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Subject: Looking for Feedback on HOA Software
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LiamH
(California)

Posts:8


02/06/2020 12:39 PM  
Hello,


I have worked in resident amenity services for a long time with apartments but saw that HOA's don't have access to the same services or an easy way to get ahold of reliable service-based businesses near their communities. Because of this, I went out and built a company that allows your community to use schedule vetted trusted small business providers at a discounted rate through one platform. We need communities to get feedback so that we can improve our web platform. It's free to you, free to residents, and free to the providers.

From the point of view of a board member or President. What do you think about our idea? As someone who has never been in an HOA Im hoping this forum can provide some valuable feedback on what value this brings to the community and some general thoughts.

Thank you, I appreciate any time anyone chooses to give us by responding!
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16657


02/06/2020 2:08 PM  
Liam,

Some individuals will do their own due diligence.
By that I mean that they will take the time to research online reviews, verify licenses/insurance, check with the BBB, etc. and request bids from at least 3 different companies.

Some individuals will utilize a service similar to yours. However, there are lots of similar services out there.


Some HOAs will let a management company do everything for them (and I would expect that they have their own list of contractors).

LiamH
(California)

Posts:8


02/06/2020 2:12 PM  
Hello Tim,

That's a good point. If we included the online reviews of these businesses in their profile on our platform do you think this would help?

And as far as services, these are mainly lifestyle services as opposed to companies like Angieslist. What other companies come to mind for you?

In my experience, the contractors that a management company provides are mainly for maintenance and contracted repairs. Is this incorrect?


TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16657


02/06/2020 2:44 PM  
Posted By LiamH on 02/06/2020 2:12 PM


In my experience, the contractors that a management company provides are mainly for maintenance and contracted repairs. Is this incorrect?






That is the function of an HOA/COA

To maintain the common area/elements.
LiamH
(California)

Posts:8


02/06/2020 2:47 PM  
I understand, maybe I should be more specific....

Our services focus mainly on local service businesses such as dog walking, maid services, car washes, ext. Our current market research says the management companies vet then provide them as vetted options but you don't really have a way to use all of them and keep track of them conveniently.

Is this a service that exists in yor knowledge?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16657


02/06/2020 2:52 PM  
Haven't looked for that type of info.

Many social sites will have that info.

When I was on the board, we made it a point not to provide any list of services for fear of members believing that we were endorsing one service over another, which could be a liability issue for the HOA if something happened.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:737


02/06/2020 2:56 PM  
Posted By LiamH on 02/06/2020 2:47 PM
I understand, maybe I should be more specific....

Our services focus mainly on local service businesses such as dog walking, maid services, car washes, ext. Our current market research says the management companies vet then provide them as vetted options but you don't really have a way to use all of them and keep track of them conveniently.

Is this a service that exists in yor knowledge?




These services are not the responsibility of an HOA, nor should the HOA do any "vetting" because of the liability it can incur if things go wrong.

Occasionally you'll see businesses that advertise in the community's newsletter, but usually there is a disclaimer somewhere stating that the the homeowners should do there own due diligence when hiring.
LiamH
(California)

Posts:8


02/06/2020 3:02 PM  
What we hope to do is avoid having the HOA assume the liability of these services by sending out a newsletter about our presence but directly endorsing it. In this manner we can still utilize the collective power of an HOA without having you the HOA incur any liability.

Do you think this is sufficient to avoid their risk?
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:737


02/06/2020 3:12 PM  
It sounds like you're providing services to homeowners. They're your customers, whether they're in an HOA or not, and those are the folks you should market your services to. The HOA is not your customer since you're not providing anything that it could use to fulfill its responsibilities.
LiamH
(California)

Posts:8


02/06/2020 3:17 PM  
We are however we need the resident information and trust of residents in an HOA to launch our services. Similar to the nextdoor concept. People trust communities before outside companies.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:737


02/06/2020 3:51 PM  
Posted By LiamH on 02/06/2020 3:17 PM
We are however we need the resident information and trust of residents in an HOA to launch our services. Similar to the nextdoor concept. People trust communities before outside companies.




Then you should talk to Nextdoor or others of that ilk to see if they'd be interested in your services. The HOA is not going to be an unpaid adjunct to your marketing department, or do your job for you. You can buy mailing lists to target people living in the areas you're interested in. You can develop a track record of providing a useful service. In other words, the same old fashioned hard slog that any new business has to go through.

If you hope to deal with HOAs, I strongly suggest that you educate yourself about what they are and what they are not. Right now I don't think you understand them.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3537


02/06/2020 5:21 PM  
We are however we need the resident information


Its public record at town hall. Easy to get.


and trust of residents in an HOA to launch our services. Similar to the nextdoor concept. People trust communities before outside companies.




You earn trust, its not given to you.
LiamH
(California)

Posts:8


02/06/2020 5:30 PM  
I was unaware that the communities' mailing addresses were public record, I will have to look into that.

And I understand, I currently run a service-based business and completely understand how important building trust is. I want to integrate google, yelp, and host community reviews so that consumers have a wide range of reviews at their fingertips. In addition to this, I want to make it convenient for you the consumer to talk to service-based business owners without having to call and wait or get updates if they're running late. Is this not something that anyone here thinks would be helpful?

On a side note, just a quick thank you to everyone who has contributed their thoughts here today. Your time is valuable and I appreciate it more than you know.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3545


02/08/2020 1:00 PM  
Posted By LiamH on 02/06/2020 3:17 PM
Similar to the nextdoor concept.

Great plan. Aim low.
LiamH
(California)

Posts:8


02/08/2020 1:42 PM  
What do you mean by aim low?

And how do you suggest I improve the concept? What current pains do you see in the interactions between yourself and small businesses? Currently, we have adopted quality system for report feedback to consumers, contractor check ins to let you know if they're late or on the way, and a direct messaging system if you have any questions for the provdider. Then all of your appointments are kept in one secure portal for all the businesses that you use.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3545


02/08/2020 2:34 PM  
Posted By LiamH on 02/08/2020 1:42 PM
What do you mean by aim low?

Next Door has a well-earned reputation as a sewer of toxic poison. If you've chosen them to emulate, you're aiming particularly low. Should be an easy goal to reach.
LiamH
(California)

Posts:8


02/08/2020 2:37 PM  
Ah, I meant that more in the sense of how we connect individuals. WE will strive to promote a competitive market that forces providers to either step up and be accountable to consumers for a high level of quality or be removed from the platform by consumer choice. Hopefully, this will solve the issue! There's not much however I can do about any ugly discussions on message boards. Sorry, Gene!
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