5 Ways To Deal With Board Members That Micro-Manage

board-micro-manage

“I’d like to be able to review every message before you reply to residents”. That’s one of many cases we’ve heard from property managers, voicing their concern regarding board members that micro-manage.

It’s no secret that board members that micro-manage make life tough for property managers. The need for the board to control even the smallest aspect of a property manager’s job is not only considered a nuisance—it’s stressful. What if I told you there’s a way to satisfy a board’s thirst for control AND keep your sanity?

The first rule of thumb is to be rational about the situation. In other words, don’t let the board’s demands, no matter how unreasonable, trigger an emotional reaction. Keep calm, be professional and always smile. =)

Then, do what they ask or need but on your own terms. It’s really that simple. Think of it as “managing the micro-manager”. In this way, you’re no longer a victim—you’re actually in control of how the dynamic plays out. Here are five tips for dealing with it:

Remember that it’s not personal.

Board members are not micro-managers because they want to torment you personally. Usually, it’s because they are control freaks by nature—it’s a behavioral issue that affects all their relationships. Realize that it’s their issue, not yours. Let go of feeling under personal attack, so you can let go of feeling angry, resentful, and overwhelmed. Here’s a trick. The next time a board member asks for an unreasonable request, understand that it may be due to personal circumstances. Be sympathetic and everything should be a breeze.

Make regular use of the email “cc” field.

When you keep your board members in the loop about issues, it demonstrates your understanding of their need to be informed. An easy way to do this, is to copy them on your responses to emails with suppliers, contractors, staff, and others if appropriate. You can also send them an end-of-week summary. This keeps them in the loop for easy reference and proof of your efficiency.

Establish a weekly meeting.

It doesn’t have to be a face-to-face meeting. Using tools like Google Hangouts or Skype can work out better. Be proactive with your board member and catch up on things each week to discuss issues and projects. A formal meeting will give the board member the special attention they feel they deserve. But make sure to set the meeting time in your favor. If you schedule it at 4:30 p.m., for example, it’s more likely to encourage the board member to finish within a reasonable period. And while it seems like overkill, this tactic helps you control the amount of time you devote to the board member and stops them from running roughshod over your entire workweek.

Automate access to community documents.

Often, board members simply want ready access to information. Tools like Evercondo give board members the control they desire without adding more work for you as the property manager. You can use Evercondo to store documents (reports, meeting minutes, financial statements, status documents, etc.) online and give access to board members through a secure web portal.

Give board members something to do.

Simply involving them in projects or asking for their help will change your relationship with the board member. Instead of seeing you as an obstacle to their desire for control, they will see you as a proactive partner. Plus it’s a great way to keep them busy and give you something to discuss in your weekly meetings!

Have you ever been micro-managed by a board or any other boss? How did you handle it? Share your stories in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Evercondo the leading web and mobile platform that facilitates quick, useful communication between property managers, the condo association or HOA board, and residents. Contact us for a demonstration or a free trial to see how we can keep your communities happy.

  • Todd Presnick

    As a Board Member, I find your last “tip” condescending. The PM works for the Board. Period.

    • Grant Yim

      Hi Todd,

      Thanks for the feedback. Indeed, the manager is hired by the board to run the day to day management of the community on behalf of the board. To further elaborate on that last point in the blog, when we see PMs actively engage board and seek their help, it becomes a much more collaborative relationship between the two and one that fosters and nurtures teamwork.