Community Associations throughout the US are undergoing a massive digital transformation in the wake of COVID-19. All manual processes are rapidly being digitalized, leading to task management improvement and an increase in productivity. Community managers are not only striving to ensure business continuity but also looking to provide the ultimate resident experience. But how? Read on to see how to re-open operations safely during COVID-19.
Technology for modern community management
In the field of community management, technology has evolved greatly over the past few decades. It’s changed the way safety and security, daily operations and resident interactions take place. Automation alone has altered the way staff and residents interact with each other. As an example, both staff and residents can access information previously only available by request or mail, and get real-time updates on maintenance requests, service requests etc.
Set up a resident portal for transparent communication
One of the major challenges facing residential property managers is responding in a timely manner to residents’ requests for information. The number of resident inquiries can be quite large, and the volume of service requests can be challenging. In a secure online portal, staff log into a secure website where they can access a broad range of information specific to themselves.
The secure resident portal will also be a one-stop solution for the residents. The portal will ensure that residents continue experiencing the same seamless customer service they received before the pandemic, albeit online.
It is important to mention that while many community associations have websites, these websites aren’t built for the needs and challenges of residential property management and today’s tech-savvy residents. These are static websites and board members of associations should instead consider a secured resident portal that can streamline desk services, resident communication, and internal systems for better community support. This will help the property manager become more productive and at the same time enhance the resident experience.
Which resident portal is right for your association?
A resident portal is an investment for an association. Board members should carefully review the features of different software vendors and sign up for a free trial if possible.
The board must also consider how they will roll out their new portal, including providing training to their current staff members who may have varying levels of comfort with technology and with passwords or usernames.
Below are ways board members can evaluate if a resident portal may be a good fit:
- Review the number of inquiries received that could be addressed in a portal. Ask staff if they think residents would use a portal.
- Is the portal user-friendly?
- Does the software provider provide ongoing training and support, especially hands-on assistance for those less familiar with technology?
- Does the portal integrate with third party solutions?
- Does the software provider have any solid references?
- Does the portal come with features relevant to your community association?
Why you should use Concierge Plus
There are over 30 modules in Concierge Plus encompassing hundreds of features designed specifically to manage the operations of a community association.
We will walk you through a few of the most frequently used ones so you understand how they work and the benefits that they will bring to you and your community.
Before when you wanted to process an amenity booking, a resident would have to visit or call the front desk where someone would look through a calendar to see whether their date was available. The booking was written into that calendar and in some cases a check collected for payment.
Now you can use our Amenity Bookings module to allow residents to view availability, make a booking, and even pay online (if necessary) without frustrating and time-consuming manual interactions.
Before, when you wanted to send out announcements to owners, it required you to print individual copies of that announcement and distribute it door-to-door.
Now, you compose your announcement in Concierge Plus and quickly select the groups of people you want it to go to. (For example, water shut-offs affecting only a particular line.) Instantly your message is delivered to everyone. Reporting that is triggered immediately lets you see who has received the email, phone call, or text message. Easy accountability to ensure everyone is getting your message.
Before when you wanted to notify residents of deliveries, you would have to log the packages in a binder and then call each resident or leave a sticky note on their mailbox.
Now you can use our Deliveries Module to quickly log each package and immediately send an email, text message, and/or automated phone call to the resident to let them know without having to use a lot of your team’s time.
Before, when you wanted to have a resident’s service request actioned, you would have to find and speak to the right team member and let them know what to do.
But now, you can use our simple Service Requests module to assign and keep track of issues without the need for manual assignment and tracking.
Before when you wanted to distribute important documents or information to residents or owners, you would need to print thousands of pages of copies of those documents and leave them at each resident’s door, at the front desk, or worse, pay for postage to mail them to owners.
Now you can use the Media Library to distribute information without wasting any time, money, or paper and ink.
Before when you wanted to look up contact or other important information about a resident, you would look in a resident information binder or Excel spreadsheet.
Now you can quickly search and locate all of these details with just a couple of keystrokes without the need to manually search or the risk of someone inadvertently changing resident information.
It’s time to switch to digital
There is no doubt that community associations have been shocked by the speed at which coronavirus has transformed their communities. Change is no longer about keeping pace and staying afloat. For example, social distancing rules force many staff members to remain at home and collaborate remotely. Digital transformation is, therefore, no longer something that can be ignored or delayed. The rapid time-to-value seen in the community associations that have embraced digitization, show that that deploying digital processes is not only affordable, but can generate huge savings in terms of time and cost.