The Right Communication for Every Generation

January 11, 2024
January 11, 2024 Sasha Cancél

Every day, different generations interact in the elevators and pass through the halls of your HOA/association, each with their perspective of the world. Baby Boomers, Millennials, and Gen Z each have their distinct preferences and approaches to the way they live in a community. 

Each generation comes with its own set of values, expectations, and technological comfort levels, influencing how they prefer to engage with homeowners’ associations (HOAs) and property management companies. Recognizing these differences and adapting communication strategies accordingly is not just a matter of courtesy; it’s a strategic approach to ensuring smooth operation and high satisfaction among all residents and owners. 


The Importance of Generation-Specific Communication

Tailoring communication to each generation’s preferences is not just about enhancing understanding; it’s about building a community where every voice is heard and respected. Recognizing and adapting to the unique perspectives of each generation fosters trust and strengthens community bonds.

Effective communication extends beyond the simple exchange of information; it’s all about the art of listening, understanding, and responding appropriately. This skill is crucial for building trust, fostering deeper understanding, and conflict resolution. In the professional sphere, it’s essential for guiding teams, facilitating negotiations, and improving customer relations, making it an indispensable asset in a digitally-driven world.

Below are some effective strategies to engage with each generation, ensuring smooth operations in HOAs and associations


Communication Strategies for Each Generation

A) Onboarding Process

Boomers favor in-person orientations, Millennials prefer digital onboarding like virtual tours and webinars, and Gen Z seeks quick, app-based orientations.

– Boomers: Prefer traditional face-to-face meetings or detailed printed materials for onboarding.

– Millennials: Opt for digital onboarding processes, including video calls and online tutorials.

– Gen Z: Seek efficient onboarding experiences through mobile apps or concise digital content.


B) Management to Resident Communications

For Boomers, newsletters and face-to-face meetings work wonders. Millennials respond best to digital channels like emails and social media, while Gen Z prefers concise text messages or app alerts.

– Boomers: Value personal interactions and detailed physical letters or flyers on their doors.

– Millennials: Respond well to emails, social media updates, and virtual meetings.

– Gen Z: Prefer direct, concise communications through instant messaging or app notifications.


C) Service Requests, Amenity Bookings, and Maintenance Orders

Boomers may choose phone calls for these services. Millennials are inclined towards online systems, and Gen Z values mobile app-based solutions for immediate handling.

– Boomers: May prefer phone calls or in-person visits for making requests or bookings.

– Millennials: Utilize online platforms or email for these services, appreciating digital convenience.

– Gen Z: Expect to handle all requests and bookings swiftly through a mobile app.


D) Intergenerational Communication

Boomers stick to their old-school tactics while Millennials cherish life before the smartphone and are deft at organizing community events. Gen Z were born with technology in their hands.

– Boomers: Prefer conversations by the pool or in the elevator and enjoy building communities through community boards.

– Millennials: Use online forums to organize group events (such as running groups or barbecues).

– Gen Z: Digital natives who organically like, comment, and share their thoughts across the board.


Uniting Generations in HOAs/Associations

While each generation has its unique traits, they share common goals in HOAs and associations – a desire for a well-managed, harmonious living environment. Acknowledging these shared objectives is key to creating a unified community. Effective communication strategies should cater to individual preferences while fostering a sense of collective responsibility.


Say it again?

While Generation Z prefers face-to-face communication in professional interactions, especially when dealing with older generations like Boomers, Millennials are more inclined towards digital messaging apps, avoiding traditional phone calls. Generation X prefers email and concise messages, while Baby Boomers prefer in-person discussions and phone calls for communication.

Despite these varied preferences, it is essential to recognize that at the core, all generations share similar values, including the need to feel valued and recognized within their community. Common ground fosters effective communication, bridging generational gaps, and boosting mutual respect in property management.

By leveraging technology like ONR, property managers can ensure effective management and a cohesive community, where every generation feels valued and connected. Embracing this diversity in communication leads to more efficient property management and a community where all generations can coexist peacefully.