Residents within a condo association need to be well-informed, feel safe, and have a sense that they are living in a community that is being managed with their best interests at heart.
Whether the association board is handling all aspects of community management operations or if they are professionally managed, the residents need to know their dues are being put to work in the right places. The right software choices can mean the difference between happy and engaged residents or malicious mobs storming the next board meeting. When reviewing condo association management software, you should be looking for the following 5 essential features:
1. Accounting Software Built for Your Community
Many self-managed associations are left to their own devices and often resort to tracking financials in spreadsheets or employ a small business solution, like QuickBooks.
This is perfectly appropriate for condos that do not have active groups, amenities, or security patrols, and will require other tools that do not speak to each other to manage resident communications.
Any community with larger budgets tasked with increasing community engagement will need a solution to track financials responsibly and produce reports that can be scrutinized by a professional accountant. This often leads to selecting an all-in-one solution that has a wide range of accounting and community management functions.
2. Website with Resident Engagement and Communications
Communicating to residents should be a natural function of the board and a colorful bulletin board in the lobby just doesn’t inform residents like one would hope. Residents have busy lives and they need many options to discover the content on their own and be able to opt-in to receive other direct communications. Especially, when maintenance may be blocking access to their unit or in the event of an emergency.
3. Visitor and Parking Management
The safest communities are managed by the residents themselves and those employed to protect their property around the clock.
This self-policing begins within a feature rich portal and should extend to scheduling visitors and cataloging vehicles within the approved parking zones. Visitor parking is often at a premium so making a simple way to monitor visitors will lead to a safe and healthy rotation of family and friends to the community.
4. Maintenance Management
Residents are often responsible from the studs, to the ceiling, and to the floor, but everything else is managed by building maintenance and residents need an easy way to submit a service request.
Keeping up with access control maintenance is a large ongoing cost in the budget and losing an elevator for a single day is a recipe for unhappy owners. This is another key aspect of employing the right resident portal and/or website. The core back-office suite or integration should also allow the board to be responsive to these requests and strive for a quick resolution to the issue.
5. Online Training Materials and Support
Lastly, training and support are not given as much attention as a user’s favorite feature until something goes wrong and is a critical aspect of the success of managing any condo.
The right platform choice, like TOPS [ONE], should invest heavily in the happiness of their users like how the association board does for their residents. Passive knowledgebase articles, training videos, and a dedicated support team of real people should make or break the choice as much any of the above topics.
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