Published on: February 2, 2001
With the continuation of our strong real estate market, it is easy enough for boards and managers to focus on other issues besides adding value to an association. However, such a period is likely a perfect time to focus on such a concept. Prices are rising, people are buying and selling. Thus, marketing can feed on this positive climate. But what role does a board or a manager have in facilitating the marketing of units? The role is significant, and can be more so.
First and foremost, the issue of curb appeal has traditionally been of relevance. Boards and managers have an obligation to ensure, within budgetary constraints, that the property is maintained in an attractive manner. Likewise, and equally traditional, boards and managers need to be fiscally responsible. Buyers have, with time, become sophisticated enough to scrutinize an association’s finances. What is often overlooked, however, is the production of a marketing brochure. Just think, why should such an item only exist during the development phase of a complex? Is only the developer interested in selling units? Obviously the answer is no. Then, why do few, if any, associations develop and maintain a sales brochure for use by the owners?
Remember, part of the reason many bought in a particular complex was that someone made the effort to point out the unique qualities of that association – it had a pool, an exercise room, tennis courts, etc. Those features remain. Why not capitalize on them by producing promotional materials showing owners using and enjoying them? Why not have materials showing the association’s social events – the annual Christmas Party or the 4th of July picnic?
The concept of community associations is that there is more than just a bunch of houses in a subdivision. Rather, there is a “community” that has unique features. Boards and managers can well serve those communities by facilitating the production of appropriate marketing materials, which are then available for owner’s use and which can be distributed to brokers in the area. These can also be used by the association itself when approaching banks for capital loans or in interacting with local government. The development of such a marketing brochure presents a unique opportunity for a savvy community to proactively distinguish itself from its piers and affords a board or manager with an opportunity to step beyond just physical and financial management