Adapting and evolving: How leveraging technology can better serve the communities you manage
With the ever-expanding scope and use of the internet, along with an increasing demand for businesses in every sector to function virtually on some level, at least, technology has become an essential tool for most companies. Technology being an important tool is also just as true for property management companies looking to steer through the post-COVID surge for online business and communications. A significant factor that can separate your management company from other disorganized and less profitable firms is how well your company uses technology to further the quality/ scope of your business goals.
Using technology in property management doesn’t mean becoming solely dependent on it; there will always be a need for a human component to the job that helps to ensure residential communities succeed at every stop. Yet, technology is a tool that should feel imperative to use if your management company wants to find its true potential without having to double the manpower to do it. Luckily, there are several easy steps your management company can take to utilize technology and improve upon itself quickly and efficiently. Below, you will find what we believe to be the best starting points to that type of utilization.
One of the most straightforward steps management companies can begin taking is to start incrementally removing outdated filing systems that hinge primarily on paper documents. The worst possible outcome for property managers, homeowners, and community board members alike is the idea of a community issue becoming either bogged down or falling apart. The management company chose to maintain its records solely by paper.
Instead, the goal for most management companies should be to begin investing in digital filing systems, if they haven’t already, for all record-keeping that the communities your management company oversees might depend on. Going paperless can improve the speed and quality of digital filing by transferring documents and dramatically reducing the unnecessary risk of losing records for many reasons. If the pandemic has taught us anything in the property management world, it’s that being able to maintain a complete database of community records and documents virtually is essential for being able to run the business inside or outside of the office effectively.
Along with digital record keeping, it goes without saying that what makes the step mentioned above truly valuable is whether or not your management company invests resources into online portals such as TownSq that allow community members to access those records when they need to. Digital record systems function similarly to the body and trunk of a tree. One can imagine that online portals serve as the branches to that tree, allowing for many different online avenues to heighten the experience for communities working with your management company. These portals can provide anything from access to important HOA documents to HOA insurance information to laws and regulations established within the state and the community, respectively.
However, online portals can also be quite valuable for implementing into communities to maintain day-to-day operational tasks like maintenance requests. These portals don’t just improve those daily operational tasks, but they help expand the scope or expand the tree branches, if you will, of your management company’s abilities. Some of the most valuable components to the experience you are trying to help provide communities reside within utilizing portals for everything from online accounting to community upkeep to even the application process for prospective residents. The more society begins to shift into a fully-fledged digital world; the more online portal utilization becomes non-negotiable. The communities you manage deserve it, and they will undoubtedly thank you for it.
Following up from the online portal implementation, a more specific area that would help to streamline much of the work done by management companies is implementing digital payment and accounting services. The reason why something like this could be significant to a management company is that it improves the quality of service that your company can provide, especially in a digital era in which fewer people are choosing to pay for things in person or by hand. Electronic payment systems, for both community residents and homeowners, and those such as HOA boards looking to hire your company’s services, remove the bumpiness of the payment system.
Much like transitioning into a paperless filing system, electronic payments promote efficiency and consistency above all else. Although it would be hard to imagine a management company that hasn’t taken steps towards a fully-fledged electronic payment system, utilizing online services, especially for banking purposes, remains exceptionally vital.
There isn’t anything inherently easy about being a property manager. Much of the work your management company must do to remain efficient and consistently evolving can feel daunting at times. One of the most overlooked areas to help management companies avoid stagnation or roadblocks that prevent them from taking the company to the next level is that of a third party to assist with the communications streamlining process.
It’s one thing to implement the steps mentioned above to leveling up, and it’s an entirely different thing to effectively communicate these steps to the communities your management company oversees. Residents and board members want to know and understand the changes your management company may be making to improve their experience with you, but effectively communicating those changes isn’t always easy if you don’t know where to start. Third-party software companies, such as TownSq, are here for this exact reason. They aim to streamline communications between residents, board members, and management companies to ensure that each part of the community evolves together with effective communication strategies and the highest quality of care.
Although your management company may excel when it comes to the first steps in this technological improvement process, bringing in those that are solely dedicated to highlighting these improvements to the rest of the community can prove to be a challenge. Bridging any potential communication divides that may arise and ultimately removing such a burden from your management company’s shoulders can be a company-altering factor. Taking these small steps to implement technology into your management company’s operations and utilizing the experts to deliver those technological advances are the building blocks to a successful, sustainable management company.