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Best Practices In Improving Handling HOA Service Requests From Homeowners

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HOAs are responsible for maintaining common areas and ensuring the community is in top condition. However, the board members do not always have eyes and ears everywhere to keep track of damages and system failures. This is where HOA service requests submitted by homeowners come in. 


Tips to Handle HOA Service Requests

Many homeowners associations think installing a receptacle to receive HOA service requests is enough and call it a day. However, while this may be sufficient for small communities with a few units, it’s not always enough for mid-sized or large neighborhoods. 

How can an association better handle service requests from homeowners? Here are some best practices to keep in mind.


1. Clarify What HOA Service Requests Are

Homeowners will often confuse HOA service requests for community improvement suggestions. Despite their few similarities, though, these two things are entirely different. Work order requests are authorized maintenance activities. They pertain to fixing broken fixtures like a busted lightbulb, a water filter that needs replacing, or a broken window. 

Meanwhile, community improvement requests are suggestions to enhance community structures and common areas. For example, homeowners might request the HOA to landscape the park a certain way or create a playground for the children. These suggestions should be managed differently and separated from HOA service requests.  

Communicating how the two are distinguished is essential to avoid clutter in the service request system. To do this, defining what service requests are on the service request form or HOA portal might be helpful. 


2. Make Requests Easy to Submit

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HOA service request submissions should be easy. Typically, residents make them as they spot a problem. If the HOA service request form is too long and difficult to complete, they might not bother and leave the issue unresolved. The damage may worsen over time and cost more in the long run.

Make sure the service request is detailed but easy to fill out and submit to the HOA. Electronic platforms make this easier. On the other hand, physical receptacles can still work as long as they’re easily accessible. 

It’s also important to vary the way homeowners can submit requests. Some homeowners are tech-savvy, so they can quickly write an email or use an app. However, elderly members of the community are used to more traditional forms of communication. Consider allowing them to make a phone call or send a text to submit requests. 


3. Adopt an Assignment Process

Maintenance requests must be handled swiftly to stop the problem before it gets bigger. The HOA should adopt a review and assignment process to ensure a smooth process. This will help the board assign each maintenance request to the right staff, committee, or vendor.

An on-site manager can help the association with the assignments. Alternatively, board members can also do this at regular meetings. Volunteers and maintenance committees can also help if the board has no time. 

If the community can afford an app or software, automating the process is also a good idea. These apps can usually assign each request to the right vendor based on its category, eliminating the need for manual delegation. 


4. Track Each Request

It can be easy to lose track of homeowner work order requests once they are assigned. However, both the board and members need to know the status of each task. The vendor or staff assigned can provide periodic updates through text or email. An HOA software could also be useful as vendors can set more specific statuses for each maintenance job.

Tracking each request might seem tedious. Nonetheless, it’s important to keep everyone in the loop. After all, it is the neighborhood’s money being used. Everyone has a right to know that their funds are being utilized for the community’s benefit. 


5. Use Software

HOA homeowner concerns can be hard to sift through, especially if there are dozens or even hundreds at a time. If the association has sufficient funds, consider investing in software that organizes HOA service requests for you. Good software often allows you to submit, assign, and track requests in one place. 

In addition, many platforms allow you to track each vendor's performance with back-end analytics. Board members can review the average resolution times for each request and vendor. They can set the right maintenance priorities and reevaluate vendor contracts. 


6. Create a Hierarchy

Not all homeowners association homeowner requests are equal. Some are more urgent than others, and the HOA should exercise discernment when choosing which to prioritize. Infrastructure and repair requests are often the most important. Potholes, broken playground equipment, and foundational water damage require prompt attention. 

It’s also important to prioritize building maintenance, pest control, waste management, and irrigation issues. If left unchecked, these can jeopardize the community’s health and safety. Leaving them as is could result in a lawsuit filed by homeowners or their guests. 

Of course, just because these requests are the most urgent doesn’t mean the board can ignore the rest. They must still address minor service requests. Leaving them unaddressed for too long could make the submitter feel restless, leading to homeowner dissatisfaction and even conflict. 

Moreover, ignoring minor requests could lead to significant problems in the future. A small crack in the sidewalk could turn into a pothole after a few months. Consider prioritizing by category and date to ensure nothing is overlooked. 


7. Provide a Feedback Form

emoticons | hoa service requests

HOAs should be open to homeowner feedback. This improves their efficiency and lets the board know what’s working and what isn’t. Consider providing a feedback form the homeowners can fill out. The form can be physical, electronic, or both.

Make sure the form is easily accessible to all homeowners. Moreover, provide a suggestion box so they can tell you how to improve the submission and maintenance process. The board can review these periodically to better their operations.


What Should Service Request Forms Include?

HOA service request forms must be detailed but not overly cluttered. Here are the most essential details to include:

  • Location, date, and time of issue
  • Photo or video of the issue (if applicable)
  • Submitter’s contact information
  • Description of the problem


A Well-Kept Community

HOA service requests are integral to community upkeep. The board might be responsible for conducting regular inspections, but these won’t always be foolproof. Homeowners need to pitch in and inform the board of their problems.

Does your community need help handling work orders? A professional management company like Vanguard Management Group can help. We offer premier management services to communities around Florida. Call us now at 813-930-8036 or contact us online to learn more!



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