HOA responsibilities are many, but should marketing be one of them?
One of the benefits – even duties – of an HOA is to promote the overall well-being of the community. In doing so, some marketing efforts may be worthwhile. After all, the better your neighborhood looks in the public eye, the more likely it is to attract homeowners who’ll love it there. The more people want to live in your community, the higher property values will go.
To reach those potential homeowners, you’ve got to make people aware of what makes your community stand out. You know…run some ads, create a website and generally shout it from the rooftops. Easy, right?
Maybe you have some really unique amenities. Maybe you’re within walking distance of the new business park. But before you hire a guy with a gold chain and a mic to tell everyone about it, dust off your governing documents. Read them. They may shed some light on what your HOA is expected or allowed to do to market your community. Make sure you understand the rules before making a move.
Governing documents aside, keep in mind that things can get sticky if your marketing methods benefit some homeowners more than others. For example, say you have a real estate agent on your board who sell units in your community, and the HOA helps the agent pay for advertising. This would be a big fat no-no, as that agent stands to benefit financially. And in some states, if the HOA is somehow engaged in selling units, they actually need a real estate broker’s license. How’s that for a can of worms?
Once you know your legal parameters, you can decide what demographic you’re after and where to find them. If you’re trying to attract seniors, social media may not be your best bet, but local publications that cater to that crowd could be money well spent. If your big thing is pet friendliness, consider location-based web ads targeted at dog owners. Consult an expert if needed, but whatever you do, make sure you’re touting what makes your community special, and using resources wisely to reach the people who will appreciate it.
What are you doing to promote your community? Leave us a comment below. We may even use your ideas in a future article.
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