Re-invent Your Strata, Tip #12: Why Residents Don’t Care.
We’re all guilty of whining from time to time. I whine about Canada’s position on the environment (what’s with Bill C-38 anyway?), I moan about the rain, I rant about reality TV, and don’t get me started on media ownership. Anyway, my point is we all whine, and for the most part I’m okay with it.
But we all have our limits – things we just can’t stand hearing people complain about. One of mine is listening to strata councils complain that residents don’t care. This is not only inaccurate, it’s unfair. It’s inaccurate, because residents do indeed care, and unfair, because it places the weighty shortcomings of the strata council squarely on the shoulders of unknowing and unprepared residents. This is clearly no way to Re-invent Your Strata.
Take a second to think back to when you first purchased your home. Most of us spent a large chunk of our life savings buying our home. It’s an emotional, exciting time. When we move in, we’re motivated to learn about our new environment, borrow a corkscrew from the neighbours, park in “your spot” for the first time and figure out how things work. At this time residents are engaged. Residents care a whole lot.
But as time goes by, a curious thing happens. Many residents disengage, participation wanes, questions stop. Residents become conditioned to their living environment. They get used to poor communication and lack of discussion and often become disillusioned by strata bureaucracy.
But don’t confuse a lack of participation with a lack of caring.
The challenge for any strata council that doesn’t hear BOO! from residents (let’s face it, that’s most stratas), is to recognise the problem and create a plan to re-engage residents.
Re-engaging residents is an ongoing task. It has no completion date. It’s going to take hard work and a complete change in the way that your strata council communicates with residents. Technology (like MiCasa) is available to help speed up the process. Using technology to open lines of communication, will enable your strata to reap the rewards of an engaged community and help to Re-invent Your Strata.
Go ahead, have your say:
Does this article get you thinking about your own strata experiences? If so, we’d love to hear from you.
(Maggiejumps is responsible for the hilarious man whining image. Thank you so much.)