How to Beat Your Competition in Community Association Management

Posted by Andrea Drennen, CMCA on October 24, 2014


10 Things Your Biggest CAM Management Competitor Wants You to Do

In an industry like community association management where profit margins are slim and everyone offers a similar set of services, competition can be fierce.

From early childhood, sports teach us that competition can be a good thing. Competition inspires us to push ourselves harder, to eke out a little more than we thought we could, to BE better than the other guy.

But the other side of that equation is the psych out. The competitor that's trying to make you lose focus, concentrate on what they're doing instead of keeping your head in the game.

You may have grown up but the game hasn't really changed. Your competitor is out there watching you, taunting you, sticking a foot out as you run by hoping you'll trip up. Here's what they're hoping you'll do:

  1. Don't set goals

    Nothing pleases your competitor more than when your business meanders along with no set goals or plan for the future. 

    Your Defense: Use SMART Goals to move beyond nebulous goals like wanting to make more money or wanting to grow. 

  2. Don't plan ahead

    Your competitor isn't trying to win the battle, he's trying to win the WAR. He loves it that you are playing only for the short-sighted vision of success.

    Your Defense: Create an action plan for your business that sets you apart and helps you succeed in the long term.

  3. Keep using the wrong tools

    Your competitor loves to see you work 3 times harder to achieve the same result as they are. All the extra work you have to do to make your off-the-shelf, one size fits all accounting software work for CAM Management is playing right into your competitor's hands.

    Your Defense: Ditch the off-the-shelf accounting software and switch to industry specific software that will give you a competitive advantage.

  4. Keep doing things the way they've always been done

    Your competitor loves to point out to tech-savvy homeowners how they are using modern tools and technologies while you languish in the '90s with your outdated desktop software.

    Your Defense: Upgrade your tech with the Transformational Technologies of the Cloud and Smartphones.

  5. Don't be choosy

    You know that pain in the rear community that takes up all of your time and energy? Your competitor LOVES that community.

    Your Defense: Use portfolio management to determine your best customers and fire the worst.

  6. Compete on price alone

    By forcing you to compete on price, your competitor knows that they can keep you on the ledge financially, where even the smallest unexpected cost can cause you to lose your balance.

    Your Defense: Sell on VALUE not on price, and charge for additional services to turn a reasonable profit. 

  7. Slack on communications

    Believe it or not, you not returning that email may have just won your competitor a new client—yours.

    Your Defense: Increase your client retention by implementing (and STICKING TO) a strong communications policy.

  8. Stay invisible to your fans

    Don't get out in the community and show your face. Your competitor loves it when community members have no idea who their manager is or if they even HAVE a management company.  

    Your Defense: Show your worth to the community by being visible.

  9. Don't learn from your mistakes

    Your competitor has a stitch in his side from laughing so hard every time you repeat the same mistake. It just means more clients for them!

    Your Defense: Learn to face tough times and use them as a learning experience.

  10. Lose your confidence

    All this psyching you out has worked—your competitor has caused you to lose your confidence. They don't need to do anything more, you've already defeated yourself.

    Your Defense: Don't feel confident in yourself? Fake it 'till you make it!

Don't let your competitor psych you out. Implement these defenses into your business strategy and not only will you win the game, but you'll be carried out on the shoulders of your biggest fans—your customers! 

Click here to see a what your community looks like in TOPS [ONE].