When HOA Becomes a Four-Letter Word

Winning over owners who see their HOA as a nuisance instead of an asset.

Homeowners and community associations exist to benefit the owners in the association. 87% of homeowners would rate their satisfaction with their HOA as positive (65%) or neutral (22%)*; however, we seem to hear the other 13% more loudly.

HOA rules and regulations are in place to protect property values and keep the neighborhood looking neat and clean. HOAs also provide a number of amenities and services that are not provided at the city-level. High property values, presentable neighborhood and extra amenities? Sounds like a win, win, win; however, some homeowners think of the HOA as a nuisance and not a benefit. To change the opinion of this 13%, we must earn their trust and respect. Here are a few ideas that can you can apply in the community associations you manage to win back these critical owners.

Transparency. Much of homeowner dissatisfaction is rooted in distrust. Some owners believe HOA spending is not in the best interest of the community. Others grow restless when dues increase—without a reasonable explanation. This discomfort can be relieved through transparent communication. Post association financials in a secure place where all owners can access whenever and where ever they’d like. Explain what caused the dues increase. Owners may be less likely to complain if they see that they are directly benefitting from a dues increase.

Education. CC&R and architectural control violations certainly lead to ruffled feathers. An owner who receives a violation notice and doesn’t know what they’ve done wrong may feel unfairly singled out. These seemingly unjust violations lead to venomous criticism from owners- both directly to the community management company – and worse – in the press. It’s imperative that all owners are aware of and understand association rules and procedures. Providing this kind of education will show owners that you are there to help them—not drive them crazy with “baseless” violations.

Engagement. Homeowners are less likely to disparage an association that they feel personally involved in. Engagement is the key to helping owners feel more connected with their HOA. To engage owners, you must make them aware of upcoming community events and involvement opportunities. Get the word out about meetings, parties, volunteer opportunities and committee openings. The more aligned with the HOA residents feel, the more respect they will have for the HOA’s rules, the Board and the association management.

HOAs don’t have to carry a negative connotation. As service providers in the HOA industry, we owe it to our clients and each other to actively improve the image of the HOA industry. By using communication to boost transparency, education and engagement, we can earn the trust and respect of this 13% and improve the HOA experience for all homeowners.

Join us in working to positively engage HOA members! Contact Nabr Network today and let’s talk about the possibilities!

*Source: Community Associations Institute www.caionline.org

The Importance of Deliverability and Reach in Your Communications

Reach

Transparency and open communications lead to more informed, happier homeowners; however, you have to be able to reach these homeowners for your communications efforts to be successful. Content may be King, but is totally dethroned if no one reads the content. Deliverability and reach are of equal importance as the content you are creating. Today’s homeowners gather their information from multiple sources and across various electronic platforms. When implementing a communications plan, be sure that you are also considering deliverability and reach.

Deliverability refers to the ability for recipients to actually receive a message. If you are using an eblast tool for your communications, your deliverability is only as good as your homeowner email address list. If half of the community does not have an email address in your database, then your deliverability is cut in half. You must be sure that you are pushing out important community association news in a way that homeowners will get the message. Consider alternatives to eblasts such as text messaging, mobile app notifications and automated website updates. The more channels you push information through, the more your odds of delivery increase.

Improved deliverability leads to increased reach. Reach refers to the number of people who are exposed to your message. When messages are received by homeowners in the way they want to see them, you are maximizing your reach.

Maximizing your messages’ deliverability and reach will create more educated, better informed homeowners. This means owners are more aware of association news and events which benefits all parties. It’s easier to make quorum if owners know that an election is coming up. Owners who are critical of the HOA Board or community manager will have their concerns assuaged through transparent communications. You benefit from improving your teams’ efficiency.

If you are struggling with communications reach, give Nabr Network a call. We’d love to share our communications solution with you.


This article was originally published in Nabr Notes: Nabr Network’s e-newsletter. Each month Nabr Notes brings you fresh, helpful articles written with management company executives in mind, plus a curation of blog posts on the community association management industry. We think you’ll find Nabr Notes informative and entertaining! If you’d like to sign up to receive Nabr Notes, please send an email to melody.fritz@nabrnetwork.com with the word subscribe in the subject line.

