As a wise man (my grandpa) once said, every challenge comes with an opportunity, and vice versa. For Community Managers, the challenge of market evolution will also present myriad potential opportunities to excel in the marketplace, so long as the obstacles are understood and faced in real time. The world is moving more quickly, and the intensity of change can be a lot to handle for any CAM professional.
New technologies, the ability to compete in an entirely web-based fashion and, perhaps most importantly, the rapidly changing preferences and demands of owners, are all forcing community association management professionals to adjust their own strategies.
To give you a clearer perspective on some of the challenges you will face as a CAM professional, let's take a look at four obstacles seen on the path today, and the challenges and opportunities they present.
1. Short-term rentals
Airbnb is one of the more successful online businesses, and has been for years now. As a CAM professional, though, it could pose several challenges and complexities that must be faced head-on. For example, if your boards do not already have a policy in place that governs short term rentals, then you need to encourage them to get on that as soon as possible.
Considering the fact that association members will essentially be renting their own properties out, there might be some issues from a contractual standpoint. Do not shy away from this though, and work with owners and others to craft a plan that will indeed make everyone happy. You do not need to necessarily say "yes" or "no" to short term rentals, but you do need to have a conversation with owners to get everyone on the same page regarding this popular service.
Lawmakers always find a way to muck up things that were working perfectly fine, but this year there are two issues in particular that offer cause for concern: Construction Defect Lawsuits and Superliens.
The Construction Defect Lawsuits are important when builders do a shoddy job but lawmakers put time limits and massive restrictions on associations that prevent them from suing the builder without a majority of owners. In a new development, the developer is the primary owner until units are sold, at which point the time is up, so the developer never gets sued.
Superliens ensure that HOAs are able to recover money owed to them in a foreclosure, even if the property is sold for less than the amount owed to the primary lender (bank/mortgage company). Without Superlien status, HOAs often get swindled out of collections because the house sells for less than the original sale price during the housing bubble. Lawmakers in Nevada and other states are considering limiting or even eliminating Superliens for HOAs.
Community Associations Network reported that fraud and embezzlement have become two widespread problems throughout the market, and that CAM professionals will need to begin efforts to reduce the threat of the financial damages that accompany these crimes. You might be asking yourself, "What can I do about fraud and embezzlement activity among my owners?"
Well, a lot, actually. Firstly, if you keep tight enough records using the right software to do so, chances are you will identify abnormalities and other issues far more quickly. Secondly, you can put additional contingencies in place to ensure that fraudsters do not enjoy a walk in the park when trying to damage your community association.
4. New technology
In the competitive sense, new technologies represent the greatest double-edged swords out there. On one hand, you can leverage more advanced CAM solutions that will significantly improve your performance and give you a competitive advantage over those who have not. On the other, if you are slow to the punch with deployments or do not use them properly, you are likely to experience disruptions and competitive issues.
Engage with these tools and do so in a manner that is quicker and more intelligent than your competitors, and you will see clear returns on those investments.
So these are the four that first come to mind, but we will publish more in the future. Tune back in learn more!