Sep 23, 2020 11:30 AM EDT
Homeowners associations don't necessarily have the best reputations, and some of that is well-deserved. HOAs are often seen as overly rigid, and perhaps not the most modern of entities. There may be a sense of hostility directed at HOAs and minimal owner participation.
When you have a strong HOA, and the board has a good reputation, it can improve property values in your community. When your HOA has a bad reputation, it can be tough for owners to sell their homes.
There are things HOAs can do that range from streamlining their operations to improving the appearance of the community that will go a long way.
When you use an HOA software solution, you're going to modernize your board and help make things more convenient for yourself and your residents.
With an HOA management system, you can take care of accounting and make it simple for people to pay their HOA fees within the interface. There is also a sense of transparency and accountability that comes with a centralized dashboard.
It gives you a place where everyone can go to communicate, and when things are moving along smoothly, you're going to have happier residents and a more effective HOA.
Increasing communication is one of the most valuable initiatives to take on if you want to help your reputation. With HOA software, you can easily keep residents up-to-date with what's going on, and also answer their questions quickly.
For your HOA to be effective, you need to be seen as transparent and trustworthy. You don't want to be viewed as some group operating behind the scenes without facing residents.
Hold regular informal social events and encourage residents to get to know members of the board.
Your board members need to be seen as willing to listen and also take feedback into account.
The importance of transparency has been touched on a bit, and by implementing transparent processes, you're going to gain more trust. When you're budgeting, let everyone see where their money is going. Don't leave your residents wondering exactly what it is they're paying for.
If they have questions, you should be comfortable answering them.
Many of the biggest issues that HOAs and residents face when dealing with one another are related to either a lack of available information or a lack of understanding. When you have the details, provide them.
If you bury your head in the sand about why residents don't like HOAs, you're never going to be able to foster open dialogue or come up with solutions. Confront the problems head-on and be willing to see the role you might play in these issues.
One big thing people don't like about HOAs is the dues they pay. This goes back to something above-you need to show homeowners what they're getting for their money. If they can't see the value they're getting by paying HOA dues, you're not doing your job.
Before you charge any special assessments, you need to make sure that this will give your residents a return on their investment.
Again, it can also be tough to sell a home if there's an HOA. Many of the reasons buyers might not want to purchase in your community can come down to bad management. There might be limited cash reserves, too many lawsuits, or extensive delinquencies on dues. A well-run and managed HOA might not deter a buyer, but one that's poorly run almost always will.
If homeowners aren't engaged in the community and the HOA, then you're going to have no way of knowing what's important to them.
When homeowners are new to the community, you want to welcome them and educate them on what you do as the HOA. Show the positive impact your efforts have on living in the community.
Create committees that will allow everyone to participate if they want to.
Stay connected with technology, and finally make an HOA something that allows everyone in the neighborhood to have fun together.
If you only focus on rules and dues, that's what residents will associate with the HOA as a whole.
Instead, have parties and events that are a way for people to get to know one another and celebrate.
HOA members too often feel like there's nothing they can do to shake their bad reputation, but the reality is that there are steps to take.
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