Go Green with Communications Technology

Who else opens their mail over the recycling bin? 🙋‍ 🙋 🙋

Electronic Communications

I always open my mail over my recycling bin—I can’t throw all that paper in the trash. Flyers and advertisements go straight in the bin. We’ve all come to expect junk mail, but what drives me bananas is when a company mails me information that could have easily been sent via email. I’m not the only one who thinks this way. People want the convenience of email. It’s portable, it’s easy to organize and won’t get thrown out with the weekly ads.

Homeowners associations frequently use printed announcements to get news and information out to the community. I suspect a lot of those flyers are direct to bin publications. No one wants piles of paper cluttering their home, so even if an announcement is read, it probably gets thrown out sooner rather than later. That’s a problem. Residents need to receive the news sent by their association. Informed homeowners are happier homeowners.

This is where convenience and sustainability meet. Electronic association communications software gives owners access to all the info they need, 24/7 and reduces the amount of paper wasted on seldom read printed announcements. Going green also saves green. The money saved on printed materials can be used in other community projects.

Here are five ways to use digital communications software in your HOA.

  1. Let homeowners choose how they receive association news. Some people prefer mobile apps, while some opt for text messages or email. Use communications software to post information to the HOA website and generate notifications across multiple channels.
  2. Plan and promote events with reminders and RSVP capabilities. Gone are the days of printed invitations. Get owners involved and share information about upcoming events across all platforms – desktop, tablet and mobile. Software that can send out automated reminders of upcoming events can save community managers time. Use RSVP tools to put a cap on the number of attendees and give residents a real-time update of how many spots are left.
  3. Make important association resources (like meeting minutes, association rules, financials, etc.) accessible with an online resources library. Few residents keep a printed copy of the HOA rules and regulations, so put that information online where it can be accessed anytime. Push technology can create automated posts when new resource documents are added.
  4. Eschew printed PDFs for online fillable forms. Community associations frequently have forms that need to be completed by residents. Create and publish custom forms that residents can complete and submit online. Common types of forms include surveys, waivers, work order requests and resident contact forms. Mangers don’t need to worry about misfiling a printed form when forms are emailed to them and saved online.
  5. Maximize software integrations. Integrating online communications with accounting software allows owners to easily access to their account information. Equip owners with access to payments and violation notices on data on desktop, tablet and mobile. Use payment processing integrations to give residents the power to easily pay online—saving paper, stamps and fuel.

 

Electronic association communications benefit the environment, homeowners and community association managers. Looking for an online communications platform for your association? Give Nabr Network a call and let’s talk about our solutions!

Harnessing the Power of Resident Self-Service Technology

Self-service technology empowers homeowners with information and tools to help themselves. Done correctly, self-service tools can be a simple and quick alternative to bombarding the community manager with emails and phone calls. For years, other industries have embraced this technology to achieve a high level of customer care while minimizing the need for new hires (think bank ATMs). It’s time to harness the power of self-service technology in the community association management industry.

Self-service tools must be available on-the-go. Mobile is where we live these days. Homeowners want the convenience of RSVPing to an event, making an amenity reservation or dues payment from their phone. To keep users coming back, the mobile experience must be easy, accessible and intuitive. Your website should be mobile responsive to ensure full functionality. We use mobile apps daily, so offering a self-service app is an excellent way to introduce homeowners to self-service technology in a format that they are familiar with.

Integration of account data is a key component of self-service. Integration puts account information at the homeowners’ fingertips. With an integrated platform, notices and reminders are easily available, enabling residents to keep their properties in compliance. Integration with accounting and payment processing software makes it easy for owners to stay current with their dues.

Communication automation is a major part of effective self-service. Homeowners need reminders of HOA rules and policies and notifications about meetings and events. Self-service technology can push these reminders out electronically. Proactively educating and engaging homeowners will reduce the time managers spend returning calls and emails.

Technology with mobile, integration and communication features provides an abundance of self-service opportunities for homeowners. Your bottom line will benefit when you use self-service opportunities to maximize management company resources. Not sure where to start with shopping for self-service technology? Sign up for a Nabr Network webinar and let’s discuss the possibilities.


This article was originally published in Nabr Notes: Nabr Network’s e-newsletter. Each month Nabr Notes brings you fresh, helpful articles written with management company executives in mind, plus a curation of blog posts on the community association management industry. We think you’ll find Nabr Notes informative and entertaining! If you’d like to sign up to receive Nabr Notes, please send an email to melody.fritz@nabrnetwork.com with the word subscribe in the subject line.

Make HOA Websites Work for You

Do you remember your first time online? Or the first website you visited? I remember my family installing that ubiquitous AOL CD. We sat at the computer and listened to the electronic chatter as we were connected to the new frontier called the Internet. I remember bravely exploring the vast, new World Wide Web (before it was taken over by cats and memes).

We are the last generations who will remember this. My 11-year-old son has no idea what it would be like to not have information at his fingertips 24/7. He will never know the frustration of waiting on a slow dial-up connection nor dated websites that serve only as an information repository without any interactive or self-service aspects.

User experience, user interface and web design have come a long way since the earliest .com days. There’s no reason for the HOA websites you work with to be stuck in tech time warp. Today’s technology makes it simple to create and manage beautiful, modern websites. Make the most of your web presence with time-saving automation and accessibility.

Here’s a list of contemporary features that will make HOA websites work for you.

  1. Mobile optimization is a requirement. Today’s websites must work with whatever device they are viewed on. A great website looks and functions equally well on desktop and mobile. The website gets bonus points if it offers a mobile app. When checking for mobile website capabilities, look at text size, ease of menu navigation and general visual design. If you can’t read it, can’t navigate through it, and/or can’t see the entire width of the page, you know your site isn’t mobile-friendly.
  2. Messaging features are of increasing necessity. Mobile apps have conditioned us to expect information to come to us. Residents think the same way about HOA information – they don’t want to have to look for it – they want it in the palm of their hand. Look for push-technology that can send notifications to homeowners across different channels such as mobile app, text messaging and email.
  3. Websites should provide self-service opportunities. HOA business is not always conducted during office hours. Not surprisingly, homeowners think about their HOA when they are at home on evenings and weekends. They want to make reservations, fill out forms and check their account balance instantly, instead of waiting for the management office to reopen. Meet this need by offering self-service features on the HOA website. This allows residents to help themselves—anytime, anywhere.
  4. Websites need compelling visuals. Websites should feature large, vibrant photos of the community. Imagery is an important part of web design. Showcasing photos of the community will help residents connect with the website on an emotional level and will help foster a sense of community pride. Opt for lighter (as opposed to dark distracting) background colors that will allow the site’s images to stand out.
  5. The site’s layout should make sense. The menu structure and document organization should be logical so that residents can easily find the information they need. Ensuring that important association information, individual account details and your company’s payment portal are easily accessible will save your team time and save you money.
  6. Easy updates are a must. All the HOA websites your staff works with need to have an easy-to-use content management system. It’s inefficient for community managers to spend time struggling to update an outdated website. Instead, make sure all sites are user-friendly and offer full support and training.

Do the community websites you work with include the features listed above? If not, help is just a click away. Nabr Network offers an affordable website solution that can be rolled out to one, some or all the communities in your portfolio. Sign up for a webinar today and let’s talk about the possibilities.


This article was originally published in Nabr Notes: Nabr Network’s e-newsletter. Each month Nabr Notes brings you fresh, helpful articles written with management company executives in mind, plus a curation of blog posts on the community association management industry. We think you’ll find Nabr Notes informative and entertaining! If you’d like to sign up to receive Nabr Notes, please send an email to melody.fritz@nabrnetwork.com with the word subscribe in the subject line.

News Release: PPM, Inc. (Professional Property Management) Selects Nabr Network to Develop and Launch Branded Communication Application For Use In Community Associations

PPM’s mobile and web application, PPM NABR, provides the company a competitive advantage

Lewisville, Texas (July 17, 2017) –Nabr Network, the leading mobile and web communication system built specifically for community management companies and their associations, announced the development of the branded PPM NABR application. PPM NABR is offered to PPM’s portfolio of clients.

“PPM is excited to be partnering with Nabr Network to offer a communication platform unlike anything else in the North Carolina market. We feel confident that this partnership is going to keep our company at the top of our industry and ahead of our competitors when it comes to customer care and efficient operations,” stated PPM’s Managing Partner Brooke Hoff.

“Communication is one of the top issues facing community association management professionals. It’s a strategic move for PPM to market their PPM NABR application. Showing that they take communication seriously speaks volumes to potential clients,” remarked James Garner, vice president of business development at Nabr Network.

Nabr Network is the industry’s most comprehensive private communication platform and web presence– specifically developed for community associations. Nabr Network goes beyond traditional HOA websites and email blasts to deliver time-sensitive alerts, reminders and event notifications across multiple devices. Nabr Network’s one-touch communication platform provides management companies and associations the ability to push news through mobile app, text, email, Community Feed and automated web updates. Nabr Network’s integrations with leading industry accounting software companies allow homeowners seamless account access with a single login to their Nabr Network application.

PPM NABR is operated and supported by Nabr Network and the Nabr Network software platform.

About PPM

Professional Properties Management (PPM) has been delivering the highest quality homeowner association, community development and office condominium management services since 1985. PPM serves more than 200 communities and represents over 30,000 homeowners throughout central North Carolina. Learn more at https://ppmral.com/.

About Nabr Network

Nabr Network is a comprehensive web and mobile communication tool, specifically developed for managers and residents of Community Associations. Nabr Network’s software platform is used by community association management companies across the country. Nabr Network is headquartered in Lewisville, Texas. Additional information is available at www.nabrnetwork.com.

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Waking up from the Technical Support Nightmare

It seems that many software companies have forgotten the “support” in tech support.

How familiar is this scenario? You run into some technical difficulties with the software needed to do your job. Dread creeps in as you realize that you’re going to need assistance with this issue. You scour the online “help” section, hoping you’ll find the answers to your questions, but after reading half a dozen articles, you still don’t know what’s going on. You continue to search and finally find a phone number. You press button after button as you work your way through a labyrinth of pre-recorded phone options… eventually finding yourself on a seemingly infinite hold with tech support. By the time the tech support representative answers the phone you are frustrated, angry and your patience is at an end. You sense the apathy of the rep on the other end of the line and you silently (or maybe not-so-silently) curse the day you purchased this software program. Maybe your problem gets resolved. Maybe it doesn’t. Either way, your time has been wasted and your mood has been shot.

It’s time to wake up and realize that you deserve better! It’s time to make a change. When shopping for new software, ask the following questions before you buy.

  1. Is the interface user-friendly?
  2. Is software training included in the purchase price?
  3. Is there an additional charge for ongoing support?
  4. Is there a technical support phone number available?
  5. What is the average on-hold time before speaking with a technical support representative?
  6. Is there an easily accessible tech support form?
  7. What is the average response time to technical support requests?
  8. What self-help resources are available?
  9. Is technical support available to other end-users?

 

At Nabr Network, providing outstanding support is very important to us. We provide quick and friendly support to community association managers and residents. Residents contact us for help with registration and log-in issues, freeing your team up to do what they do best: manage communities. Nabr Network provides online training, an extensive knowledge base and ongoing support at no additional cost. Best of all, Nabr Network is easy to use.

A user-friendly software platform with free, fast and friendly support? Sounds like a dream come true!

Tools of the Trade: Increasing Productivity and Profitability


How would your profitability increase if you were able to grow the number of communities your company serves– without hiring new community managers? It may sound unlikely, as your staff is likely working at maximum capacity already, but it is possible with help from tech tools.

