Offering an Optimal Customer Experience with HOA Communications and Elections with Diamond Resorts’ VP and Asset Manager Kathy Wheeler

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Partner Spotlight:  Diamond Resorts

A Nordis client since 2010, Diamond Resorts manages financial communications, including maintenance fee statements, mortgage statements, tax statements, privacy policy notices and collection letters for its U.S. properties using Expresso and Print/Mail Services. Since 2013, it also has relied on Nordis for handling homeowner association communications, including budget statements, annual meeting notices and proxies, plus provide full-service election management for more than 80 HOAs and 400,000 owners. With its network of 379 vacation destinations in 35 countries, Diamond Resorts is focused on delivering an exceptional owner experience, every time. 

How important is technology to managing your HOA communications?

Without ExpressoVote, we couldn’t reach our members to the extent we do. We recently launched a paperless initiative encouraging electronic communications. We want to keep our members involved and included. They can enjoy vacations instead of sitting at home waiting by the mailbox to hear from us.

Digital options appeal to those concerned about the environment or who travel a lot. So far, about 10% of owners have opted in. As a company, we promote a range of green initiatives, including those that cut down on the use of paper.

How does technology improve your HOA elections?

We accelerate and streamline the whole process with ExpressoVote. Nordis is critical to providing timely information, including getting us ballots and voting reports much faster.

We use the technology during the annual meetings, too. We can quickly enter into Expresso any in-person votes cast at the meeting and add them to the previously recorded mailed and online ballots. ExpressoVote is configured to follow the ballot weighting and other rules specific to each HOA. So we can show live election results, which is important to some groups of owners who want to see the results by the end of the meeting. It’s not unusual to have 100 board candidates for a few open seats on a five-member board.

What HOA-related initiatives are you focusing on now?

We have two primary pushes underway. The first, is paperless statements, and the second is collecting and securing permission to use email addresses. We request email addresses during a variety of interactions, including when owners check in at resorts and at annual meetings. By far the most powerful tool for gathering emails is requesting them on proxies, annual meeting notices and other HOA communications sent via ExpressoVote.

What is your organization doing to improve your vacation owner journey?

The customer journey is hugely important for us. We have four initiatives we try to live by to drive customer journey:

  1. Provide world-class service
  2. Maintain financially healthy HOAs
  3. Be an employer of choice
  4. Maintain and continually refurbish resorts

How do customer communications fit into your plans?

We focus on communications to bring our members together. We educate them about what they own and their resorts. We want them to understand that the HOA, board, and Diamond are all working together to maintain high standards at their vacation properties. We want them to feel like it is their second home.

Choice in communications is a priority. In vacation ownership, we listen to our members and what they want. It’s so important that they have a say.

Ease of access is important, too. We are always looking at ways to enhance the Diamond website so it’s easy to look at HOA communications. It’s important to remember ease of access means different things to different people.

How do you see the use of technology changing in the vacation ownership?

We see a lot of opportunity at the resorts, such as owners being able to use smartphones to open their room doors instead of needing a keycard. The goal for technology is to make the experience more convenient and enjoyable.

What’s your favorite Expresso tip or feature?

The ability to manage complexity and volume. We have HOAs that range in size from 150 members to 100,000. Each has its own rules and ballot weighting. We set up ExpressoVote with this information each HOA once and it’s ready to go in subsequent years. Additionally, we have made good use of Expresso’s custom tables feature to present content that is unique to each HOA which allows the use of just a handful of templates for a myriad of HOA governance communications managed through the platform.

What results have you seen since moving to ExpressoVote?

The owners have found the opt-in process to vote and voting itself is easier. Nordis offers them an opportunity to participate with their HOA without a lot of effort.

Also, having Nordis as the independent third-party expert to manage the election reassures our owners and removes any concerns about the election process which they might have if Diamond handled it directly.


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