Adapting and evolving: How leveraging technology can better serve the communities you manage
Change is valuable - it transforms culture, communities, and people. We live in a world of technology where software is consistently evolving and modernizing. HOAs all over the U.S. are now experiencing the benefits that come with technology - not to mention the fast growth. As our world continues to move at a faster pace, so will the need to leverage technology.
When we leverage technology we seek out ways to optimize an organization or an individual's performance. The use of technology streamlines processes and operations, maximizes revenue, creates efficiencies, and most importantly increases engagement.
In a recent study conducted by TownSq, groups of management company executives, community managers, property managers, and board members were asked to share their struggles and expectations for 2023.
The following were 6 prominent challenges that were found among management company executives.
• Unresolved maintenance
• Finances (increased expenses)
• Relationship management
• Request response time
• Legislative changes
As you can see technology is rated among one of the top 6 challenges. Although software implementation seemed to have high benefits, the challenge came from those that were not as prone to adapt - for better words, “finding harmony between technology and human efforts.”
Significant difficulties came from “balancing technology and the human face of customer service” quoted a participant from the survey.
What’s important to recognize is that although technology came with a challenge, it didn’t mean that people were against it. It’s important to remember that everyone handles change differently - it takes time and patience. More importantly, it takes the desire to understand the needs of your community.
Management company executives were also asked to share their top technology priorities for 2023. Here were their responses:
• Reporting and insights
• Digital voting
Reporting and insights
Within the three priorities asked of company executives, reporting and insights, also known as data intelligence were among the most important. Management companies desire to know more about their communities - this helps them make stronger decisions and financial investments.
Data intelligence allows management companies to track managers' performance and satisfaction, along with their performance as a manager of their community. For example, tracking KPIs (key performance indicators) works as metrics that help manage and measure a company's performance.
- KPIs help evaluate performance and roles as a property manager.
- Assists in identifying open opportunities that are specific to your business.
- Can help in identifying and obtaining future clients.
- Helps create and compare different strategies within the community.
- Converts off-line and shielded interactions into easily accessible and transparent ones.
- Provides valuable insights into a team's performance.
Benefits of technology and how they can better serve your community
Competition is one of the most important reasons for introducing technology to your properties - it gives the company a competitive advantage over other competitors. In fact, in the study conducted by TownSq, 65% of board members mentioned they were looking for technology when seeking out a management company.
Another reason to include technology is to help your company be more efficient. Technology helps reduce and eliminate delays in workflow, along with increasing time on automated time-sensitive tasks. As a result, management companies are able to better serve their communities by having faster response times.
Technology also helps streamline processes by automating one-time manual processes - time is saved from having to exercise multiple processes. For example, TownSq offers an automated feature called TownSq assignments that works as a tracking system between different tasks and projects. In addition, the assignment tool helps increase transparency and communication between board members and their management company.
- Board member private accessibility.
- Allocate and assign relevant tasks to the appropriate parties involved.
- Automated notifications that provide updates for when tasks are completed, assigned or include comments.
- Set deadlines.
- Provides a visual tracking of a project's progress.
- Provided the ability to create a more cohesive team.
Click HERE to access more information about TownSq assignments feature.
Increased transparency is one of the many reasons why HOAs are now implementing software into their communities. In fact, transparency is a large reason why so many HOAs struggle to grow - without it, communities are more prone to experience miscommunication and trust.
Promotes accountability - transparency holds people accountable for their actions, especially when they communicate expectations.
Breaks barriers in communication - transparency allows people to stay connected and work toward a common goal.
With the vast amount of responsibilities that are required to run an HOA effectively, HOAs can find it challenging to keep communication streamlined. In fact, just like transparency HOAs can experience a lack of trust and lack of community involvement when communication is absent.
- Allows management companies the ability to communicate among multiple communities from one platform.
- Communication ensures that decisions are in line with the community's best interests.
- Increases resident satisfaction.
- Builds stronger relationships between the board and management company.
Technology also helps increase relationships. In the 2023 property management survey conducted by TownSq, they found a close distinction between board members and their management companies. Board members were asked the following questions:
Do you have a relationship with a management company?
77% - Yes
23% - No
If you don’t have an existing relationship, do you intend to work with a management company in the near future?
33% - Yes
67% - No
- Relationships are important - Management companies should consider this as an area of opportunity to continually maintain strong relationships with their boards.
- New markets - Management companies should take advantage of HOAs that desire to have a partnership with a management company.
- Breaking barriers - Two reasons board members may not want to work with management companies could be due to a lack of trust or an unwillingness to share their communities' information. Management companies should see this as an opportunity to break barriers and develop more innovative ways to promote trust and security when exploring new clients.