To bring tech solutions into your company, identify the main tasks that bog managers down, then provide managers with tools to work more efficiently. Here are some places to start.

Invest in Automation. Are your portfolio managers having to manage multiple calendars, website logins, social media channels, etc.? Are they recreating the same communications across each community they manage? Look for communication technology that can automate these repetitive tasks. This will save your staff time—and maybe improve their morale by removing these tediously boring tasks from their day.

Make things easy. Your team doesn’t have time to learn and re-learn complicated software; there’s no sense in buying software that is cumbersome and takes more time to use. Make sure that any software you purchase is easy-to-use, comes with great training, and provides ongoing support.

Self-service is the future…and the future is here. There are technical tools that will allow homeowners to help themselves…and reduce manager workload. Items such as checking account balance, accessing association documents, and finding answers to frequently asked questions can all be done online. This gets the information to owners instantly, 24/7 and saves a phone call to management offices.

Nabr Network offers all the above and more. Sign up for a free Webinar and learn how adding Nabr Network to your team’s toolkit can save them time and improve your bottom line.


This article was originally published in Nabr Notes: Nabr Network’s e-newsletter. Each month Nabr Notes brings you fresh, helpful articles written with management company executives in mind, plus a curation of blog posts on the community association management industry. We think you’ll find Nabr Notes informative and entertaining! If you’d like to sign up to receive Nabr Notes, please send an email to melody.fritz@nabrnetwork.com with the word subscribe in the subject line.

Go Beyond Improved Communication: Improve Your Customer Service with Nabr Network!

Nabr Network is the place for official HOA information, but it’s also a valuable resource for learning about your customers’ needs and expectations. Below are three simple tips for using Nabr Network to understand and exceed those expectations.

  1. Check out the General Channel. Not surprisingly, residents often post general questions to this channel of the Feed. Do you see the same question posted often? This shows an information gap. Close it and put an end to the questions by creating a scheduled post that will push this information out to members on an ongoing basis.
  2. Ask questions. Nabr Network’s dynamic forms feature can also be used for informal community surveys. Custom forms are easy to create and share to the Community Feed. The completed forms are emailed to you and stored in your Admin panel. Try using Dynamic forms to create a homeowner satisfaction survey and learn what you can do to improve your service offerings.
  3. Be accessible. Be sure to keep management contact information up-to-date on your Nabr Network sites. If there is a staffing change for a community, be sure homeowners know who their new manager is and have a straightforward way of contacting them.

 

Following trends in the Community Feed, gaining insight from Dynamic Forms, and providing an easy way for your customers to contact management are all great ways to discover what your customers want. Use that information to identify opportunities for excellent customer service and watch as your customers stay with your company year after year.

Turn the Page: Communication Extravaganza Coming to CAI Houston

Nabr Network’s James Garner will present Turn the Page: Communication Extravaganza at CAI Houston’s April Education Luncheon. This presentation focuses on effective and efficient avenues of communication; reasons and resources for community engagement; and the rules and results of positive engagement.

Garner will lead attendees through a fun exploration into the evolution of communication technologies and examine communication best practices for communities and management professionals to help you rise to the challenge of communicating by website, email, texts, mobile apps and more.

This seminar is worth one hour of continuing education credit.

CAI Houston April Education Luncheon:
Thursday, April 6, 2017
11:30 AM Registration
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Presentation

Houston Hilton Westchase
9999 Westheimer Road
Houston, Texas 77042

Garner has more than 20 years of experience in capturing the benefit and energy of technology to enhance effective communication strategies and optimize operational efficiencies. He began his business career in the early 90’s with the Zig Ziglar Training Company as a corporate trainer. Garner now shares his enthusiasm for dynamic communication with the community association management industry through expert articles, city symposiums, webinars and speaking engagements across the country.

