recognize that a manufactured home community is not just a business enterprise; it is also a small town.  The residents expect you to be, from time to time, something of a mayor, judge, law enforcer, mediator and diplomat – as well as bill collector and manager of buildings and grounds.  

Simply stated, resident relations is the measure of how well, or poorly, the manager and resident get along in the rental community.  Developing and maintaining good, positive relations is an important, on-going management challenge and opportunity.  Positive resident relations are one of the most attractive features of well-managed manufactured home communities. 

The results of good resident relations are:

1.    It makes community living easier and more pleasant for management and residents.

2.    It promotes a positive and enjoyable living environment which, in turn, generates community pride.

3.    It encourages resident referrals.  This is the most economical form of community promotion available.

4.    It helps develop a good local reputation for the community in particular and the manufactured housing industry in general.

5.    It discourages the need or desire for rent control and/or landlord-tenant legislation.

The right attitude in resident relations is the same as any personal relationship – whether with a friend, spouse, job supervisor, or community manager.  In fact, developing positive resident relations is the Golden Rule of successful property management.  This means being positive, fair, helpful, and communicative with residents and staff alike.  Additionally, in all management matters, “Be firm, but fair – diplomatically” and “Be friendly to all, but friends to none.”  The community’s rules ,regulations and statement of policy can be the keystone to good resident relations.  If well designed, the rules and regulations as well as the statement of policy reinforce the community’s image; if well written, they diminish chances of misunderstanding; if well understood, they reduce property damage and resident problems."

Positive resident relations is the Golden Rule of successful property management.  Adopt that attitude and adopt the measures suggested. Developing good resident relations will come easily.  Just remember to communicate accurately, briefly, clearly and concisely in everything you say and write.

Column Topics: