As a community manager, staying up-to-date with the latest technology is essential. That way, you can meet board and resident expectations as they evolve. If your team is currently losing time to outdated software or handling tasks in many applications, it is a sign that it is time to change your software. With efficient community management software, you can reduce time spent on repetitive tasks and improve your team’s workflow.
When migrating to new community management software, it is natural for your team to feel concerned. Though you may face some challenges, such as learning a new system or how it will impact residents, the rewards of change far outweigh the risks.
In this article, we talk about eight common myths about changing community management software. Then, we will talk about how you can overcome these challenges.
1) Learning new software is too time-consuming.
As a community manager, you manage many communities and handle daily tasks. Learning new software can start to feel overwhelming. Some software platforms are challenging to use, demanding more time and effort from your team.
We recommend ensuring software providers can offer the following services:
- Easy to use software to communicate, create tasks, respond to resident or board requests, and more.
- Help set up your communities and answer any questions you have.
- Flexible support options such as email, phone, videos, and help articles so you can get the help you need when needed.
- Support should be part of your ongoing subscription, so you don’t have to worry about paying extra.
Pilera’s property management software is one of the easiest-to-use platforms in the industry. We help you avoid the headaches that come with new software implementation. In addition, Pilera provides onboarding, training, and ongoing support at no extra charge.
2) We’re already using our email service provider. Why use a communication platform?
Effective communication with residents, board members, vendors, and staff is vital to your operations. Many managers use their company’s primary email service provider to communicate with residents. Relying on your company’s email provider for communication can feel overwhelming. Searching for emails takes too much time. It can also take hours to update your email list whenever a resident’s contact information or preference changes. Communication software helps you cut down on manual tasks while keeping residents informed.
Your technology provider should offer the following capabilities to enhance your communications:
- Phone, email, text, and postal mailing to cater to broader community demographics.
- Distribution groups update when a resident’s contact information changes or they join/leave the community.
- Message delivery confirmation to know if a resident opened an email or received a text.
- Reverse 911 functionality to send out emergency blasts by phone or text.
- Language translation so you can ensure every message is received and understood.
With Pilera’s automated communication platform, each community saves an average of $4,927 per year over traditional methods. You can reach an entire community or group of residents the way they want – through phone, email, text, and postal mailing. Translate emails and text into more than 100 languages, and send phone calls in Spanish. Pilera also tracks the delivery of each message you send and tracks email replies in a message inbox.
3) An all-in-one solution is the best option.
There are many accounting software platforms in the community management industry. Accounting platforms specialize in account receivables, payables, budgeting, and forecasting features. Many accounting platforms also include basic management features. These may include work orders, ACRs, violations, and other features. Although an all-in-one system may sound attractive, most providers started with accounting and built the management piece later. That means you will likely miss out on the more advanced communications and operations features that management platforms focus on.
Even though using two separate systems means splitting your budget between the two, you can benefit by gaining a return on investment in the long run. By integrating your accounting software with a management platform, your team can enjoy the strengths of both systems. Through accounting software, your team can track the financial health of your communities. Management software helps you improve customer service, operations, and resident satisfaction.
Pilera has 2-way integration with some of the best accounting platforms in the market. Pilera enhances the accounting features you love with advanced communications, client support, operations, and resident engagement features. Through the integration, you can save time, reduce manual errors, and improve data accuracy.
4) Implementing new software will disrupt residents.
Another concern we often hear is that switching to new software will cause disruption for residents, and they will have to learn how to use new software. Is the change going to cause an influx of residents calling in? How will residents perceive this change?
Change can be daunting, especially for residents. But, an easy-to-use portal and seamless sign-up process can bring a sense of calm to the transition process.
Look for a provider with the following capabilities:
- Access to community information anywhere and on any device.
- Simple resident registration
- Convenient online payment options
- Features that get your residents coming back for more, such as discussion boards, documents, events, and a marketplace.
- Residents can easily manage their data.
- Self-help videos and instructions for residents to use the resident portal.
Pilera’s onboarding team has helped ease transitions from single associations to management companies of more than 50,000 units. PAS, a California management company, transitioned thousands of residents from their previous platform to Pilera.
