Partner or Provider? How to Tell Whether or Not Your Association Management Software Is Meeting Your Needs
Last modified on August 9th, 2021
By Brittany Benz
Having a solid partnership with your technology provider is critical to the survival and success of your community association management business. When your software partner understands how your business works and is committed to your success from day one, it’s easier to onboard your team, overcome challenges, and achieve your goals. However, if they don’t, it can hinder your business in many ways.
If you feel unhappy with your current software provider, you’re not alone. In fact, according to a recent AppFolio survey of association management businesses about a fourth (28.6%) of respondents reported they were dissatisfied or neutral with their current software solutions. One of the potential reasons behind this dissatisfaction could be that they don’t feel they have the support they need to meet customers’ needs and grow their business.
Below we’ll detail some of the pitfalls that can arise if you don’t have a strong relationship, the qualities to look out for when vetting potential software providers, and how others have benefitted from finding a dedicated partner.
The Pitfalls of Poor Partnership
With a poor partnership, your team and customers suffer. The struggle often starts immediately after purchasing a solution. It takes longer to onboard and ramp onto the software after switching due to a lack of in-depth training materials and personalized support. As a result, your team takes longer to get work done and your business doesn’t get the most out of its tech investment.
When you don’t have customized, ongoing support it also makes it harder to implement new features or to upgrade your systems over time. This problem is exacerbated when new challenges arise or the nature of your business has to evolve. For instance, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses had to shift to remote work overnight. Without a solid tech partnership complete with mobile functionality and hands-on support, it would have been nearly impossible to adapt and stay successful.
Poor partnership ultimately results in errors and inefficiencies, which can lead to customer dissatisfaction, increased employee turnover, and stunted business growth. However, with a true technology partner, you can avoid these pitfalls and have more time to focus on growing your business and serving your customers.
Qualities of a True Technology Partner
A true technology partner provides more than just occasional support; they’re an extension of your team. Your success is their success. This commitment fosters a better experience for you, your team, and your customers.
For instance, at AppFolio we provide customized, hands-on guidance from day one, complete with detailed materials, a fully engaged support team, and a plan that breaks down each of your business’ workflows by role. After your business is successfully onboarded, we offer ongoing help with additional resources, including training sessions, forums, events, and more.
Along with in-depth onboarding, another equally important quality of a technology partner is their openness to feedback. Our team at AppFolio regularly asks for product feedback and values our customers’ input. We also continually look for ways to improve the software, incorporating new innovations designed to enhance our customers’ business performance. As the industry changes, we evolve, too, keeping in step with recent trends as we refine our software.
How Others Have Benefitted From Finding a Dedicated Tech Partner
Switching to new software can be uncomfortable at first, but the long-term benefits of having a true partner can outweigh any initial discomfort. This is evidenced by the sentiments of many AppFolio customers. Below are a few of their experiences in their own words.
Through their tech partnership with AppFolio, Duval Realty, which manages 10+ associations, has been able to achieve their growth goals—without having to make heavy investments in new personnel.
“AppFolio has allowed us to grow to more than double our original size without having to double our staff. They are continually upgrading their system to match the needs of our industry.”—Patricia Mallard, Duval Realty
Duckworth-Morris Real Estate, manager of over 35 associations, has been able to boost efficiency and also grow their business through their partnership with AppFolio.
“AppFolio has made my property management firm much more efficient and has allowed us to grow our business without increasing staff. It has made everyone in my organization’s lives easier.”— Warner Johnson, Duckworth-Morris Real Estate
Pelican Property Management, which manages over 40 associations, has been able to gain a competitive edge and confidence through their tech partnership.
“AppFolio provides us with a competitive edge we haven’t had with any other product.”— Jordan Levine, Pelican Property Management
These are just a few examples of what a true partnership with your tech provider can provide: more time to focus on what matters and robust business growth.
The success of your association management company largely depends on the relationship you have with your software provider. A true technology partner can help you adapt to the changing needs of the industry and give you more space to realize your goals. If you find your current software provider is lacking in its level of support, then consider investing in a solution from a company that will put you first. To learn more about what to look out for when searching for a dedicated technology partner, take a look at this guide.