Last modified on August 28th, 2023
By Brittany Benz
When it comes to creating stellar experiences for your homeowners, don’t underestimate how impactful ease of use, convenience, and personalization can be because those qualities help communicate how much you care about their overall experience with you and meeting their needs.
Unfortunately, attention to these details is not something the vast majority of homeowners would attribute to their current community association management company. Our community association board member survey revealed only 23% of those surveyed would recommend their current or most recent management company. In addition, some of the greatest sources of dissatisfaction include unresponsiveness or long response times, failure to follow through on projects accurately, and poor customer service.
From speaking with association management companies, we know that meeting customers’ needs and expectations isn’t only difficult but also one of their top ongoing business challenges. However, it’s essential to get it right because keeping homeowners happy can pay dividends. And with more than 91% of management associations feeling financially squeezed by unexpected and inflation-caused expenses, competing on price alone isn’t a long-term or sustainable business strategy.
To help association management companies better understand what homeowners today want and what makes them happy, we’re highlighting key, need-to-know insights from our board member survey. Here are the top three things homeowners need from their association management company and how you can best provide them.
1.) The ability to complete tasks on their own
In our board member survey, more than half (57%) of survey respondents say it is extremely or very important for association management companies to use modern technology and provide self-service tools.
Not only do self-service tools enhance ease of use, convenience, and personalization, they can also speed response times and improve communication, since board members and homeowners don’t have to come into the office, call, or fill out printed paperwork. Instead, you can now provide the same on-demand experiences already available across every aspect of their daily lives, such as paying with a credit card online, using an app to call for a ride, or ordering groceries with the click of a button.
An ideal way to supply self-service options is by offering an online portal, which 84% of respondents said was one of the top three most valuable digital/online tools a management company can provide.
As a bonus, by providing a portal where homeowners can submit payments, architectural requests, and common area maintenance requests online, you can increase homeowner satisfaction and save your business time and money by eliminating manual, pen-and-paper processes. It’s even better news considering there’s an ongoing shortage of community association professionals and that retaining employees is a concern shared by 97% of association management executives surveyed.
2.) Access to information from anywhere
Because residents can access information instantly from their phones wherever they are, it’s only natural that homeowners expect the same from their community association. To meet this standard, you could implement a mobile association management system with a single system of record for all association-related information.
By making the same online portals noted previously accessible via a mobile app, homeowners and board members can enjoy the same self-service benefits wherever they are, without being tied to a computer, to quickly and easily take care of common tasks.
Additionally, your team can stay organized and efficient, since everything will be located in one centralized place. Staff also receive the added benefit of communicating and conducting business on-property instead of waiting to get back to the office.
3.) Communication via text or email
Most people today are accustomed to communicating through text message or email across all areas of their life, including with businesses and professional services. It’s fast, efficient, and flexible — and it allows homeowners to work with their association management company in the best ways for them.
Software with texting and emailing capabilities can easily connect with your online portal and mobile app to help you meet homeowner expectations and seamlessly stay connected. In addition, with built-in and centralized communication tools, you’ll be able to increase transparency, save time by reducing individual and manual follow-ups, and increase resident satisfaction.
More ways to meet homeowners’ shifting association management needs
Homeowners’ expectations have changed and will continue to do so. The best way to meet new expectations, keep satisfaction high, and retain your associations is to leverage technology to fill any gaps you may have. If adopting technology isn’t already on your priority list, you may want to reconsider: Almost three-quarters (72%) of board members surveyed say a lack of access to online tools influences their decision-making.
To learn more about how you can better serve the associations you manage and keep board members happy, download our complete community association board member expectations report.