When HOA Becomes a Four-Letter Word

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Winning over owners who see their HOA as a nuisance instead of an asset.

Homeowners and community associations exist to benefit the owners in the association. 87% of homeowners would rate their satisfaction with their HOA as positive (65%) or neutral (22%)*; however, we seem to hear the other 13% more loudly.

HOA rules and regulations are in place to protect property values and keep the neighborhood looking neat and clean. HOAs also provide a number of amenities and services that are not provided at the city-level. High property values, presentable neighborhood and extra amenities? Sounds like a win, win, win; however, some homeowners think of the HOA as a nuisance and not a benefit. To change the opinion of this 13%, we must earn their trust and respect. Here are a few ideas that can you can apply in the community associations you manage to win back these critical owners.

Transparency. Much of homeowner dissatisfaction is rooted in distrust. Some owners believe HOA spending is not in the best interest of the community. Others grow restless when dues increase—without a reasonable explanation. This discomfort can be relieved through transparent communication. Post association financials in a secure place where all owners can access whenever and where ever they’d like. Explain what caused the dues increase. Owners may be less likely to complain if they see that they are directly benefitting from a dues increase.

Education. CC&R and architectural control violations certainly lead to ruffled feathers. An owner who receives a violation notice and doesn’t know what they’ve done wrong may feel unfairly singled out. These seemingly unjust violations lead to venomous criticism from owners- both directly to the community management company – and worse – in the press. It’s imperative that all owners are aware of and understand association rules and procedures. Providing this kind of education will show owners that you are there to help them—not drive them crazy with “baseless” violations.

Engagement. Homeowners are less likely to disparage an association that they feel personally involved in. Engagement is the key to helping owners feel more connected with their HOA. To engage owners, you must make them aware of upcoming community events and involvement opportunities. Get the word out about meetings, parties, volunteer opportunities and committee openings. The more aligned with the HOA residents feel, the more respect they will have for the HOA’s rules, the Board and the association management.

HOAs don’t have to carry a negative connotation. As service providers in the HOA industry, we owe it to our clients and each other to actively improve the image of the HOA industry. By using communication to boost transparency, education and engagement, we can earn the trust and respect of this 13% and improve the HOA experience for all homeowners.

Join us in working to positively engage HOA members! Contact Nabr Network today and let’s talk about the possibilities!

*Source: Community Associations Institute