Trends in HOA & Community Association Management
In North America, the HOA and community association sector is a vibrant one with huge potential.
Yet managers must be clear about the road ahead and be able to convey their needs to board members and others. Digital management is the way of the future and managers are trying to adapt by upgrading from free or download software to the more professional community management software solutions.
Here are some interesting recent growth stats courtesy of Homelight.com:
- 80% of newly constructed homes sold in 2020 were part of HOA communities
- 53% of all homeowners live in HOA communities
- $250 is the average monthly HOA membership fee for a single-family home
- 40 million housing units are part of HOA communities
- roughly 4,000 new HOA communities form each year.
The rising fees charged, higher taxes, and homeowner right’s battles promise to make 2022/2023 an interesting period for HOA and community association managers. We’ll keep an eye out for you for other events, economic, business, technology and regulatory issues that might be added soon. Please bookmark our posts and share them.
HOA Management is Growing
This growth of HOA communities has presented plenty of business and new revenue opportunities, yet there are plenty of issues facing boards and service companies just ahead.
Let’s take a quick look at what might be the 7 key trends in association management:
1. Recovering Revenues
Many associations suffered reduced revenues and dues. Managers had to move to creating revenues online which requires excellence in software and more creativity in providing value that homeowners want. In-person events struggle for attendance and fears and health protocols tend to erode participation.
Waste and energy demand in residential communities grew and will stay elevated due to the work at home reality. Trash volume in residential communities jumped about 50% in the pandemic and likely are still very high. Demand like this can open up new revenue streams for creative boards/management firms. Virtual revenue sources are the focus now. 5G data services might be a trending technology in some communities as well.
2. Cost Inflation
With government continuing big spending, inflation and supply shortages may be a persistent threat to community managers. Costs for contractors, utility services, and materials are rising. Condo association fees rose 19% in 2021 according to a Bloomberg report.
Setting the correct HOA fees and condo fees could protect budgets and help deal with ever increasing costs of electricity, staffing, fuel, water, equipment, energy, climate protection regulations, and waste management. These fee increases must be communicated well to avoid homeowner revolts and other issues.
3. Cybersecurity Threats
The world is becoming a hostile place politically and unfortunately, some criminals are increasingly using the Internet to launch attacks on companies in the property management sector. Why? It could be this sector still uses outdated software and servers which are easier for hackers to access.
In 2020, real estate tech firm RealPage was hit with a $10.5 million dollar loss along bad PR due to exposed client data. It was still reeling from an earlier hacker attack that cost the property company millions. And in 2021, Douglas Elliman’s property management business was hacked and thousands of residents had their personal data accessed. Douglas Elliman is the largest property management company in New York City, according to the TheRealDeal.
Reports of capturing and convicting hackers is surprisingly rare, especially given the attacks from countries which don’t observe our business laws and treaties. The lesson is clear for HOA managers, is to avoid complacency about data security as you make your operations mobile.
HOA’s should take their time vetting the management company they will hire and ensure they’re using modern HOA software, secured via the cloud and super secure environments such as the AWS cloud. You can never be too careful now.
4. Staffing and Managerial Shortages
We’ve always taken a worker surplus for granted, but 2022 and the great resignation has changed the employment market. Workers have been able to avoid lackluster positions with no benefits or future and demand higher pay. They’re holding off to find employment in fields with a variety of benefits. HOA and community managers are in short supply, many lacking critical education and certifications.
HOA managers must manage efficiently without errors or costly accidents that result in law suits or fines. HOA managers in particular have the challenge of creating positive relations with community members who are more interested in their own wants and needs. That means the demand for communications and soft skills are rising too.
There is a demand for licensed HOA and Community managers but not enough possess those credentials. Those with licenses and possessing a mastery of HOA management software technology will command a much higher salary in the years ahead.
HOA boards and service companies both will need to improve their recruiting techniques and their marketing efforts to attract the best candidates.
5. More or Less Legal Power for HOAs?
Local and state governments don’t have the resources to police issues at the community level, so some states are considering awarding more power to HOAs to enforce violation policies while others are considering easing association’s rules due to resident complaints.
Highly cited are political signs, parking restrictions, home additions, solar panels, etc. showing a brewing dispute with homeowners about lifestyle freedoms.
If HOA and community boards suffer less power to set appropriate regulations and enforce them, communities could be undermined. That generates much larger workloads and for response management for current HOA service providers. The result? It may raise prices for their services and create a greater need for insurance, and for good communications from board members to convince community members to vote in favor of solid rules.
It’s a political hot potato and right now, and it’s uncertain which way the matter will go.
6. Growing Adoption of Digital Management Solutions
The Covid pandemic only accelerated what had been occurring in HOA and community association management. Associations are adopting digital HOA platforms, and with remote work and homeowners out and about again, mobile device usage will be rising.
Virtual remote management tools will be in demand as more staff work from home. A platform such as ManageCasa™ provides excellent:
- document management and sharing
- portal for each homeowner to communicate with board members, access community documents, pay owner dues, and access community-wide communications
- create budgets and track actuals
- HOA violation tracking
- receive and send payments
- secure cloud-based data management
- charge and collect owner dues
- review architectural applications
- manage board member approvals
7. Web Marketing
HOA management companies typically don’t see themselves as marketers of services and ideas to audiences online. However, homeowners demand to engage online whether via your HOA Community mobile app (management platform) or via your website and social media platforms. Having a functioning marketing website is essential now. All ideas you’re hoping to float to association members to get their acceptance, need to be communicated well. Marketing websites are essential.
With growing cybersecurity threats, fewer qualified staff, more accounts and properties, along with legal compliance issues, HOA service firms will need to select the best professional grade community association management software. Discover the key questions you need to be asking to get the right platform for your association.
Schedule an informative Demo of ManageCasa’s excellent HOA/Community Association management platform now.
See also: Property Management Software | Community Association Software | Questions About Association Software | Property Management Accounting Software | Find Property Management Services Firm | HOA Software | Reviews of Property Management Software | HOA Challenges | HOA Violation Tracking | California HOA Management | Arizona HOA Management | HOA Accounting Software | Florida HOA Management | Colorado HOA Management | Boston HOA Management Companies | Toronto Property Management | Los Angeles Property Management | Software for Community Associations | Property Management Conferences