2020 brought unprecedented challenges throughout the world, causing necessary adaptations to the way many of us work and live. Community management was no exception, but collectively we have learned, grown, and navigated through the changes.
In the past year, most of us spent more time at home than ever before. Many homeowners continue to work from home, utilizing this time to remodel their houses, spruce up their yards, and renew their focus on community.
With heightened attention to the home environment, we want to share some key information about where the industry is heading in the coming year.
Legislation changes impacting HOAs
Every year, California passes laws aimed at making homeowners associations operate more smoothly, safely, and equitably. All legislative changes are grounded in positive intentions, and many changes aim to increase transparency for HOA members. However, the rigors associated with increased transparency may ultimately limit an association’s flexibility. Remaining nimble is key.
A few noteworthy changes affecting HOAs in 2021 include permission for HOAs to restrict short-term rentals, licensing requirements for debt collectors, and amended rules for exterior inspections.
Ask your community manager to walk you through upcoming legal changes affecting your association and explain their impact. Your manager can also help your board create a clear plan to update your HOA’s operational procedures or governing documents, if necessary. Taking advantage of your property management company’s expertise will protect your association from risk exposure.
Elevated customer experiences
The ever-increasing standard for superior customer service and cutting-edge technology has rippled throughout all industries. Online orders arrive in 24 hours (or less). Paying for a ride can be done without ever opening your wallet. Requesting a prescription refill is as easy as tapping a link.
Many of today’s luxury consumer brands create value by focusing on delivering special moments, all of which ladder up to showing their commitment to responding to their customers’ feelings and exceeding their expectations. HOA management is the ultimate “customer service industry.” The entire business model for management companies revolves around serving people in their most intimate locations: their homes.
While the HOA management industry as a whole has been slow to adopt these forward-thinking strategies, companies like Keystone have invested heavily to discover what matters to association members.
We use these findings to determine how to deliver great experiences for our customers and employees. We have learned about the importance of responding with urgency, closing the communication loop with clear follow-up/follow-through, and unifying our company voice. We then actively translate these insights into satisfying moments that elevate our clients’ experience.
Technology continues to drive positive change
Technology also plays an important role in improving the customer experience. The convenience and efficiency achieved by interconnectedness in other industries are gaining traction in HOA management.
Every property management company is starting to consider how they can utilize technology to improve internal operations and serve HOAs better. At Keystone, we have rolled out improved member and board portals to make it easier to access information and perform basic tasks. Cloud-based recordkeeping enables us to conduct community inspections using a tablet to instantly document maintenance needs and request vendor services.
New technologies are launched frequently to help HOA boards control costs, improve operations, and manage their associations more effectively. From apps indicating when to prune trees to field sensors that alert management when a light bulb needs replacing, the possibilities to improve HOA management through technology are just getting started.
These breakthroughs free up property management companies to offload time-consuming administrative tasks to technology and shift their focus to providing expert advisory services that deliver more value to associations. Board members can focus on the bigger picture, not managing minutiae.
HOA management has never been a static industry. Lifestyles change and expectations evolve, inevitably transforming communities over time. With an optimistic outlook and willingness to adapt, your community can take advantage of all the opportunities on the horizon.
Want to discuss how your association can make the most of the coming year? Our HOA management experts can help.