Rethinking Value in Association Management: Beyond the Basics
If a common perception of a business’s activities and worth keeps threatening its funding or success, then a business owner should act to escape those perceptions.
Those persistent attitudes and beliefs about HOA and community associations cause a lot of grief and need to be challenged. Same old, same old, is a huge drag on your ability to generate value, spirit and capture funding/revenues. Time to unshackle!
In this post, we look at envisioning and rethinking to unlock hidden value and create new value. Working on this is the process of discovery.
Associations Forced to Re-Invent Themselves
Association boards that don’t re-invent their associations nor re-think the value they provide are vulnerable to low resident appreciation, reduced budgets, less resident engagement, and to poorer service levels from management teams.
Do your requests for more funding, staffing, amenities or service improvements get turned down? It’s proof that value and perceptions are the issue. And getting approval means re-imagining a new plan to build value for residents.
These old beliefs leave everyone concerned about budget cuts. And in 2024, that might happen. Doing more with less isn’t inspiring for anyone. And the message to residents is familiar — less of what they really want. A better response to the challenge is to actively re-imagine and re-think the value your association might provide.
Bringing Out New Value and New Potential
In this post, we explore how to bring out new potential, create value, and deliver services in a unique way to adjust how your constituents view your association. More than brand building, it’s also about building a new business model.
Depending on whether you’re a board member or an association manager, the benefits are similar:
- improved delivery of services
- new services/amenities to grow funding and revenues
- larger budgets to buy the resources you need
- more useful reports for improved perception of value in board/resident’s eyes
- lower costs and better use of time
- more client leads for management firms
What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Unfortunately, it’s like that for even the greatest brands. The big picture of value residents want today is different from what’s believed. And one thing that might be neglected is the overall image of value they believe they’re receiving — and that in essence, is your brand image.
This is where association resident polls will come in handy. Via your ManageCasa communications system, you create your polls and build a feedback strategy to plumb their collective attitudes and beliefs. With the results from resident polls, you might find signs of low respect, yet with new insights you’re able to remedy the matter.
Your new Value Strategy is to:
- re-imagine the value you deliver
- rethink how you’ll improve delivery
- rethink how to better communicate the new value you’re delivering
What is the Pool of Values You can Rethink?
What you do — Churches lost relevance until they became community centers. Visualize what your association will or could become if the shackles were taken off.
Management efficiency – adopt digital automation in operations, accounting, payments, and communications
Management in tune with residents — polling/feedback, engagement, communications, customized services and amenities
Conflict resolution — timely, professional, organized responses raise the perception of fairness and transparency
Increasing property values — researching property values and highlighting improvements and Realtor and home seller comments
Financial transparency — framing costs/expenditures and investments as support for achieving residents’ wishes
Increase in the perceived quality of neighborhoods served — landscaping, services, convenience, amenities, focus on ecology, nature, safety, cleanliness, and growth
Keeping expenses under control without surprises — professional transparent financials, explained so they understand
Thriving, engaged neighborhoods and quality of life — creating new community amenities and opportunities for residents to engage, learn, play, and feel loved
Being socially conscious — being sympathetic to climate, energy usage, poverty, safety, and fairness
How to re-imagine or rethink value creation: research and understand resident’s needs, personalize services for them, adapt technology to your association’s needs, brainstorm a better customer experience, engage residents to guide a new value proposition, and invent new services and revenue sources such as subscription services.
Actionable Ways you can Innovate your Association
Here’s a brief look at different areas of concern to revisualize how you work:
- Diversification of Revenue Streams:
Look beyond membership dues and collections, to explore additional revenue streams, such as hosting events, renting out common spaces, offering advertising opportunities to local businesses, or even partnering with external vendors/service providers.
- Cost-Efficiency and Technology Integration:
Adopt modern property management software, online payment systems, and communication tools to improve efficiency and enhance member experience.
- Value-Based Fee Structures:
Reevaluate fee structures to align more closely with the services and amenities provided to individual members. This can lead to tiered or value-based fee systems where members pay based on their actual use of amenities or services.
- Sustainability Initiatives:
Integrate sustainability practices into operations. This includes adopting energy-efficient infrastructure, recycling programs, automated refuse collection, and environmentally friendly landscaping, which can result in long-term cost savings and appeal to eco-conscious residents.
- Community Engagement and Feedback:
Increase engagement with members. Gather feedback, conduct surveys, actively involve residents in decision-making processes improve understanding of member needs and improve service delivery.
- Public-Private Partnerships:
Partner with local governments or private organizations and businesses to enhance community services and amenities. These collaborations can provide access to additional resources and funding for community improvement projects.
- Reserve Fund Planning:
Grow reserve funds and make plans with a strategy by setting aside funds for major repairs and capital improvements, reducing the likelihood of unexpected special assessments.
- Customized Member Services:
Tailor services to meet the diverse needs of your specific members and not a general population model, whether it’s offering different types of memberships or customizing service packages.
- Data-Driven Decision-Making:
Utilize data analytics to make informed decisions by collecting and analyzing data on member preferences, maintenance needs, and financial performance to optimize operations.
- Hiring for Change:
Hire creative staff who bring valuable new skills and creative thoughts on using technology and building engagement with residents.
- Innovation Committees:
Make innovation a board-wide project to brainstorm and dream up new possibilities and assign someone to spearhead and manage persistent progress — a priority.
- Marketing & Communications:
Discover ways to build out your association website within your association management platform to get clear messaging across about your professional services, value and support for the community, promote community events and celebrations, along with creating a moderated forum within it for engagement among residents.
Use this post to help you build the steps of your new value-building action plan and as a reminder to keep at it until you have a successful new brand and value proposition.
Innovation strategy: https://www.mjvinnovation.com/blog/innovation-strategy-unleashing-growth-through-strategic-ingenuity/
Unlocking hidden value: https://hoaresources.caionline.org/hoalive-unlocking-hidden-revenue-innovative-strategies-for-hoa-management-companies/
Brainstorming app: https://miro.com/brainstorming/
Contact us now at +1 415 800 1245 with your questions on upgrading technology for your association.
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