As the budget season arrives, you will be busy planning the next year’s activities for your HOA or condo communities along with board members and budget committee members. As you evaluate past and current year’s activities and expenses, you feel it’s important to take your community management services a few notches higher level. You think about the community’s current expenses – flyers and direct mailers sent to residents each time there’s an event or something important you need to convey, the time it takes to communicate with vendors and the endless email chains, and printed resident files that you have to update each time a phone number changes. What if you could automate all of that and let a software system do the work for you? What if you could communicate with your residents in several ways, and they can choose how they want to hear from you? Or keep a record of all important vendor information, so that you’re sending the right vendor for the job and they will be notified of it? Or, give residents the power to update their own information, so that your team will have the most current, accurate data? An increasingly popular tool in the market that answers a big YES(!!!) to all these questions above is community management software. Here’s why you’ll want to consider fitting a community management system in your budget!
1) Keep your community members adequately informed
Community management software provides a cost-effective and economically friendly way to reach residents, board members, and other occupants living in the association. You can send messages to groups of residents according to their location or individual residents who have opted-in to hear from you according to their preference – email, text message, or phone call. As the budgeting activities progress, you can send budget documents to residents and send them event invites to review and approve the budget.
2) Manage the life-cycle of your maintenance requests from receipt to resolution
A work order management system combined with vendor tracking in one interface can really help to streamline a maintenance request from the time it is created to when it’s resolved. Robust work order systems will enable managers to create a variety of tickets, set the priority, assign it to staff or vendors and notify them, collaborate internally among team members, and inform the resident when the job is done. A vendor tracking system is more than just a database of vendor contacts. It keeps managers in the know of which vendors are approved to work for a specific community, when their certificate of insurance is expiring, their performance, rating, cost, and more.
3) Improve your help desk/customer support activities internally and externally
Building good resident relations is imperative to a successfully run community and community managers place this at top priority. A smart community management system will give managers the capability to create tasks or activity logs in the system, assign it to a team member, and allow for internal collaboration. Setting task assignments and priorities helps the team ensure that no task falls off their radar. Externally, community management software can provide residents with an online information desk where they can get answers at any time, even when the office is closed.
4) Let residents take charge of their own information
When you give residents the power to update their information online, you’ll have a more accurate resident database. With a community portal, residents can add a variety of information to keep their managers like you updated. They can update contact information for them and their family to receive communications, receive important community information, be notified of upcoming events, have access to essential documents, and pay dues online.
5) Yes, community management software does help immensely help to kickstart your budgeting process!
As a community manager, you’ll be assisting board members from several communities in coming up with their budgets. A community management software will help immensely in giving boards the information they need about the activities performed this year for their community. Managers can provide board members with a report of all activities performed this year – maintenance projects, resident questions or complaints, and staff tasks. During the budgeting season, community managers will also be evaluating current contractors and sending proposals to obtain job bids as a way to identify where they can save costs for the association and maintain community appeal. A comprehensive community management software can also help managers to reach out to the community, store documents, and manage work order requests. There are some community management software platforms in the market, such as Pilera, that integrate well with accounting providers with the latter having capabilities to create budgets.
6) Reduce costs in the long-term
A community management software can reduce costs in the long term in many ways, primarily by increasing staff productivity and eliminating redundant steps. Activity management capabilities keep managers and staff on track with resident questions, suggestions, complaints, or other community tasks, which can help to avoid major problems later. A robust communications platform that helps to get your messages out to residents in the way that they want to be reached increases effectiveness in your community outreach efforts. It also reduces the number of repetitive messages you may need to send otherwise. A comprehensive work order management system such as Pilera’s gives managers detailed tracking and analysis portfolio-wide. Managers can save time in handling service requests and they won’t have to search through endless email or paper trails as they can see all the details, comments, and status changes to a ticket on one page.
7) Pay for only what you need
A-la-carte pricing is a new concept in community management, which software such as ours offers. An a-la-carte option gives community managers and boards the option to pick and pay for only the solutions that best fit their community’s needs.
Looking into the future
A community management software that fits your community’s needs like a glove is a great investment into the future. Looking out far into the future than simply the upcoming year will better position your management company in building a successful community. Investing your time, effort, and money into software that continually advances with technology and community management trends is an investment that will be well paid off in the future.
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Pilera Software is the premier community and property management suite that has helped thousands of community managers and back-office personnel enhance communications, improve customer service, and manage compliance and operations. May we help your community achieve these success stories?