3 Tips to Save on Your Community Budget & Increase Efficiency with Pilera

Learn how to save on your community's budget with technology.

As a community manager or board member creating a budget for the upcoming year, you know that saving money without compromising on operations and resident experience is key. HOA software can save in many areas of a community\’s budget. With the right software, you can reduce administrative costs, hidden expenses, unexpected costs, and even reduce liability. In this month\’s Manager Toolkit article, we discuss 3 areas of operations where Pilera\’s HOA software can save money for your community. Whether you currently use Pilera or are considering HOA software, you\’ll take away key tools you can leverage to streamline operations and save costs in your community\’s budget.

1. Automate Communications

Communicating with residents is an essential part of managing any community. When done well, it improves customer service and overall community operations. Traditional communication methods like postal mail cost approximately $1.11 per unit for every notice you send. This is after you take into account printing, supplies, stamp cost, and employee labor. Over time, mailing notices can cost a community thousands of dollars each year. With Pilera\’s automated communications platform, you can save thousands of dollars for the communities you manage and improve staff efficiency.

How to convince your board to transition to electronic communications with Pilera

Save money with automated communications

Board members and community managers can take advantage of many features in Pilera\’s communications suite to save the community money. These include:

  • Email communications – Starting as little as $0.05/unit/month, you can send unlimited emails in Pilera for a fraction of the cost. See the cost breakdown and savings in our latest post for just emails alone.
  • Automated phone and text messaging gives you additional means to reach residents in a cost-effective way.
  • Our communications platform integrates with other management features in Pilera. That means, you can automatically send email notifications to residents about work orders, documents, ACRs, events, violation notices, payments, and more.
Send an announcement to your community.

Instantly reach residents during an emergency

During an emergency, every community needs a reliable system that can send out hundreds or thousands of messages quickly. One of the most important benefits of a communication system is the speed at which residents receive a message. Through Pilera, you can send an emergency message through phone or text in a matter of minutes. Our communications platform also has fault protection and retry algorithms built-in. This means that we will retry multiple times to get your message through to residents in an emergency.

Increase the effectiveness of your communications

Giving residents the choice to select their communication and language preference increases your chance of getting a message through effectively. Pilera\’s resident portal allows owners, tenants, and other occupants to choose their communication and language preferences.

Encourage residents to choose their own communication preferences - phone, email, or text.

Measure your communications efforts with delivery confirmation

When you can measure your communication efforts effectively, you can improve future outreach to your residents. With traditional communication methods such as postal mail or posting notices in a common area, it\’s difficult to predict how many people will see it and whether your message was effective or not. Pilera provides real-time analytics on message delivery, if a resident opened an email, how long they listened to a phone call, or if they replied to your message.

2. Increase Resident Engagement

The more informed residents are, the better a community can function. However, there are many hidden costs that come with the territory of managing a community. Take for instance a phone call with a resident that takes hours to finish, causing other projects to go on the backburner. That\’s where a resident portal comes in.

A resident portal is a central, secure login for residents to access important information about the community and their unit. When residents can log in regularly to get their balance, make a payment, or submit a work order, it gives you more time back in the day.

How to convince your board to implement Pilera\’s resident portal

Reduce hidden expenses and increase productivity

A resident portal is often seen as an upfront cost, but many don\’t consider the administrative expenses that it reduces or removes. When you provide residents with an easy way to access important community and unit information, you can reduce inbound calls and improve staff productivity. You can also reduce mailing costs with a well-maintained resident portal. Save administrative costs through these resident-rich features in Pilera:

  • Mobile responsive portal – Residents can view all community and unit information on their own time anywhere and on any device.
  • Financial ledgers and balance – Allow your residents to access their financial balance and ledger anytime. Pilera integrates with the popular accounting systems such as QuickBooks Online, Jenark, TOPS, CINC, Caliber, and more.
  • Online payments – Residents can pay their HOA dues online in place of mailing in a check. Enabling online payments for the community reduces resident delinquency and the hidden expenses of manually processing checks or making multiple trips to the bank.
  • Documents – Share and organize important documents such as CC&R\’s, policy updates, or newsletters with your community. Organize documents through sub-folders; set permissions for board members, owners, tenants, and other occupants; and send email updates to residents.
  • Calendars – Keep residents informed of community events and e-notify them.
  • Self management of data – Residents can add in alternate addresses and contacts, guests, pets, manage other occupants, and more.
  • Resident requests – Residents can submit work orders, architectural change requests, and customer support tickets and add images or files to the ticket. They can receive automated email updates and respond to tickets directly in the portal.
  • Community notice – Post a community notice to keep residents informed of time-sensitive information directly in the portal.
  • Knowledge Base – Post answers to commonly asked questions to help your residents find what they are looking for.
Submit work orders

Empower your residents to save money too

Not just communities, but the residents can individually save money too with Pilera. By sending electronic forms such as surveys to residents, they can submit their responses online and save money on postage. Additionally, residents may need to share documents such as signed leases or pet vaccination records with managers. Through Pilera, residents can upload documents to their unit file so you will see them immediately.

Store and manage community documents online.

3. Streamline Maintenance

Staying on top of maintenance is critical to keeping residents and employees safe, as well as improving property values. Communities often spend thousands of dollars every year on maintenance. In fact, emergency or unexpected maintenance is one of the biggest challenges managers face.

Choosing the right vendors for the job is another challenge. If a board member knows a contractor who can save the community money, they may hire them, even if they don\’t have an active license or insurance. This can put the community at risk of being held liable if an employee of the uninsured vendor gets injured on the job.

Pilera enables you to save costs throughout the maintenance process. Through robust maintenance management, you can streamline the lifecycle of every request from start to end, improve transparency, and keep your team organized.

How to convince your board to manage maintenance and vendors in Pilera

Conduct preventative maintenance on a regular basis

It\’s important to conduct preventative maintenance on a regular basis to identify risks with common areas or equipment before it escalates to an emergency situation. Proactive preventative maintenance helps an HOA to run smoother by anticipating when repairs need to be made, so there are no unexpected costs. With Pilera\’s work order management, you can create unit and common area work orders. These work orders can then be assigned to a vendor or staff member with a due date and priority.

Organize and prioritize work orders

Organizing work orders is critical to ensuring that staff knows what to work on when and to make sure requests don\’t slip through the cracks. Pilera\’s powerful dashboard provides a quick and easy way to filter through work orders so you can identify the most urgent tickets. You can filter the dashboard by ticket type, assignee, status, category, date ranges, and more to focus on just the information you need. Once you\’ve filtered the dashboard, you can sort work order tickets by priority, age, due date, and more.

Organize and prioritize work orders.

Reduce the community\’s liability

Keeping track of vendor information such as license expiration and documentation is essential to saving money for the community. Through Pilera, you can track vendor license expiration dates. An email will automatically be sent to you and the vendor when a license is about to expire or has expired. This feature enables you to significantly reduce liability by knowing which vendors you can send to the community.

vendor license expiration reports and notifications

Saving on your community budget with Pilera

As you create a budget for next year, consider how you can save money on your communication, resident engagement, and maintenance efforts. Certain expenses such as mailing are more direct. However, other hidden expenses such as opportunity cost, employee time, or liability are just as important to factor in. Pilera\’s HOA software has helped thousands of community managers and board members to streamline their operations and save money. To learn how Pilera can work for your communities today, email us at [email protected] or request a personalized 1:1 demo.

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