With so many options for managed communities, it’s important for boards to seek opportunities to make their community stand out to potential new residents. Because most people buy from an emotional perspective, the environment and endeavors of a community are huge factors when purchasing a home. From making tangible efforts that result in lower utility bills and higher property values to enhancements that offer convenience and a sense of community, read on to discover creative ways to make your community a place people want to live and hope to stay.
Invest in quality landscaping.
Quality landscaping in common areas and resident yards gives your community an inviting appearance that enhances curb appeal, provides fresher air, and raises property values. To get started, your board should consider these action items:
- Find a landscaping vendor you can trust. Ensure they can tend to a regular maintenance schedule and make recommendations for adding value to the community’s grounds.
- Plant trees. The presence of street trees reduces a home’s time on the market by an average of 1.7 days. Plus, trees reduce energy bills and help control pollution and soil erosion.
- Grow flowering plants. Growing flowers offers many rewards, including beauty and fragrance, making the grounds even more welcoming.
Offer effective pet waste management.
With more than 84 million dogs taking up residence in the United States, it’s no surprise that many homeowners seek out pet-friendly communities. However, as dog ownership in the U.S. grows, so does the need for pet waste management. Here are four ways to plan for pet waste in your community:
- Install pet waste stations. This encourages residents to pick up after their pets and properly dispose of the waste.
- Schedule common area cleanings. Have someone regularly walk the grounds and dispose of unattended dog waste and litter.
- Educate residents. When residents understand the importance of picking up after their pets and see leaders supporting this effort, they become far more likely to participate.
- Choose a pet waste management team. Hire a professional pet waste management service to effectively manage pet waste and related issues.
Highlight efforts to lower utility costs.
Show new homeowners you’re actively seeking ways to save on your community’s utility bills by promoting sustainable measures to conserve water and energy. Here are some practices to help your association save money on utility costs:
- Landscape using sustainable and native plants that require less water.
- Determine if an irrigation system needs to be updated or installed.
- Set interior lights to turn off when not in use.
- Find the right technology partner to provide up-to-date solutions for your conservation efforts.
- Consider LED lighting for energy efficiency.
Then, be sure to highlight those efforts in your community newsletter or website, or communicate updates at the next board meeting.
Host community events.
Block parties, holiday get-togethers, and summer socials are all community staples. These events are fun, bring people together, and help residents get to know their neighbors. To build emotional equity in the community, regularly host events residents will love. Here are some tips for hosting a successful community event:
- Consider your community’s lifestyle. Determining the preferences and lifestyle of your homeowners is a logical place to start when considering various options for an event everyone will enjoy.
- Get residents involved. Send out a poll of what types of events residents enjoy, start an event planning committee, or get a team together to engage local restaurants.
- Plan and communicate details of the event. Beyond the time, date, and place, think of the not-so-obvious details, like the amount of seating needed and inclement weather options. Communicate the details well in advance to give homeowner proper time to plan and RSVP.
- Have fun! Mingle with homeowners and take time to fully enjoy being surrounded by a thriving community.
Provide convenience with technology.
Technology has shifted how we function in most aspects of our lives and significantly impacted how we work, communicate, shop, and gather. People have grown accustomed to a certain level of efficiency, effectiveness, and convenience from technology—and they have the same expectations from their managed community. Here are five ways technology can improve the community experience:
- Online document storage allows residents to easily access important information and communicate with key stakeholders.
- Technology platforms that provide guest authorization and customizable account access increase security and offer peace of mind.
- Offering online payments guarantees vendors are paid on time and minimizes paperwork and delinquencies.
- Homeowners expect to monitor service requests, manage their accounts, and communicate with their neighbors—all from their phones.
- With online document storage, records and processes can be tracked and accessed—reducing liability and ensuring the community continues to function smoothly.
How to Improve the Homeowner Experience
Attracting new homeowners is one thing, but keeping homeowners happy requires more thought and planning. A poorly run HOA can lead to homeowner dissatisfaction and tension in the community. Read our article, “5 Easy Ways Boards Can Improve the Homeowner Experience,” to learn how to foster a positive homeowner experience.