“Pilera’s support has been exceptional. Having us migrate from one platfrom to the other without that support, we would not have looked as good as we did. It gives our company a finished polish.”Carlos Molina, CTO
Professional Association Services, Inc.
5) Already using spreadsheets to track community data
Many managers use spreadsheets to organize and track their tasks, including work orders, resident contact information, violations, and support issues. Yet, managing several spreadsheets over time can be overwhelming. Since spreadsheets don’t readily facilitate manager collaboration, tasks can easily slip through the cracks.
You can organize your team’s work under a single roof with community management software. Community management software helps you to manage community tasks and resident requests. Features such as comments, documents, and real-time updates help your team to work better together. You can respond to resident requests faster and even empower them to check the status of their tickets.
With Pilera’s community operations software, your team can work together on and manage work orders, architectural control requests, rule violations, and tasks. Our clients increased efficiency by 25% and saved $5,000 per staff member per year with our ticketing system. Features such as email reply tracking, audit logs, documents, and comments give your team visibility into each task.
6) Software has too many features that we don’t need.
Every HOA community has unique challenges to solve every day. When transitioning to new software, you may be concerned about software providers requiring you to use features you don’t need.
Some software providers offer one or two pricing plans, often leaving communities overpaying or needing more value.
When evaluating software providers, see if they will offer solutions that fit your community’s needs:
- Customized software packages – Do software providers allow you to select which products/features you want?
- Start slow as you go – If you don’t need all the products a provider offers at the get-go but see potential down the line, do they allow you to choose what you want now and scale later? Your software platform should be customizable, allowing you to add new features as you grow.
Pilera works with thousands of HOAs, condos, co-ops, and apartment communities. Each has unique challenges and needs. Our a-la-carte pricing model enables our customers to choose the products that are right for them.
7) New software will change how we currently operate.
Another myth about transitioning to new software is it will change how you operate. Community management platforms should help you organize your existing processes. Software shouldn’t change how you operate!
Here at Pilera, we recognize that each community operates differently. We designed our software to give you flexibility in creating, managing, and overseeing your tasks:
- Enable different products and features based on your community’s needs.
- Distribution groups enable you to combine units and people to send a message to.
- User roles help you control who has access to send messages, create tasks, manage documents, and more.
- Categories enable you to organize the type of work orders, RFPs, support tickets, ACRs, violations, and tasks you manage to identify patterns or trends.
- Ticket permissions give you control of whether residents can view work orders, ACRs, support, violations, and their associated comments.
8) Our current process/software is good enough.
Is your current HOA management process or software just functional, or is it helping you create more efficiency for your team?
Suppose you are spending too much time on manual data entry, constantly chasing your team members for task updates, struggling to identify community issues, lacking an overview of your team’s work, dealing with constant complaints from board members, or fielding too many calls from residents. In that case, it may be time to consider switching software.
By changing to community management software that automates tedious tasks, improves collaboration with board members, and creates self-sufficient communities, you can deliver a better resident experience and boost efficiency for your team.
Pilera has helped community management companies and associations regain efficiency by 25% and reach residents 30x faster. Additionally, each community saves over $4,900 over traditional communication methods such as company email service providers and postal mailing.
Changing software can be scary, but it can be worth it for better efficiency, growth, and client satisfaction. As you check which community management software is the right choice, consider the following criteria for a successful transition:
- A software that is easy to learn and offers onboarding, training, and self-help options.
- A communication platform that keeps you organized saves your community money and improves resident satisfaction by offering many ways to stay informed.
- Leverage the strengths of both your accounting platform and management platform to monitor financial performance and deliver an excellent resident experience.
- Ease the transition for residents to your new platform with a simple registration process and easy-to-use features.
- Replace static spreadsheets with an online system that helps your team stay focused and improves collaboration.
- Select a platform that lets you choose which products your communities need.
- Software that enhances your processes without changing how you operate.
- Software platforms that help you automate tedious tasks and empower you to improve the client experience.
Pilera Software is the premier community and property management software that has helped thousands of community managers enhance communications, improve customer service, and manage compliance and operations. To learn how Pilera can help to improve efficiency and reduce costs, book a personalized demo.