How digital technology can enhance condo living
Technological advancements are changing condo owners’ expectations. “Always-on” residents are finding value in tech-based services and looking to property managers to deliver great resident experiences via digital tools and systems. And as property managers seek to forge stronger, more personal relationships with their residents, today’s digital technology can help bridge those gaps.
Freeing time, changing focus
For many decades, the property management industry has used limited technology for customer service and condo management. And while property managers currently use technologies such as landline telephones and fax machines to better serve their residents, many are hesitant to use digital technology in fear of losing the personal connection they’ve established throughout the years and the misconception that digital technology will add to their workload.
In reality, digital technology can be used to improve the resident experience as it has the potential to not only reduce expenses but improve customer service by automating tedious and redundant processes.
Similarly, digital technology improves the communication between property managers and condo residents, allowing managers to be transparent, well organized, and service-oriented. By automating manual processes, digital technology allows managers to focus on delivering great resident experiences. By automating manual tasks, property managers can become more efficient as they no longer have to spend time going through binders, spreadsheets, and emails for information. With a resident portal, for instance, much of the information they search for is available to them with just a few clicks.
Maintaining a personal touch
There is a growing sense among property managers that digital technology takes away from the personal touch, thereby causing customer service to deteriorate. That said, a personal touch will always be the cornerstone of every interaction in a condo community, even with the shift towards greater reliance on digital technology. Digital technology can never substitute face-to-face interaction and should never be used with such intentions; rather, it should be used to give residents more meaningful ways to interact, be it to speak with the property manager, raise issues with condo management, report repairs, or engage in their community.
Figuring out what residents want in order to improve customer service can be a complicated and daunting task. Today, however, property managers can easily leverage automated surveys and other forms using real-time communication to collect useful feedback from residents, which can help improve the resident experience.
What to look for in a digital solution
Successful property managers strive to exceed resident expectations and focus on delivering superior resident experiences. Many digital solutions are available to help them do that, however, only a few are built with features that appeal to resident’s modern lifestyle.
Consider the following when evaluating digital technology solutions:
- Accounting system integration: The solution should be able to synchronize resident data with the community’s accounting solution. This takes a mountain of work off everyone’s plates because access to the community will be automatically granted and removed as residents move in and out.
- Easy-to-use dashboard: To maintain efficiency, everyone on the property management team should be able to get an overview of their community’s important administrative tasks, community events, and amenity bookings without having to click through multiple screens.
- Resident database: The team should be able to see a summary of each unit’s information such as resident information, entry instructions, maintenance requests, deliveries, and amenity bookings.
- Document sharing: Managers should be able to securely store and share all community documents such as board minutes, forms, and by-laws online.
- Amenity bookings: Residents want self-service access to see the availability of a common area or club house when it is convenient for them. If fees are associated with a booking, those should be able to be paid online.
- Maintenance requests: Managers should be able to respond, monitor. and communicate the status of any maintenance item, with online notifications when a request is created, amended or updated. This helps the manager delegate tasks to their team or contractors and ensures that items don’t fall between the cracks.
In order to exceed resident expectations and deliver great resident experiences, property managers need to take a thoughtful approach to selecting digital technology. The solution should be built with features that appeal to resident’s digital driven lifestyle.
Reprinted with permission by MediaEdge/CondoBusiness. (c) 2019