A large perk to being part of an HOA community comes with having access to amenities. According to a survey by 2ndkitchen, 87.2% of multifamily residents say amenities significantly impact their renting decision. They also impact buying decisions. As a board member or manager, managing these amenities can come with challenges. For example, communities without financial support or additional staff are more likely to offer limited amenities or struggle to manage their amenities correctly.
We all want to live somewhere where we feel a sense of community and lifestyle when it comes down to it. Amenities allow communities to engage and build relationships among other members. In addition, amenities increase property value and help gain interest from potential homeowners.
Establish a reservation amenities system
Establishing an HOA reservation amenities system is designed to help board members, managers, and homeowners manage, approve, and schedule reservations along with establishing rules of usage.
- Forward calendar updates regarding amenity reservations
- Receive notices regarding reservations and amenities
- Book parties and placeholders in communal amenity areas
- Establish the amenity's overall purpose
- Increase community member satisfaction
- Helps decrease conflict between members overbooking and double booking amenities
- Increases communication and engagement
What is an amenity?
- Dog parks
- Common areas
- Co-working space
- Outdoor recreation
- Playgrounds and parks
- Community business centers
- Picnic table and barbecue areas
Tips for managing your amenity reservations
Meeting work-life requirements
The post-pandemic period shows that people are now working from home regularly. In fact, “a report by Owl labs in 2021 found that 55% of respondents say they work more hours remotely than at the physical office.” With that being said, HOA communities are now gearing toward implementing amenities that include work-from-home options such as workspace areas. This contributes to the ability to manage reservations for a private workspace area. To better manage your work-life amenities, consider the following tips:
- Free wifi - A key component to managing workspace reservations is the ability to access wifi or, even better, free accessible wifi. In fact, before the pandemic, “tech-forward cities, including San Francisco and New York, have been building infrastructure to support city-wide free Wi-Fi.”
- Technical support - HOAs that offer free wifi are also more likely to need technical support — here is where your staff can contribute proper maintenance and a support team. Keep in mind that implementing technical support may also require the help of your HOA financial team — they may need to provide funds to hire technical support personnel or staff.
- Live chats - Technical support also allows the community to offer live chat functions. Communities can ask questions and resolve issues immediately.
- Other types of technical support- include dial-in calls and text messaging.
When it comes to managing your amenities, software plays a significant role. Community software allows members the ability to communicate and engage with other members. For example, community pools and common areas can utilize software by using features and applications that will enable them to schedule reservations and pay amenity fees directly through their community website.
- This feature enables HOAs to fully acknowledge common areas and complete reservations and cancellations.
- Allows residents the option to set reservations on an automatic standby line and block residents if other common areas are reserved.
Blocking Reservations will enable managers and board members to prohibit members from booking amenities for a designated time period with a custom explanation.
- During times of remodeling or deep cleanings, users with administrative access can configure reservation blocks for amenities so that they cannot be booked.
Another tip to managing your amenity reservations comes with the responsibility of teaching your community how to book an amenity correctly. Remember that not everyone is a tech-wiz. Those that are not as prone to using the internet or texting may find it difficult to book reservations through a mobile app or website.
- Tutorials- Offer tutorials and video training on managing and booking amenity reservations online. This can be offered through an online course or an in-person community meeting.
- Tech support- provide technical support to members if they encounter issues or have questions. Be sure to offer a phone technical support contact for those that may not know how to use live chats or support email.
A large part of managing amenities comes with how we maintain and operate its appearance. Even as board members and managers, it’s important to hold community members accountable for the upkeep of the amenity when being utilized. A suggested way to ensure accountability is exercised is to include guidelines and protocols for members when booking reservations.
- Provide a written agreement for members to sign at the time of reserving.
- Include information on any types of fines if amenity guidelines are violated.
- Provide an option for members to take before and after photos - if damage or leftover debris is observed after the amenity is used, property managers can hold accountability on who or what may have caused the issue.
- Provide a checklist for members to utilize before and after the reservation.
To help with amenity reservations we have created 3 checklist templates for you to use within your community:
- Opening checklist- for residents to fill out before they begin use of the amenity.
- Closing checklist- for residents to complete before they vacate the amenity.
- Blank checklist- for you to customize for your communities amenities.
Download the amenity checklists here to help keep your amenities in perfect shape year long.