What do you do when you properties that are not doing well and need to be turned around? Whether this is your current situation or you’d just like to be prepared in case you do experience it, here are some common challenges and possibilities for resolution.
Negative Online Ratings
With reviews so easy to submit online now where everyone can see, one disgruntled tenant can instantly make their problems with your property published for every prospective new resident to see. For this reason, managing the reputation of your community is so important.
It’s a good idea to always check in on your online reputation by googling your community, address, and names of employees. If you find negative reviews, the best way to “fix” them is by responding to the comment appropriately. If their complaints are valid or make a good point about something, be sure to admit the mistake and immediately let them know you are taking action to avoid it happening again.
You might even encourage the reviewer to contact a Board member or your HOA management to further discuss the issue. This will show those looking online that you care about your homeowners and are quick to address problems.
More Vacancy than Occupancy
This is can be hard to combat, especially if the vacancy percentage has become very high. The best first step is to ask yourself a few questions, like:
- Is your property overall in a state of disrepair or decline?
- Do many of your residents pay their dues late—or skip out on it altogether?
- Are you regularly having to go through the eviction process?
- What’s the complaint you most often hear from your current and former residents?
- How recently did you check your online reputation, and how did it look?
This will help you in identifying what could be going wrong and then working to fix that area.
If residents are constantly paying their dues late or failing to pay at all. you might need to consider updating the screening process.
Look for patterns when screening new residents. And keep in mind, patterns are more important than single occurrences. With two thirds of Americans considered middle class living paycheck to paycheck, an unexpected event in life like divorce or job loss can cause a temporary downward spiral in their finances, even if the resident is responsible. Look at income, job history, and past performance to separate one-time occurrences from true patterns.
As a homeowners association, it’s important to be open and honest with both property owners and address issues as they happen to provide the best overall results for the community and increase good occupancy rates.
For more information about HOA management for your community, contact Cedar Management Group.