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Open Lines Communication is the Key to a Successful Community

Nobody knows who said it, but it speaks volumes: "If we don't take care of our customers, someone else will." Think about it this way—we just passed the holiday season. When you were in the store doing your holiday shopping and no one was available to wait on you and get you what you need, what did you do?

Perhaps a store manager finally ran by telling you how busy they are, and promised they'd get to you soon, but they didn't. Eventually, if you're like many people, your patience wore out and you left to give your business to another store. If this scenario happened while you were in a restaurant, you might, once again, walk out and take your hunger elsewhere.

Laura Baddish, a Passaic County, New Jersey resident, knows that when she has a problem in her building she should contact the management company. When a particular repair and billing issue of hers was not resolved, she took her complaint to a higher authority—her board of directors. Unfortunately, she didn't get the response she had hoped for there either.

Nobody's Listening!

"My stack of papers on this is about two inches high," says Baddish. "The board was so unresponsive; the management company would print out computer-generated invoice after invoicewith no explanations. Additionally, they would hold checks forcing late charges to occur. I have since resorted to sending checks return receipt."

This is just one example of poor communication between an association board and its residents. Unfortunately, when the lines of communication break down at any point, problems and animosity are the almost unavoidable result.

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