Inspector Ballot co-founders Sarah Jones and Deniz Hanson narrowly didn’t meet, thanks to a stream of missed connections. With children in the same preschool and homes in the same neighborhood, the pair were always one chance encounter away from becoming fast friends. When Sarah joined Deniz’s husband on their community HOA board, she was finally put in touch with Deniz, eventually igniting a business partnership. “Our lives overlapped in a lot of ways,” Sarah says, with both their husbands and children becoming friends. Their business, it seemed, made a natural addition to the mix.
When recent legislative changes in California imposed new requirements on HOA elections, Sarah and Deniz saw a glimmering opportunity. The new legislation called for greater structure and ballot inspection. With a little ingenuity and initiative, Sarah and Deniz would form a company to help HOAs meet these newfound demands. After a few creative rounds of brainstorming, Sarah posited a brand name that captured the warmth and approachability they hoped to convey: Inspector Ballot. Sarah’s experience as an HOA director would help them better understand their own target market, and Deniz contributed valuable experience with founding small businesses.
Despite legislation catapulting them into business, Sarah and Deniz have had the opportunity to serve many different types of specialized HOA voting requests. Being a new, adaptable company has allowed them to pivot their services to meet emerging HOA needs. The recent coronavirus pandemic had a profound effect on their HOA clientele, as it did on most facets of the global economy. Inspector Ballot has risen to the occasion, supporting online elections as HOAs move toward remote operations.
Sarah has found one of the most important things she can offer to California HOAs is education, especially pertaining to the new legislation. Prior to the shut down, she attended a conference to gather HOA contacts. She hopes to eventually hold lunch & learns for these associations, to help them better understand the pitfalls and nuances of the new HOA voting requirements.
Inspector Ballot and Page Per Page, two companies that target the HOA market, were primed to become fruitful business partners. To assist with their mailing needs, Inspector Ballot was referred to Page Per Page by a member of Sarah’s own HOA board. The two companies made a formidable pair, with Page Per Page supporting Inspector Ballot by compiling and mailing ballot packages to homeowners. Sarah has nothing but kind words to share about Lindsay, her primary touchpoint at Page Per Page, and Lindsay’s ability to always “iron out any kinks” in their joint projects.
Sarah and Deniz have bravely entered into a business partnership in one of the most uncertain times in recent memory. They have met the situation with poise and grace, keeping their operation humbly thriving amid the changes. With the freedom and latitude to adapt as they see fit, this women-helmed business has nowhere to go but up.