Industry survey reveals why boards are unhappy with their Community Management Companies

According to a new survey, the majority of boards are not satisfied with their management companies. The survey, conducted by the Community Association Institute, found that only 30% of respondents reported that they were satisfied with their management company.

The survey asked respondents to rate their management company on a variety of factors, including communication, financial management, and overall performance. On each of these factors, the vast majority of respondents gave their management company a rating of “fair” or “poor.”

Here are a few ways you can impress and keep your board ‘on board.’

Board Members say Community Management technology is a MUST

Today, board members in associations are looking for high-tech services and access from anywhere. In fact, more than half of all respondents said it’s important for their association management company to be technologically advanced and use modern digital tools. Respondents put online portals, email, and online payments as the top three most valuable digital topics.

How do you find the best community management software for your company?

HOA Management Software is made to be easy to understand and visually pleasing. The user experience is important because it will determine how simple it is to use for your team.

Does the community management software have all of the features you need to maximize your productivity? Like, accounting, violations, online portals, work orders, mobile applications, architectural requests, communications, etc.

Best technology for community management

 

Accounting

Is your management company meeting board expectations when it comes to accounting?

In the survey conducted, financial management was also rated poorly, with only 16% of respondents giving their management company a positive review.

Your current accounting software may not be up to the task if it wasn’t designed specifically for community management. Monthly financial reports, balance sheets, income, and expense statements, and cash flow statements can quickly become overwhelming.

Out of the respondents polled, most reported that their management company used an outdated method or outdated software for their account management. 

Having the right accounting software means:

  • No more tabbing back and forth
  • Seamless integration
  • Real-time balances and reporting 
  • Online access for management teams and homeowners from anywhere

The majority of HOA boards are not satisfied with their management

Responsiveness

It’s no secret that boards are expecting more from their management companies these days. One of the key areas where they’re looking for improvement is responsiveness.

The majority of boards are not satisfied with their management companies and switched companies when they found that they didn’t proactively respond, or were not accurately completing projects.

Boards want their calls and emails answered promptly, and they want their requests for information fulfilled quickly and completely. Keeping them up-to-date on important issues. The right community management software should help you do just that. 

Organization

With online portals being one of the top 3 most valuable tools among board-surveyed respondents, it’s important for your HOA to prioritize software to help manage and stay organized with your portal. 

An online portal is a great way for board members to stay informed about what’s going on with the association. It should be easy to find and use, and it should contain important information like financial reports and contact information for board members and association staff.

Tell me more.

Wondering where you can get software like this? You need SmartBooks! We built our accounting software specifically for HOAs and their distinct needs. Our software will help you manage your books with ease and also easily integrate with our management software to create one single platform to manage your communities. If you’re looking for superior HOA accounting software, schedule a demo with our team today and see the power of SmartBooks.

Is Your HOA Prepared to Communicate in Times of Emergency?

 

A lot has changed in our world over the past few weeks and the situation is evolving by the day if not by the hour. With multiple cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) being reported throughout the US, your HOA management team is almost certainly being asked many questions. How is your association handling the pandemic? Is your team prepared to communicate effectively to answer all of the questions?

And among all of these questions, there’s an underlying technical hold up: is your HOA prepared to react quickly and communicate efficiently with your community during this time?

Here are a few easy guidelines to help your management team and board navigate these uncharted waters:

Have a Plan In Place

A good starting point for any team is to make sure that you have a plan in place. This will help your association communicate with your community, and provide some guidance – and comfort – to your homeowners and HOA members.

The CDC highly recommends limiting person-to-person contact. This means that postponing in-person HOA Board meetings and HOA membership meetings is critical. But there are other questions to look at for your community: Is your association limiting access to common areas like the pool, meeting areas, sports courts, playgrounds and the like? How do you plan on enforcing these new guidelines? Will your HOA relax rules for violations and payments?

Address questions like these to create your plan so that your team can move forward to implement new guidelines throughout your community. Ward and Smith offers some excellent insights for how HOA Boards can prepare during this pandemic. You can read more here to help your association and board make smart, informed decisions and to set your plan in place.

Communication Is Key

Great! Now that you have your playbook set, it’s critical to disperse updated information quickly, and to the right audience. You should be clear about the new guidelines, and keep the community updated about what your HOA team is doing.

