Social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the growing importance of digital tools in community associations.
Today’s always-on property owners want to interact with the board and the property management team as they would with any service provider, and this means they value using digital tools for everything from communicating to booking amenities or maintenance requests.
Residents’ usage of digital tools is likely to expand post pandemic, meaning community associations must keep up with this trend. They must also realize that property management spaces are becoming more digitally minded in their customer interaction strategies as well.
As an increasingly large share of residents are tech-savvy people — they expect:
- Convenient online access. They don’t want to visit the office or call during office hours. They want to be able to communicate with their manager at anytime from anywhere.
- Prompt notifications. They don’t want to wait for post-it notes to be posted on their mailbox. They want to be notified by an automated email, text messages (SMS) or an automated phone call.
- Paperless booking solution. They don’t want to fill out paper forms or pay with cash or checks. They want to book amenities online and pay digitally.
- A connected community. They don’t want to be left in the dark. They want to discuss relevant issues and get to know fellow residents using an online discussion forum.
Poorly implemented processes increase costs and inefficiencies
Unfortunately, many community associations use paper for everything from booking amenities to package tracking. As you can imagine, these manual processes require more staff members and consume time and money that could be spent on delivering a better resident experience.
Associations should instead digitize and automate processes and allow property managers to manage the community digitally. This includes among many other things, synchronizing resident data with their existing accounting platform, securely storing and sharing all of their community documents online, and sending automatic status updates via email or SMS text.
With automated digital processes, staff members will spend less time printing, mailing and calling residents, and have more time to provide better customer service. The staff will also be able to fulfill all its tasks remotely, which can improve business resiliency.
Now, there are some community associations that are already using some form of technology. The issue with these associations is that the technology is poorly implemented and causes process inefficiencies. This is due to the technology not being built for property management and thus lack necessary modules, features and integration possibilities.
Save over 100 hours of your team’s time every month. Guaranteed.
Our team did an in-depth study that observed the tasks performed by a property management team throughout each day. It was determined that on average over 100 hours are spent monthly dealing with packages and deliveries, 20 hours dealing with expected visitors, and an additional 10 hours dealing with resident issue communications. This translates to over 150 hours of a property management team’s time spent on just these three items.
We have created a five-step process that will save hundred of hours of your team’s time every month. You may be hesitant to change. However, if you don’t follow the five steps, you will be less productive, and your customer service will suffer.
Here are the five steps:
- Map out tasks that need to be done. Each association’s staff does different tasks. From handling packages and screening visitors to dealing with service requests and processing amenity bookings. For each one of these tasks you have to find a process that is efficient and works well not only for your team but also for the residents to alleviate frustration.
You can engage your property management team, a committee, or board members to help you understand what tasks need to be optimized.
Use a resident experience management platform to organize and clearly define the tasks. This will save your entire team time in understanding what tasks need to be managed.
- Come up with processes to handle each task. Begin by understanding what parts of the task are the most time consuming or frustrating to residents. For example: if residents can’t access the availability of your amenities from wherever they are, at any time, they are more likely to be frustrated and less likely to make a booking. This will result in lost revenue for the association.
You need to work with someone who has done this before and has been successful at creating efficiencies within associations. This is the only way you will come up with an optimal process.
- Train the management team and all of the staff. Videos and online tutorials will help familiarize existing staff members with the new process. This same content will be shown to new staff members to facilitate their training and ensure everyone gets the same information. Each staff member is following each established process is critical to ensure a consistent experience for residents and that no details are lost.
- Educate residents on new processes. Using a resident experience management platform to house community content allows property managers to communicate more effectively with residents. Residents are already busy with their everyday lives. They need to have a quick understanding of where to go and what to do to accomplish these interactions. A single, easy-to-use, intuitive platform will help ensure that all residents know what to do.
- Use technology to execute daily tasks. Your association needs to leverage technology to save time and money and be more modern. Reducing the number of manual interactions your team has to do on a daily basis will enable them to save hundreds of hours each month.
What technology to use
Using off-the-shelf tools and web designers
One option is to leverage technology that isn’t built for property management as mentioned above. This means using different platforms separately as they might not integrate with one another. As these are not designed for the operation of a community association, so you’ll need to do a lot of creative thinking to figure out how to push a square peg into a round hole.
Using free or ‘freemium’ platforms
You might have also heard about free or “freemium” platforms. The reality is that property management software that is free of cost doesn’t have all of the features and functionalities that you need to provide enough benefits to your team or community. Often there are limited software updates or new features with ‘freemium’ products. And you won’t be a top priority for customer support – you should expect to figure everything out for yourself.
Free software platforms also often make money by displaying ads to their platform which you have no control over and usually disturbs the user experience. Furthermore, free software vendors may sell their users data to third parties.
And after all of that, remember that a company can’t stay in business for very long offering a free solution so many free or freemium companies aren’t around very long meaning you will need to deal with sudden outages, researching new solutions, and re-training your staff and residents.
Work with Concierge Plus
Or, you can use Concierge Plus and have us map out your tasks and processes 10x faster, train your staff quickly, educate your residents, and get your team executing those tasks saving over 100 hours each month. Guaranteed.
Here’s what’s going to happen when you sign up for Concierge Plus:
- You’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief because our team will take all of your resident and community information and import it for you.
- You will be able to go back to being a property manager, however, this time you will be proactive and be accountable to your board of directors in a more transparent and meaningful way. You will save 30 hours each month leveraging our technology.
- You can finally get rid of the stacks of binders at your front desk, which just consume your and your staff’s time to manage. Your front desk team will save 100 hours each month managing deliveries.
- You can forget about having needy residents calling you with every single detail because they will now be able to help themselves to information and resources self-service, online.
Here’s what you’ll get:
- Your community’s own web portal on your own domain name (eg. com)
- 30+ Concierge Plus modules to help automate and bring technology to everything you and your team do on a daily basis
- Initial data loading and setup done by our team
- All of your resident and association data loaded into Concierge Plus
- Interactive, hands-on training with one of our Customer Success Coaches
- Email boxes to personalize communications to residents (eg. email@example.com)
- Unlimited customer support by phone and email
- Unlimited feature updates for your modules at no additional cost
We guarantee that your community association and your property manager will see a night and day difference when using Concierge Plus, compared to an old school manual method of running an association. If you’re not satisfied after thirty days, we won’t charge you anything.