How many homes in your community are vacant? Whether it’s one or one hundred, it’s too many. Empty homes can lead to compliance issues and decrease the curb appeal of your community. They can also negatively impact the feeling of connectedness for the members of your association. That’s why it’s so important to keep every home occupied.

The solution is attracting buyers. This is where HOA board members must put on their marketing hats. Never worn one? No problem – here are some tips that will have you marketing your community like a pro.

1. Start at the entrance.

Your association’s entrance is more than a method of ingress and egress for your residents and visitors. Think of it as a billboard for your entire community. It’s the face you show to the world, which makes it extremely important when it comes to forming a first impression for prospective buyers and residents. Your entranceway should be well kept and pleasing to the eye. It should entice people to come in – and at the same time, establish the feeling and mood of your entire community. 

2. Think like a buyer.

It can be hard to see things with a fresh pair of eyes when you’re so familiar with the streets and buildings in your neighborhood. So try this exercise: leave your community, then return and try to see it as if you’ve never been there before. Are the common areas inviting? Are the streets well lit and properly maintained? Are the homes in compliance with the rules of the association? How does the landscaping look? Is it easy to park and find your way around? Experiencing your association the way a prospective buyer will help you find ways to improve it – and attract new residents. A great association management company has the right resourced to help you evaluate your community as well.

3. Get everyone together.

How can a summer barbecue or holiday get-together sell homes? Easy – by creating positive experiences for residents, you give them something to talk about. And that means they essentially become your most effective sales agents. If your current residents have good things to say about their community to their friends and family, then those friends and family will be more likely to look to that community when it’s time for them to find a new home. And it doesn’t always have to be an ice cream social or a pool can curate events of interest based on the culture of your community. You can invite guest speakers to give presentations, you can hold panel discussions on interesting topics, and you can even partner with local businesses to hold special giveaways or food tastings. No matter how you choose to go about it, the important thing is that community members feel engaged and have fun.

4. Show them the money.

The savviest buyers will consider the financial health of the association before they consider purchasing a home in your community. Create a mechanism for showing prospective buyers your documents during the sales process. If they know they’re moving into a community that is managed responsibly, it may be the deciding factor between choosing yours versus the one across the street. And if your association is currently experiencing financial challenges, address them immediately. Look to your community association management company for help. 

5. Use the Internet.

Creating a special splash page or landing page dedicated to prospective buyers is a great way to entice them. If you live in a highly competitive real estate market, this can be an invaluable tool in helping buyers learn more about what a great place your community is to live in. 

Of course, any marketing strategy involves time and effort, but by using these basic tips, you’re well on your way to attracting your next qualified buyer – and your next great neighbor. For more help, contact FirstService Residential, North America’s leading community association management company.
Tuesday November 25, 2014