When do you know you need property management software?

Date Published : Sep-05-2022

Written By : Kim Brown

You’ve heard about property management software. Maybe you’ve even sat through a couple of demos. But you’re still not sure if it’s the right option for you. Not every condo/HOA community needs property management software, but if you’re experiencing more than one of these problems, then it might be time to give software a try.  

  

You’re managing properties with 100+ units

Almost any community will benefit from property management software, but it tends to make the biggest difference for mid-sized and large condos/HOAs. The more people you have to care for, the more challenging it can be to address all of their needs. Trying to keep up with repair requests, emails, violations, etc. becomes overwhelming if you don’t have a way to streamline these processes.

Costs are another factor to consider when discussing the logistics of managing a large association. Let’s say you need to mail something out to a 100-unit association, and it costs $3 a letter to print and package the document. That’s $300 every time you want to send one letter to residents. Now think about how much that would cost for a property with 500 or 1,000 units. The costs add up. But property management software lets you send an unlimited number of messages and documents to owners without having to pay for print or mailing costs. 

  

You feel like it’s getting harder to keep up with day-to-day operations

Every year it seems like you have more to do, but the same amount of time to do it in. If you are a property manager who is scaling your business, this is definitely the case.  

Even though most residents report having positive experiences with the managers, it’s tough finding time for everyone and everything.

Don’t try to keep up by working more; work smarter by investing in a management platform. Most systems address multiple challenges faced by boards and managers, including amenity bookings, repair requests, task tracking, visitor parking management, asset management, and payment processing. Furthermore, it gives residents the ability to do more for themselves (which means a little less work for you).    

  

You’re manually issuing proof of payment to each resident

Residents must receive some type of record when they pay monthly fees, monetary fines, costs for repairs, etc. If you’re still doing this manually, or typing out a receipt every time a payment is made, you’re spending too much time on this task.

A property management system with an accounts receivable feature automates this record-keeping process. Whoever is in charge of collecting payments can create invoices with messages, document payments, and view aging summary reports.

Residents can view every transaction, as well as upcoming payments. Updates made by admins are automatically reflected on a resident’s account. If you also use an online payment system, residents can pay balances with debit or credit.  

  

A good week turns into a bad one when you have to follow up on violations  

Violations are inevitable. And as unpleasant as it may be, boards and managers must enforce rules. Otherwise, owners won’t feel a need to follow community rules, which only leads to more trouble.

That being said, issuing, updating and documenting violations can easily be a full-time job if you are logging everything manually. It’s easy to forget due dates if you don’t have anything to remind you to follow up. If managing violations feels like a constant uphill battle, it’s time to do something differently.

  

You’ve spent half an hour looking for a specific document or record

Whether it’s meeting minutes from the last quarter, a contract, or an incident log, finding a specific document in a cabinet full of folders is not generally easy or fast. Even well-organized file cabinets are inefficient compared to online document storage. As a best practice, associations need a track record of every transaction, correspondence, accident, etc. That could mean your condo or HOA is archiving thousands of pages every year.

Instead of keeping physical copies of important items, save them on a digital storage platform. Not only does it get rid of all those paper pileups, but you can use the search bar to find exactly what you need in seconds.

  

You’re lacking valuable community data

Many communities like to (and frankly should) set short-term and long-term goals. However, without concrete data, it’s very difficult to measure success. Quantitative data is an important element of goal setting and goal achieving, but many condos/HOAs struggle with data. Some simply don’t know how to properly record it while others aren’t sure how to make sense of the numbers.

A reports feature will compile data automatically and organize the numbers so that anyone can understand them. As a result, you can focus on what the numbers are telling you instead of trying to figure out where you made a mistake. Having a clear financial picture allows property managers to make sure that the HOA is in good financial health, and create fact-based budgets for the future.

  

You’re still paying all of your vendors with cheques

Online payments have dramatically changed the way we pay for items and services. So why not make online deposits to your contractors? An accounts payable feature gives you the power to make payments in batches. You can control your cash flow and maintain good relationships with valuable vendors by ensuring they are paid on time.   

  

You continue to struggle to reach quorum during member meetings

Every community is unique, and while some have no problem getting members to show up and vote, others struggle. This is problematic not only because owners miss information regarding association business, but items that require member approval become stagnant. Delays only lead to frustration and disappointment.  

E-voting and virtual meetings could change this though. These options may or may not be permissible depending on where you live, however, if it is permitted, you should give them a try. Owners really appreciate these features because they allow them to vote from their homes. The increased voter participation means associations can move forward with responsibilities and obligations.

  

Benefits of using property management software

Property management software saves communities time and money. But association leaders value it because it creates stability and minimizes chaos.

  

  • Better communication

Communication can make or break an association. But it’s probably the thing that condos and HOAs struggle with most often. Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic bullet to transform communication, but online software can help connect boards, owners and property managers.

Property management software gives management the ability to streamline communications, and reach owners in different ways. This is key because while most people will view announcements through email, not everyone is comfortable accessing information this way. Condo Control makes it possible to send text messages or automated voice messages to residents as well, and you can always print out notices for people who request to receive paper documents.

  

  • Ability to scale

Virtually every property management company aspires to scale. More business leads to more revenue. But it’s a bit of a balancing act to take on more clients and still maintain the same level of service. Property management software can keep up with you as you grow. It can support multiple properties and cut down on the time you spend doing necessary but repetitive work.

  

  • Reduce manual labor

Continuing from the point made above, repetitive, tedious work can end up consuming dozens of your valuable hours every month. Software can be remarkably freeing in the sense that it automates many of those tedious, time-consuming tasks that take away from time spent building a happy and productive community. Instead of having to print out forms for owners, or meet with them every time they want to book the clubhouse, they can find what they need through a digital resident portal.

  

  • Happier residents

While property management software was designed to help managers and board members, it supports residents and owners too. They are given quick and easy access to association documents, a system for communications, service requests, checking balances, booking amenities, and more. Some systems even offer a community forum, package tracking and authorized entry.

Furthermore, you will have more time to help residents with issues that cannot be resolved using the software.

  

Conclusion  

It’s never too late to make a change. Giving property management software a try might sound risky, but the rewards are absolutely worth any short-term uncertainty. A good property management software system is both robust and easy to use. A great platform will also come with a reliable customer support team. Even the best systems have issues once and a while, which is why it is so important to have resources available to you when you need them.    

With property management software, you can save time and money, and optimize operations, communications and record-keeping. If you’re still on the fence, we’d be happy to weigh the pros and cons with you.

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