Do you make it easy for people to complain?

As I write this article I am pretty much ready to severely hurt my neighbor! They are nice people, and I like them, but they seem to have NO concept that this is a multifamily community-and that we can hear everything they say and do!

From the minute they moved in we have experienced non-stop construction noises (saws, hammers, clanging metal etc.) from early morning to late at night, along with LOUD conversations (usually on speaker phone so we can BOTH sides of the conversation), fights between the family (with the windows wide open) and loud music and sound from the television.

Thanks for nothing!

We have tried complaining to the HOA’s community manager about our neighbor and they’ve informed us that they will only consider our complaint if we put it in writing, with our name and unit number identified. Without that documentation they won’t address the issue.

(Meanwhile we did receive a letter demanding that our daughter cease picking the flowers in the bushes in front of our home! Glad the HOA is on that very pressing issue.)

I have refused to put my name on any complaint because I do not trust that the HOA will handle my complaint with the type of discretion and anonymity that I desire. I have to live next to them, and I’ve worked in multifamily long enough to know that often times these types of situations go south if not handled correctly.

(In case you’re wondering, we have mentioned the noise issues to them before in conversation.)

Here is what I don’t get … why can’t the community manager take our complaint, investigate the situation and inform the resident of the issue based on the feedback we’ve provided, without bringing us directly (by name) into the situation?

As an onsite manager for many years I would:

  • Allow residents to provide anonymous feedback
  • Investigate and address any situations that we became aware of, regardless of whether the person complaining offered his/her name or not
  • When requested, we tried to shield the identity of the complaining resident as much as possible, by withholding details or information that would implicate the complaining resident
  • I would then follow up with the resident who complained to provide them with an update

That way we could address the problems and find solutions that work for everyone. In short I tried to make it as easy as possible for people to provide us 1376516770with their feedback, and not have people jump through tons hoops to give us the vital information we could use to create a positive experience for everyone.

As the former customer care manager of a large real estate company, I know that no one likes to receive and deal with complaints! But I can tell you that it’s vital to receive feedback from your residents and customers, to do something with the feedback you received and then to update everyone involved so they know that you’re on it!

Join me for “Stop Yelling at Me!” and “How NOT to Lose a Resident in 12 Months” at the Midwest Multifamily Conference for more ways to enhance your resident experience and make your job easier!