An HOA contract can be a great source of recurring revenue. However, winning an HOA contract can be a challenge for vendors. Here are a few ways to increase your chances of success.
1. Make Yourself Easy to Find and Highly Responsive
Most well-run property owners’ associations have a policy in place to seek at least three proposals when putting a contract out for bid. Unless they know several companies offhand, they may go online to look for additional vendors. Using good SEO on your website to rank well for relevant search terms is smart. Increase your chances even more by asking current and past clients to leave good Google reviews. Since most of your competitors probably don’t take the time to do this, you will have a serious edge in developing visibility and credibility.
Perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle is being prompt in responding to ALL inquiries. Too many companies miss bidding opportunities because they don’t have processes in place to ensure that phone calls and website inquiries are handled promptly. Don’t forget to continuously monitor your social media presence as well. Potential HOA customers may leave questions in blog comments, on Facebook posts, or any other place there is a comment or contact form online for your company.
2. Build Relationships with Community and Board Members
Master-planned communities offer plenty of opportunity to do residential work for homeowners. Doing a great job for active members is an ideal way to position your company as the right choice for a commercial HOA contract. If your company is mentioned by several community members as a trustworthy vendor, your chances are even better.
Make sure any members of your service team who are in the neighborhood wear apparel with your brand (and that they are courteous in every interaction). Make your company information and logo clearly visible on work vehicles as well. You want to be easy to remember when conversations about HOA contracts come up.
3. Be Simple for the HOA or Condo Association to Vet
With this step, winning an HOA contract is easy. Provide necessary insurance policy certificate BEFORE you are asked. Don’t make the HOA board chase you for paperwork. Offer a clear proposal that outlines your company’s responsibilities, timelines for completion, how work quality will be evaluated and maintained, and how potential issues can be resolved. You’ll stand out from competitors who try to hide their terms and conditions in the fine print.
Approaching each deal with transparency shows your intent to create a win-win situation. This builds a lot of trust and helps you land HOA contracts even when you aren’t the lowest bidder. Respect the board’s vetting process and the rules they have in place for contract length, renewal terms, and other stipulations.
4. Present Relevant Experience in a Compelling Way
HOA and condo boards want to know if you have the right experience to serve their community. Present projects done for similar properties is the simplest way to demonstrate expertise. Take the time to build a nice presentation. Before and after photos are great. See if you can include these in a case study as well. This kind of marketing story lets you describe a specific challenge a customer was facing and how your company helped resolve it. Providing references may also be helpful. Even better, sit down with a few HOA customers and shoot some testimonial or case study videos (just 30-60 seconds is plenty) to talk about their experience with your company. Most vendors don’t take the time to do this, so it’s another attention grabber.
5. Be Prepared with Helpful Suggestions
HOAs often have a limited budget and will appreciate a vendor who gets them the most bang for their buck. Ask questions to uncover additional needs and come up with better strategies for serving your HOA clients. If you know the details behind why the property owners’ association is putting a contract out for bid, you can be more creative in your response. Have they had a bad experience with a past vendor? If so, what happened? Are they looking for solutions that are eco-friendly or conserve resources? Do they have bigger projects down the road that will be impacted by choices they make right now? What is one thing other than price that’s most important to them?
Other vendors may simply rush to put together a cookie cutter proposal. But with more information in hand, you can help shape the scope of the proposal and position your company as the best vendor to handle the HOA’s needs.
Want to have even better chance of winning an HOA contract? Become a preferred vendor with Ardent to help us better serve our clients.