Okay, so it’s not really a takeover. But chances are, you’re starting to see signs of this changing HOA demographic with more and more millennials moving into your HOA.
Millennials are sometimes called Generation Y: those who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century. Millennials will represent the largest group of American home buyers in 2017, at 33%, and many will turn to HOAs to make home ownership a better fit for their lifestyle. This is a good thing for your community, but this new HOA demographic can change the way you manage.
Millennials grew up with technology that us old fogies had to learn as adults. This technology drives communication and just about everything else. Your beautiful newsletter, for example, makes a really good coaster — until it gets recycled.
Millennials are multi-taskers, with communication that fits seamlessly into their lives: waiting in line, riding the train, 5-minute work-breaks. To keep up with the changing demographics in your HOA, you must do the same. From announcements to CC&Rs, you’re better off to do everything online. The good news is, since they’re always connected, those messages tend to get through.
(And if you’re worried about missing out on other demographics, don’t sweat it. 87% of 50-64 year-olds, and 64% of adults 65+ are online, too.)
According to Zillow, the average first-time buyer rents for 6 years first. Having been on their own for a while, it makes sense that their expectations of HOA life might be a little higher. People who rent, for example, are used to having maintenance taken care of. When they’re ready to buy, they seek out HOAs because they don’t want to deal with those issues. In short, they move into managed communities not in spite of the HOA, but because of it.
As a manager, you need to make sure prospective buyers understand where HOA responsibilities end and theirs begin. Clear rules and effective communication are your best bets for keeping millennials — and everyone else — comfortable and happy.
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