As the FRONTSTEPS team continues to develop new technologies to meet the needs of homeowners and HOA leaders, it's important to get a fresh perspective from the people we serve. It's why, in April 2017, FRONTSTEPS conducted a consumer market study with a nationwide, random sample of 500 respondents ranging in age from 34-54 with an income range between $55,000 and $150,000.
The respondents were either members of a HOA or a COA and lived in their current home longer than a year, bought a home within the last six months, or are actively looking to buy a home. Approximately 40% of the respondents had children under the age of 18 who were living at home, 65% were married, and 35% were single or unmarried.
In our inaugural study, we asked questions like:
- What tools does a homeowner use to engage with neighbors, HOAs, property managers, and
- What tools does a homeowner use to discover new services or businesses in the neighborhood?
- Are homeowners' needs being met? Which ones aren't?
The results showed that homeowners overwhelmingly desire the following:
- Details about the kinds of events and neighborhood gatherings are happening in their community, and when they will occur
- Specific information about their financial situation (i.e., their HOA dues statements) and the community's financial status
- Private messaging capabilities to communicate to both community members and HOA staff and leadership
Leveraging technology to help residents feel safer, engage more, and recognize where they stand, financially is important.
Here are 3 simple things you can do to make your HOA amazing:
- Add community events to your website calendar. Include local events scheduled around major holidays, like 4th of July fireworks displays, festivals, or summer camps for kids.
- Create a message group using the SMS Text Message function and introduce yourself (if you're the HOA President or Community Manager). Use the text to share an update on something happening soon. Keep it short. Hi, I'm Dan your community manager. The back-to-school supply drive is Saturday at 2pm. See you there!
- Put out a short survey to residents using the Voting Booth function. Ask 3-5 questions to gauge sentiments on an event, landscape project, or follow up to an incident.When in doubt, take a walk and see who's outside. Introduce yourself and make sure your neighbors know who you are and that you and the HOA will use its powers for good not evil.