Customer service is important for any small business. Businesses that provide HOA services, such as landscaping, construction, electrical work, etc. know the value of repeat business from communities. Becoming familiar with the HOA structure (the board, property manager, etc.) and their priorities (certifications, timeliness) can help you stand out. Here are eight tips to excel with this community of clients.
- If you provide services to residential customers, the HOA is very important.
- HOA clients provide ongoing business opportunities.
- To stand out with HOA clients, you need to understand the particular HOA’s structure and standards.
- Position yourself as an expert consultant in your field.
- Keep up with HOA policy changes.
- Provide excellent customer service by giving timely responses, getting to know your customers, and delivering consistent results.
Benefits of working with an HOA
Having an HOA as a client can be a huge advantage for your small business. HOAs have a big influence over the homeowners in their community and if they recommend your business to their members, that can mean a steady stream of repeat customers.
Not only do HOAs have the power to recommend your services to a wide range of homeowners, but they can also make sure that homeowners keep up with regular maintenance, thus providing you with continual work. HOAs have a vested interest in keeping up property values, so if a homeowner is falling behind, that doesn’t bode well for the community.
How to stand out with potential HOA clients
It is clear that HOA clients can benefit your small business. Let’s look at how you can make your services stand out.
1. Join a real estate association
Joining a real estate association can be a good starting point for learning about developments in your area. It can also be a good way to grow your contact list and perhaps make a connection with an HOA governing member.
2. Understand HOA structure
HOAs are generally governed by a set of rules or standards known as Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs). CC&Rs typically outline the property maintenance standards for a neighborhood or building. These standards can include everything from what type of fence owners are allowed to put up to what color of paint they use on the exterior of their home.
The homeowners in a subdivision or complex serve as members of the HOA, but it’s usually governed by a board of directors that oversees and enforces the maintenance standards.
As a small business owner, it is a good idea to know who’s on the board of an HOA and to familiarize yourself with their CC&Rs. You’ll want to make sure your services meet HOA requirements and are up to the latest standards.
3. Become an expert consultant
HOAs are made up of individual homeowners who don’t always have the expertise to manage large maintenance projects. For example, if community members want to build a playground, upgrade a pool, or address a plumbing issue that’s cropped up in several homes, chances are they’ll need to engage an outside expert in these areas.
If you position yourself as an expert in your field, HOAs may contact you for consultations and will likely use your services as the project progresses. Consultations can generate a lot of business, so being open to serving the community in this way is important.
4. Keep up with policy changes
If you’ve made some connections within an HOA or completed a few jobs, be sure to keep up with any changes in the rules or standards. Each time you speak with your client, ask if there have been any changes. This will not only demonstrate your interest in helping the HOA maintain its standards, but it will also help you deliver satisfactory services.
Tips for excellent HOA customer service
By following the above steps, you’ll be able to make your services more attractive to HOA clients. Once you’ve gotten a job or two with an HOA, you’ll want to keep them on as a client and build a relationship that leads to more business. You can provide excellent customer service with these tips:
- Respond to inquiries promptly
When an HOA asks for a proposal or a price quote, respond as quickly as you can. A fast response shows professionalism and is a good indicator that your services will also be completed in a timely fashion.
- Know your customers
Make notes on all interactions with your customers so that your company can keep up to date on their needs and priorities. When customers feel heard and understood, they’re more likely to use your services again in the future.
- Provide consistent service
If you provide a high level of service with each job you complete, you’ll develop a solid reputation. Customers will be more likely to recommend you to their contacts and your business can grow from there.
- Consider expanding your services
If you have expertise in one area, you may want to consider partnering with another organization or hiring experts in other areas so that you can provide as many services as possible to an HOA. Ask HOAs what they need in terms of service – you may be able to provide services to individual homeowners as well as communal spaces (if you’re a landscaper, you might work with individual homeowners within an HOA as well as offer landscaping for a clubhouse or other community grounds).
Small businesses that provide HOA services to residential customers have a lot to gain from partnering with HOAs and developing long-term relationships with them. HOA partnerships can deliver several years’ worth of business and generate a range of opportunities. By understanding an HOA’s policies and procedures – and providing excellent customer service on each job you complete – you will make your business stand out within this important community.
VendorSmart can connect you with new HOA customers easily
Partnering with an HOA can bring your small business consistent work. To stand out, it is a good idea to understand their board and structure and to always deliver quality customer service.
If you’re a vendor in the market for new HOA customers, VendorSmart’s platform can help. As a vendor, you can customize your profile and provide compliance documents. We help connect property managers with vetted and reliable vendors in their area. Contact us today to find out how we can help you grow your business.