Lessons to Build On: Building Expectations: Looking Ahead at Assessment Changes

March 23, 2016    Margo Crummack CEO/Principal    Education

BUILDING EXPECTATIONS: LOOKING AHEAD AT ASSESSMENT CHANGES

In addition to department, team, and client meetings, I meet with anyone who is involved with our project. Builders should look at their future homeowners like team players instead of simply buyers. So when any changes happen to your project, you know you always have to keep your team in the loop.

For example, it is common practice for management and builders to have the initial BRE budget call for a range of assessments, yet it is often unfamiliar territory for a homeowner. HOA homeowners may not be accustomed to new builds, where changes can occur, and seeing debits, credits or late fees on their account statement can be frustrating without any explanation.

Here are some tips to keep your team/homeowners informed, and to encourage correct payments in a timely manner.

1. EASILY ATTAINABLE OVERVIEW OF ASSESSMENTS. A good vehicle for this is the Assessment Schedule found in the homeowner manual and also have it readily available at board meetings.

2. CREATE A SUBSIDY CALENDAR. If there is a subsidy, let them know how much it is and how long it will last… this is a nice opportunity to share that the homebuilder is paying this to offset the homeowners assessment rate!

3. WHEN YOU KNOW, BLAST IT OUT. If you have an electronic communication platform, send out a notification to the homeowner BEFORE the assessment changes.  Many platforms now offer notifications that go directly to a homeowner's technology preference. (i.e. handled device, notebook, laptop, etc.)  This allows for convenient and efficient communication.

4. MAKE A DATE. Let homeowners know the date the new assessment rate will go into effect. This is typically the 1st of the upcoming month.

5. AUTOMATIC ADJUSTMENTS WITH EASE. Suggest ACH so payments will be automatically adjusted in keeping with assessments changes. Homeowners that choose to pay directly through their bank will need to notify their bank of the change in assessments and have payment adjusted accordingly.

All of the above tips have greatly improved our communication with builders and homeowners, and has helped us grow Crummack Huseby year after year.  Last year, we implemented an online web portal, CH CONNECT, that has been instrumental in bringing homeowners a simple, convenient way to send and receive communication. It was important we proceduralize a communication process so messaging was sent from the Community Managers; keeping homeowners informed in person, mail, email, or text messaging. This process also keeps the Community Managers aware and accountable so they can effectively speak to it. Information is communication. Besides, unless it’s your birthday, no one likes surprises.


ABOUT MARGO CRUMMACK
Margo co-founded Crummack Huseby Property Management, Inc., over 17 years ago when she saw a need for a more customized and personalized approach to community management. Margo along with co-founder Sandra Woods Huseby's mission was to create a breath of fresh air within their industry: to create an open dialogue with communities, to focus on the core of a community, and to customize management styles to suit what’s best for that particular community.
 
As an expert in New Project Development, Margo is often invited to consult from day one. Her work ethic is respected and valued—when she says she’ll do it, it gets done. One of Margo’s crown jewels is the beautiful 20-Merchant Builder Master Planned Community that she consulted on back in 1999 and still manages today.

Always advocating for continued learning, Margo encourages an environment of “training, motivating, and innovating” for herself, Crummack Huseby’s employees, and their clients. She is also a well-respected speaker and educator within the industry, serving on the Education Committee for CAI-OC and CACM’s Education Review Committee.  
 


ABOUT CRUMMACK HUSEBY
As leaders in our industry, and with decades of combined experience, we’ve set a new standard for BRE consulting and processing coordination with your SRP. There’s not a one-size-fits-all at Crummack Huseby Property Management, Inc., because we understand builders deserve an experience that’s as unique as the communities they create. Our unforgettable team and unparalleled personal approach to New Community Management and BRE Services sets us apart. Let us help your community stand out. When you’re ready for us, we’ll be here for you.  For more information, visit ch-pm.com or call 888-399-9430 Toll Free

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