So how do you do that efficiently? Letters take days to deliver, and sending individual texts, voicemails, and emails is incredibly time consuming (not to mention a big disruption of your team’s workflow). Having a system in place to select your audience and send your messaging out rapidly will ensure your community has all of the tools and information they need, when they need it. Plus, your team will be happy to have an easy way to communicate with the community as well.

When assessing your communications tools, you want to make sure they have a way to target the correct audience, have multiple forms of communication at your fingertips, and are easy to use. Texts, emails, voicemails, and association documents for mailing should all be readily available for your team to send when needed. And, as times are changing rapidly, the ability to communicate at a moment’s notice, no matter where your team is working, is invaluable.

Tools to Communicate

Cloud-based software is a game-changer for management teams that are working remotely. As all association managers and employees know, being able to move around and work from outside of the office is critical to the role. And having software that allows you to do your job without being tethered to an office makes your role easier and allows you to manage your properties more effectively.

Communications software, like Smartwebs’ SmartCommunications, allows you to oversee your community at a glance from an online portal, gives you the ability to select members to contact, and has the ability to send messaging out on ALL platforms with only a few clicks.

So now your plan is set, your communication is ready…what next?

Stay Calm

Through all of this, it’s important to remember to stay calm throughout these trying times. Stay in touch with your homeowners, board members, and association management team. Open and frequent communication is the best way to quell any concerns and keep your community up-to-date.

Now, more than ever, we are relying on people adapting and looking out for each other. Be prepared, take measures to help protect your community, and stay safe!

HOA Community Management – Setting Goals for the New Year

As family and friends start to leave, and the holiday decorations start to come down all throughout your managed community, now is a great time to plan for the upcoming year. New Year, New You? We all love the idea, and revamping some key elements on how you manage your HOA properties can make all of the difference in the world for an even more successful 2020. Here are some new year’s goals so your HOA management team can grow in the New Year:

 

Streamline Your Process

It’s incredible how much time we lose with inefficient processes. For the new year, take some time to audit your procedures both in the office, and around the community, to see if there are any areas that your team is taking more steps than necessary.

For example, how efficient are your practices for inspecting the neighborhood for HOA violations? Manual data entry can be an antiquated and time-consuming process. Most property management teams’ process looks something like this: patrol the neighborhood and take hand-written notes for each violation identified, finish the property tour, return to the office and transcribe notes, create and send out emails, create and send out letters, make notes in the resident’s file, communicate with management team.

This manual process eats up precious time that could be better spent elsewhere. In 2020, look to technology to help save you time, money and stress levels. Consider HOA management software that is cloud-based and offers a full suite of packages that will cover all of your needs. A good HOA Management software can take out many of the repetitive steps in your inspection process, automate your notifications, and consolidate team notes in one location that your entire team (and board, when necessary) can access from anywhere – mobile or office. Some key things to analyze when considering your options:

  • Do they offer a full suite of products to cover your needs? (Violations, Work Orders, Architecture requests, Resident Portals, and accounting options)
  • Does the software integrate with systems you already have in place?
  • Does the software suite offer mobile, office, online and offline options for access?
  • How involved is the company with set up?
  • Do they offer HOA management software for management companies and self-managed communities?

Answering these questions will help you make the right choice when you upgrading your systems with a cloud-based software solution.

 

Increase Communication

Communication is key for any great management team, and HOA management is no different! Too often teams struggle with clear communication between the board and with residents, and even within the team itself.

First, are you communicating quickly and efficiently? Show your residents and team that their questions, and time are valid and important. Fast, thoughtful communication will go a long way for relationship building both in the property management team, and with residents.

Additionally, be sure to keep residents apprised on HOA on-goings including board meetings with information, and updates to policies or HOA bylaws.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly – make sure that you’re giving your residents and team members straightforward and easily accessible methods for communication. Do your residents and team have a simple way to contact the HOA management team? How easy is it for your team to share notes and information within your current system? There are several online software options to consider that offer fast, easy-to-access ways for residents, board members, and the association team to communicate.

Healthy and frequent communication between the team, board, and residents is vital for success in your community.

With these simple New Year goals for your HOA management team, you’ll see a happier and healthier community, along with a team that’s more efficient and functional.

We can toast to that!