Equipped to Communicate

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KRISTEN HAMPSHIRE | May 12, 2014

Steven Jomides remembers the first HOA account that Lawns by Yorkshire serviced back in the late 1990s. It won this 45-unit development that was about a $20,000 value. It was a good sale at the time.

“We serviced it like a big house back then,” says Jomides, CEO of the Westwood, N.J., firm. “We didn’t know any better – it was our first – and we realized fast that there is a lot more involved in servicing an HOA. At the end of the day, you could have 50 to 300 different bosses or voices.”

Over the years, Lawns by Yorkshire has adopted a system for selling, managing and retaining HOA business. The firm has account managers that act as a single point of contact from Yorkshire. “All of the day-to-day information flows from the account manager to the liaison on the property,” he says.

These account managers are equipped with tools to ensure that they are nurturing those customer relationships. A public file on the computer system with shared access allows all of the people involved at the company to see files pertaining to each account. “Administration can see operations and sales, and they can all save the same information to service that client as best as possible,” Jomides says. Account managers use smartphones to snap photos of issues on properties so they can quickly communicate concerns to their community liaison and get work orders produced and carried out in a timely manner. Work orders are created with a code for each account. That code is passed to the account manager, and then dispatched to a crew leader who can look at the situation and make a report. That report is then sent to the property manager for approval before the job is executed.

“Ninety-five percent of this is done via email – we can’t go back and reference a phone call,” Jomides says of the importance of paper trails.

That transparency is more important to property managers today than ever before, Jomides says.

Meanwhile, the company continues to focus on growth in this market. “I believe in a recurring revenue model, and I personally believe that HOAs are fairly recession proof,” Jomides says.

Reposted from Lawn & Landscape Market Leadership. View the article here.