News Release: Nabr Network Announces New Client: Creative Management

Woman using Nabr Network Creative Connect on Mobile Device

Creative Management’s new mobile and web application Creative Connect is improving communication in the associations they manage

Lewisville, Texas (March 15, 2017) –Nabr Network, the leading mobile and web communication system built specifically for community management companies and their associations, announced that Creative Management has joined their growing client list. Nabr Network is providing Creative Management and the communities they manage with a branded mobile app and web presence: Creative Connect.

The Florida-based association management company is using Creative Connect to improve communication in the associations they manage.

“Creative Management has been in business for eight years. We pride ourselves on providing individual services to each community we serve based on their needs. We are not a cookie cutter management company – we tailor our services to the community’s requirements,” said Chris Thomas, chief operating officer at Creative Management.

“The Nabr Network web and mobile application has helped us provide great service to our communities by increasing communication to our Owners and providing an easy access point for the community to obtain information in one place. Many owners especially like the mobile app.”

“Creative Management is embracing technology to bring great communication to their portfolio of associations,” remarked James Garner, vice president of business development at Nabr Network. “Creative Management offers a custom approach to each community they serve. The flexibility of Creative Connect makes it the ideal communications solution for a wide-range of community associations.”

Nabr Network is the industry’s most comprehensive private communication platform and web presence– specifically developed for community associations. Nabr Network goes beyond traditional websites and email blasts to deliver time-sensitive alerts, reminders and event notifications on the devices that residents prefer to use. Nabr Network’s one-touch communication platform provides management companies and associations the ability to push news through mobile app, text, email, Community Feed and automated web updates. Nabr Network’s integrations with leading industry accounting software companies allow homeowners seamless account access with a single login to their Nabr Network application.

Creative Connect is operated and supported by Nabr Network and the Nabr Network software platform.

About Creative Management

Creative Management offers full service management to homeowner, condominium and co-operative associations in Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties in Florida. Learn more at www.creative-mgmt.com.

About Nabr Network

Nabr Network is a comprehensive web and mobile communication tool, specifically developed for managers and residents of Community Associations. Nabr Network’s software platform is used by community association management companies across the country. Nabr Network is headquartered in Lewisville, Texas. Additional information is available at www.nabrnetwork.com.

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News Release: Nabr Network’s James Garner to Speak at TOPS CAMfire Conference

 

Lewisville, Texas (February 21, 2017) – Nabr Network is proud to announce that James Garner will be presenting a session on mobilized communication at the TOPS CAMfire 2017 Conference.

The CAMfire Conference provides an open and engaging environment for all Community Association Management professionals. More than a TOPS Software User Conference, CAMfire features general CAM industry sessions and keynotes delivered by industry thought leaders.

Garner’s presentation Turn the Page: Mobilized Communication has been approved by CAMICB for Continuing Education credit. This limited capacity session will take place Thursday, February 23 at 2:00 p.m. at the DoubleTree at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla.

Effective communication is a key skill in today’s homeowner industry. The use of digital communication (including computers, mobile devices and applications) is currently dominating the communication landscape. This session aims to provide attendees with the basic knowledge required for effective mobile communication in the community association industry.

James Garner is the Vice President of Business Development at Nabr Network. He brings over 25 years of experience in capturing the benefit and energy of technology to enhance effective communication strategies and optimize operational efficiencies.

Nabr Network is the industry’s most comprehensive private communication platform and web presence– specifically developed for community associations. Nabr Network goes beyond traditional websites and email blasts to deliver time-sensitive alerts, reminders and event notifications on the devices that residents prefer to use. Nabr Network’s one-touch communication platform provides management companies and associations the ability to push news through mobile app, text, email, Community Feed and automated web updates.

About TOPS Software

TOPS Software helps community association management professionals save time and effort in managing condominiums and homeowners associations. TOPS technology empowers management companies to focus on growing their business and delighting their clients while reducing their labor costs. Learn more about TOPS at http://www.topssoft.com.

About Nabr Network

Nabr Network is a comprehensive web and mobile communication tool, specifically developed for managers and residents of Community Associations. Nabr Network’s software platform is used by community association management companies across the country. Nabr Network is headquartered in Lewisville, Texas. Additional information is available at www.nabrnetwork.com.

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