Adapting and evolving: How leveraging technology can better serve the communities you manage
As any running business, HOAs operate in many of the same ways. From accounting, running the day-to-day operations, or setting agendas, these are only just a few of the responsibilities that come with running an HOA. In addition to these priorities, HOAs must also manage their residents' work order requests. The sole responsibility of the HOA management company is to ensure that the community is well maintained. As a result, the organization is happy, safe, and valuable.
Although work order requests may seem time-consuming, they are considered an advantage to the HOA. How so? Considering that HOAs will often perform maintenance checks on their own, having someone point out an issue before it gets worse can help reduce the significant effect that could result on the community — let’s not forget to mention a large amount of savings resulting from this as well. To take this into perspective, would you rather have someone point out a small leak in a pipe or a flood due to the leak? We’ll take a small leak for $500, please.
An essential work request will often consist of the resident’s initial proposal, details about the incident, along with additional information that a servicer may need to help resolve the issue. When discussing work order requests with your community, transparency is critical. By setting specific guidelines and criteria, the HOA can avoid the “faultfinder neighbor” – that particular neighbor tends to find fault in almost everything they see.
In most cases, an HOA will set specific guidelines so that the community is aware of what constitutes a work order request vs. neighborhood improvements. The HOA will also decide under what circumstances it is appropriate to submit a claim.
A work order request is authorized maintenance, usually submitted by an HOA resident or staff member. Common requests may include a broken window, a water filter replacement, a lightbulb replacement, or anything related to the actual resident’s home or community.
A community improvement request is often made when changes that involve adding or modifying structures such as landscapes, buildings, or shared areas may be needed. In these situations, requests may be handled differently and separate from common work order requests.
When a resident fills out a request form, the HOA will need to provide a straightforward and easy process for completing and submitting the form. This should include a method to track the request so that the resident can know when the board will complete the request. As a result, the resident can maintain trust with the community and mitigate future issues such as poor communication.
A work order is only as good as the information you request. As the HOA board of directors or management company, residents must be given a complete work order form. This way, your residents can obtain the full context of the request, along with a projected time and outline of what is necessary to complete the project.
Keep in mind that many HOAs will often use special software that allows their residents the option to fill out request forms online or through an application. For example, TownSq offers a request form feature in their application that enables the resident to see real-time updates from submitted requests and managers and board members to assign and update that request as it continues through the cycle of being completed.
Benefits of the TownSq app:
Having a vetted list of contractors and on-site maintenance staff is an integral part of maintaining work requests. To ensure work requests are kept up to standard, we suggest keeping an updated list of contacts on-hand at all times. As a result, the HOA can promptly complete the request without calling multiple contractors before addressing the issue.
As a property management company or board of directors, it is crucial to keep a close eye on the state of the community. Communities should proactively be inspected for repairs weekly or twice per month. Depending on the property, some inspections may need to be conducted more frequently, especially if an older building is prone to needing additional maintenance.
Allow residents the option to submit both positive and negative feedback. Understanding the tenant experience is a significant way to know if your HOA work order process is transparent. This will also help with improving communication and the overall strategy for all people involved.