Tech Audit: How to Get the Most Value From Your Association Management Software
Last modified on May 12th, 2021
By Brittany Benz
Are you getting the most value out of your current association management software? Whether you’ve been using the same solution for years or recently switched to a new platform, it’s important to routinely conduct a tech audit to ensure your business is using all of the tools you have at your disposal effectively and that your current solution is still the right fit for you. If you don’t, then you could be missing out on some great opportunities to further streamline and enhance your customer experience, or you could be overlooking potential red flags that could actually be costing your business more.
Association Management Software Checklist
Take a look at the checklist below to evaluate if your association management company is getting everything it can for its technology investment.
Clear and effective communication is the foundation for success in association management. To determine whether or not your business is communicating with homeowners and board members to the best of your ability, ask yourself the following:
- What digital communication tools do you currently use? Email, text message, etc.
- Is your current software missing any key mobile communication features?
- On average, what is your response time to any given inquiry/request?
- What are some areas where you could improve when it comes to communication?
It’s easier to communicate when you have the right tools to keep everyone in the loop.
For instance, William Reimbold of SF Valley Management says having a modern solution with built-in communication features has not only boosted communication, but freed up his team to focus on higher-level initiatives, “We are able to provide documents and information to homeowners at their convenience all within an online portal, which allows us to allocate our resources to more productive efforts.”
Efficient association management businesses don’t only get more work done, they also save money, time, and generally have happier customers and employees. Uncover any hidden inefficiencies you may have by answering these questions:
- How many processes does your team conduct manually? On average, how much time does it take to complete each process?
- How many software tools do you log into each day? Do you have to use separate solutions or is everything under one platform?
- Does your software offer ways to automate routine tasks? Which ones? Do you use all of the tools offered?
Automated tools can drive efficiency and remove the manual, repetitive nature of routine tasks, such as accounts payable and association mailings.
One such tool, AppFolio’s Automated AP, has been an incredible time-saver for the team at Pelican Property Management, “AppFolio’s new Automated AP service is phenomenal. The vendor can just send an invoice in. The software scans it, automatically enters it, and we verify it. The manager can approve it, and the check gets mailed automatically through your system,” says Co-Founder Jordan Levine.
Mobility is the name of the game in association management. With numerous associations, spread out across different regions, you need to make sure your team can do their jobs from anywhere. See how your business currently ranks on mobility by answering the following:
- Can your team members easily complete tasks and get work done whether they’re at the office, at home, or in the field?
- Can your team instantly access all the information they need from their mobile phone (violations, reports, architectural reviews, etc.)?
- What tasks do your team members have to be in the office to facilitate, if any?
Having robust, mobile capabilities within your software allows you to more easily manage your associations.
For instance, Shinobu Young of Vista Property Management finds that being able to use a mobile app to report violations, request common maintenance, and more from anywhere has given her team a huge advantage, “Community managers are often visiting multiple associations in a day and our software enables them to use the mobile app directly from their phone, out in the field, or even at home.”
Homeowner & Board Member Experience
Did you know that only 57% of homeowners believe their management company adds value? (2019 AppFolio Survey). To prove the value your team brings to the table you have to offer the kinds of modern experiences your homeowners and board members expect. Answer the questions below to see how you’re doing when it comes to customer experience:
- What mobile tools do your homeowners currently use within your software?
- Can homeowners self-serve right from their phone with online payments, architectural requests, common maintenance area requests, etc.?
- Are your homeowners and board members satisfied with your current software solution?
Often overlooked by association management businesses when they’re initially choosing software, constant product development is incredibly important and directly related to the success of your business. To determine whether or not your current provider has a passion for innovation and is providing your business with the expertise it needs, answer the following:
- Is your current software provider always looking for new ways to improve their offerings with new innovations/features?
- Does your software provider share the latest trends in the association management space? Do they host regular events such as webinars and conferences that highlight new tools or features?
- What does your team do with this information? Do you actively work to make your business more cutting-edge by utilizing the tools or info to adapt your processes?
Probably one of the most vital aspects of the property management business/software vendor relationship is the level of support you receive. Your team relies on your software day in and day out to get work done, meet homeowners’ needs, and to keep things running smoothly, without dedicated support, the confidence of your team can quickly erode and lead to bigger problems. Here are some things you should consider asking yourself to find out whether your current software is a true partner:
- Do you feel fully supported by your software provider?
- If you have an issue with the software are they quick to help you resolve it?
- Are there any events or training sessions that your team isn’t taking advantage of that your software provider offers?
- How often does your software provider check-in or ask for feedback?
When you take the time to evaluate your software provider, you’ll be better able to see whether or not you’re truly getting the most value. By answering the questions above you can dig deeper and uncover any areas where you could improve your current processes or expand your technology toolkit. To discover more ways you can streamline your daily processes and maximize efficiency within your association management business, take a look at this guide.