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February 9, 2024

Elevating the Homeowner Experience in Community Association Management

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Many factors contribute to how community association management companies can enhance the quality of life for their homeowners and boards. To ensure a positive relationship with their associations, management companies must be mindful of their homeowners’ needs, the role of technology in the relationship, transparent communications strategies, understanding how to solicit and incorporate homeowner feedback, and keep an eye on future trends in the industry.  

Understanding Homeowner Needs 

Homeowners' needs have evolved significantly, with a greater demand for transparency, real-time access to data, and effective communication. Homeowners and board members want to stay informed and connected to their communities, requiring access to documents, data, and a user-friendly online portal. In addition, the ability to provide these resources in as close to real time as possible is essential.  

“I've been in the industry for 20-25 years now and I can tell you that the homeowner's needs have changed dramatically in that time. Today, our homeowners and board members are more interested in what's happening in their communities, they want access to the data, and we're striving to ensure they have it.” - Jason Shoenholtz, Co-Owner, Trident Management 

To help meet these ever-increasing needs, the most successful management companies have a solid understanding of how technological tools and software can help. 

The Role of Technology in Enhancing Experience 

Technology, particularly A.I. and advanced management software like Vantaca, plays a pivotal role in improving the homeowner experience. With the increasing availability of A.I. tools tailored for community management applications, businesses are turning to solutions like chatbots to provide immediate responses to homeowners' queries, thereby increasing efficiency and ensuring rapid response to their needs.  

“One thing that we see that A.I. is doing for us is that it's cutting out the common everyday basic questions, what's my HOA fee? Can I have a red house? Our managers and their assistants can focus on bigger, long-term projects because those questions can be handled by something else that we don't have to hire, train and make sure they’re showing up to work.” -Ian Tallent, System Analyst, PAMco 

Technology not only enhances the quality of service but also allows community managers to spend more time focusing on significant projects that require human interaction and getting out in the communities they manage to build better relationships with their homeowners and boards. 

“The more that we can let the back-end technology do the things that it does great, the more effective and frankly, the happier managers are because they get to do what they actually want to do.” - Jason Shoenholtz, Co-Owner, Trident Management  

Transparent Communication Strategies 

Ensuring that homeowners are well-informed and involved by leveraging various communication channels ranging from emails and text messages, to hosting community events and meetings is crucial in establishing transparent communication. Not every community is the same, so both generic and personalized communications could be required depending on the specific needs of the type of community, whether it be single-family homes or condominiums. One thing that is important across all kinds of communities is establishing a routine of consistent communication so homeowners know what to expect from their HOA.  

“In addition to posting any kind of community event on our community calendar feature, we also use it for any type of reminder, for example your trash cans should be put out on this date and brought in by this date. So, while we're helping ourselves, we're also just letting homeowners know that we are here, and we are trying to help them. We're not here to just fine them and tell them that their grass is too tall. Those regular communications, that's the best strategy that we've had.” -Ian Tallent, System Analyst, PAMco 


 Utilizing Feedback and Data 

While surveys to homeowners can often result in biased responses, filtering that feedback to identify valid points for improvement is important in the growth of any management company.  

“The reality is that we live in a world today where people are not afraid to voice their opinion when they’re behind a keyboard. So we need to balance it, because the last thing we want is to get that one negative comment and think that's everything that's going on in that community. But at the same time, I do want to know if there's something that needs improvement, or there's a change that needs to be made.” - Jason Shoenholtz, Co-Owner, Trident Management 

Technologically advanced community management companies are also turning to the use of data analytics provided by tools like Vantaca IQ, to proactively monitor their employees’ performance.  

“It just allows us to take a deeper dive and figure out what's going on inside these communities. Maybe our staff needs a little bit of extra help in one community, maybe the board or the homeowners are a little bit needy in this other community and we need to revisit how we handle their questions. It allows us to be able to look at the data and helps our staff respond to these questions properly and accurately so that we have less questions coming in.” -Ian Tallent, System Analyst, PAMco 

 Future Trends 

Along with the emergence of more and more A.I. and data tools to use in community management, the increasing interest homeowners are taking in their HOAs is leading to another trend in proactively educating both homeowners and boards. Ensuring a deeper understanding of community management's evolving landscape with new laws and requirements can lead to more self-sufficient boards that, when coupled with technology tools, can reduce the workload on management companies. 

“There are more homeowners that are questioning where's my money going, what's going on with this project, and making sure that we can educate them with the right knowledge is important. We have focused on creating a lot of training videos we can distribute and there are a lot of companies in the industry that are doing the same to promote that homeowner and board education.” -Therese Elkins, Regional Association Manager, Trident Management 

Homeowner and board education, combined with understanding homeowners' evolving needs, employing transparent and consistent communication strategies, and embracing the latest technological advancements are all tactics that help management companies improve their service quality and foster more engaged and satisfied communities. The top management companies understand these tactics and partner with companies like Vantaca to create happier boards and homeowners while simultaneously driving business performance.  

Learn More

Watch the webinar on elevating homeowner experience hosted by Vantaca that featured a panel of the community management professionals quoted in this blog. Click here to watch.

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