06 Jul 2015
Marketing Research, Marketing Strategy

What You Can Learn from Homeowner’s Associations

As a small business owner, it’s your job to keep your clients happy. This is especially crucial when you’re just starting out because you may find yourself relying on a few clients for all or most of your business. As any advertising company in Denver will tell you, your first priority should be to respond to your clients’ needs as quickly and efficiently as possible. There are many ways to do this, depending on the industry you have entered with your business, and your clients. Use Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs) as models for how not to treat your clients. In the housing sector, Homeowner’s Associations often influence their members with arbitrary rules and regulations that cause distrust and communication breakdowns between HOAs and their members.

HOAs are private corporations formed by real estate developers to market, manage, and sell homes in residential subdivisions. Residents buy a home in a subdivision, and become a member of the HOA in charge of that particular area. This practice allows developers to quickly sell off lots and homes with little liability, and provides a structure for communities. In a perfect world, HOAs help homeowners in specific subdivisions form strong, united communities. However, HOAs carry a bad reputation because of the arbitrary and onerous regulations imposed by some HOAs. HOAs often have very little incentive to please their members once they join. If a resident doesn’t like the regulations and rules handed down by the HOA, they can leave, and the HOA doesn’t hurt for their business—someone else will move in to replace them. If you ask any marketing company in Denver how best to please your clients, they will tell you that running your business like a HOA isn’t the way.

Some examples of HOA regulations that make any advertising company in Denver cringe are silly rules like mandatory Christmas lights for the holidays, unreasonable noise and light restrictions, and mandatory lawncare maintenance. Everyone likes to see pretty lawns, Christmas lights, and quiet parties, but why should a family be forced to put up lights when they’re out of town, or have sanctions imposed upon them for forgetting to mow their lawn one weekend? With the way HOAs are set up, many residents complain that they have little say in the rules that affect their everyday lives. HOAs don’t treat their members as clients that they have to impress and keep in the fold with their work; they treat them as naughty children who have to be kept in check.

Don’t run your business like a HOA. Any marketing company in Denver will tell you that the moment you try to impose arbitrary and onerous rules on your clients, they will leave your firm in droves. Advertising firms don’t tell their customers how to run their businesses or force their work upon them in any way. Give your clients the opportunity to tell you what they want, and deliver upon those requests in the best ways possible. HOAs can replace residents, but your business can’t afford to lose clients.



Adam is a graduate of Colorado State University (bachelor’s degree in marketing), and he has experience on both the client and agency side of the marketing world. These experiences led him to come up with a unique, more efficient business model, which he’s incorporated into Encite Marketing. Adam sets the strategic direction for all Encite projects, developing integrated marketing campaigns that bring results. He takes a consultative approach with clients, educating them about how the process works, and keeping them in the loop about end goals, steps, and tasks.