Last modified on July 29th, 2021
By Brittany Benz
Ease-of-use, convenience, personalization… the things you remember and value when it comes to customer experiences are the same things your homeowners value — they are also the things that make your community association management business stand out from the competition.
However, not all homeowners feel their needs are being met when it comes to their community association management company. In fact, based on an AppFolio Homeowner Survey, only 57% of homeowners believe their association management company adds value, which means nearly half do not. Interestingly, when we surveyed association management companies they listed meeting customers’ needs and expectations as one of their top business challenges.
Meeting customer expectations isn’t always easy, but it can pay dividends if it’s done correctly. When homeowners are happy with your management company, they are more likely to see the value you bring, and board members will be more likely to support staying with your management company. But, how do you know how to make homeowners happy if you don’t know what they want? Read on to see the three things homeowners need from their association management company.
1. Complete tasks on their own
Homeowners want to be able to pay their dues, submit architectural requests digitally, and more without having to come into the office, call, or fill out printed paperwork. In their minds, interacting with their management company should match other on-demand experiences in their life like paying for a credit card online, using an app to call for a ride, or ordering groceries with the click of a button.
Some ways you can better meet this need is by offering self-service tools such as online payments, architectural requests, and common area maintenance requests. By implementing these kinds of services you can increase homeowner satisfaction and save your business a lot of time and money, which can lead to increased performance.
2. Access information from anywhere
In today’s on-demand world consumers are able to access information instantly wherever they are with their phones. Homeowners want to be able to do the same with their community association for important information such as the status of an architectural request, community events, and updates.
To solve for this you can adopt a mobile association management system that has a single system of record for all association-related information. With a built-in online portal, your team can share documents, association happenings via a community calendar, important updates, and more. When homeowners can access information freely, they will be more trusting of your management company due to the greater visibility an online portal provides. Additionally, your team will be more organized and efficient since everything is in one place.
3. Communicate via text or email
The majority of people today are accustomed to communicating through text message or email. It’s fast, efficient, and flexible. Homeowners want to be able to contact and communicate with their association management company in the same manner.
Utilizing a software with built-in texting and emailing capabilities can help you meet this expectation and stay connected to homeowners around the clock. Through bulk texting and emailing you can communicate en masse, so no one misses an important update. Along with adopting technology to facilitate quick and easy communication, you could even send out a biweekly newsletter to keep homeowners in the loop for events, amenity sign-ups, and more. With these kinds of communication tools, you’ll be able to increase transparency, save time with one-off conversations, and increase resident satisfaction, all of which helps you to retain your associations.
Homeowners expectations have changed. They now expect to be able to access information from anywhere, communicate instantly, and to complete tasks on their own time when it comes to their community association. The best way to meet these expectations, keep satisfaction high, and retain your associations is to leverage technology to fill in any gaps you may have. If adopting technology isn’t on your priority list, then you might want to reconsider. Almost all (83.6%) of association management companies from a recent survey AppFolio conducted said they plan to adopt new technology in the next 12 months.
A single association management solution that has everything you need — from self-service features to mobile communication capabilities — can ensure you don’t just meet your homeowners’ needs, but exceed them. It can also give you more space to provide top-notch, personalized service. To learn more about how you can better serve the associations you manage, check out this article: Transcending the Notion of Service in Association Management.