Change is an important part of life, but keeping up with that change can be tough, especially in our current technological landscape. Every time an industry game-changer (like the smartphone!) arises, other industries are impacted by an unavoidable ripple effect, and forced to either keep up and thrive, or slow down and simply get by. Don’t get left behind in these techy times. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you work toward revolutionizing your community and your business.
Address the Needs of Tomorrow, Not Just the Needs of Today
Revolution doesn't happen overnight—not effectively, at least. If you want to keep your company on the right path, you must decide where that path should to be taking you. Are you a large company that needs a software solution for every aspect of your day-to-day tasks? Are you a new start-up who needs to ease into the world of task automation? Maybe you’re somewhere in between!
Wherever you are in your journey, it’s important to consider technology that addresses more than the current problem. One of the biggest drawbacks to technology designed to solve a specific problem can be that it only solves that problem, and only for today. This means that when your company inevitably outgrows that problem and must confront that problem on a larger scale, the technology you’ve worked so hard to implement is now obsolete. Consider applications that can grow with your company to avoid the stress of having to hunt for technology more often than necessary.
Other needs to seriously consider are those of your homeowners. With the rise of technology and the integration of that technology into everyday society, we’re seeing consumers, like homeowners, who are very heavily drawn to platforms that they can access on the go. Personally, every single payment I have to make, I try my hardest to either automate with automatic payments, or pay via phone app so that I can do it when I’m, for instance, sitting at dinner with my friends and suddenly remember that my credit card bill is due. One of the greatest assets you can give to your homeowners is easy access to their most important account information.
Build Partnerships with your Vendors
Vendors are the quiet support systems of every company, so it’s important to choose the right vendor for you. This can mean a lot of things—there is no single “right” vendor, because, like any relationship, it requires good chemistry and how well the two companies serve each other, not just “this vendor is the most popular.” Take your time checking out the vendors available to service your needs. When you go to buy a car, what is the first thing you do? You don’t walk into a dealership, or to a used car lot, and pick the cheapest, or most expensive car. You don’t pick the biggest one, or the smallest one, or the one with the best warranty. Because as nice as all of those things are, they don’t speak to the actual vehicle itself. Chances are, you do your research first. You do a quick search for “most reliable 4-door vehicle,” or “most environmentally-friendly sports car,” or “hatchback with the greatest trunk space and safety rating.” You search first by greatest need, and that same consideration should be taken when you’re searching for a vendor to work with for your management company. Your portfolio is one of the best places to start considering—if you largely handle HOAs or condos, you wouldn’t settle for a company that primarily services apartment complexes with minimal HOA support. Beyond spending money on a service that won’t help you succeed, it can put a strain on the vendor you’re working with. Picking the right vendor and application is important for both parties, and will help to build a healthy partnership that will last a long time. This goes back to the concept of addressing needs of today as well as needs of tomorrow. Bouncing from vendor to vendor, from application to application, can be tiresome and stress out your employees and homeowners. Revolution can only happen successfully if given the time to gather momentum and surge forward, so finding a vendor who can become a long-time partner is a great place to start.
Employee Empowerment and Support
Sometimes we get lucky and technology is easy to use straight out of the box. But more often than not there’s a serious learning curve that takes a little extra effort to catch up to. It’s important to know the kind of technology best suited for your needs—not every company needs the highest caliber technology solution. A technology solution is only as useful as the most inexperienced person using it. So if someone isn’t clear on how an accounting function works and never utilizes it, a whole section of automation is being missed out on that could seriously up your game in the industry. The best way to introduce new technology to your community management company is by giving your employees adequate training and constant support. Be accessible, be understanding, and give them the tools they need to keep your business moving forward.
Revolutionizing your community association management company and the way your business functions on a day-to-day basis will keep you one step ahead of the competition. But there's more to it than just latching on to the first application you find. Taking the time to strategize within your company and understand what you need from the technology will put you that much farther ahead of your competitors, and will make your life simpler. Technology, like change, doesn't have to be frightening. It just needs to be approached the right way.