The start of the pandemic and the shutdowns that ensued sent many businesses scrambling to figure out how to keep everything running.

Everyone has learned something during this time, including those of us in the community management space. Luckily, the community management lessons learned can be an ongoing part of your strategy.

It’s fair to say that those companies that had already digitized their operations and embraced remote work found it easier to transition than those who were comfortable with business as usual for so many years. Let’s take a look at some of the lessons learned from this unexpected pandemic.

7 Community Management Lessons from COVID-19

COVID-19 has taught us many important aspects of community management, including technology, self-service options, the risks of data sharing outside of the office, budgeting, and more.

Since you’re likely still in the throes of the pandemic’s effects, we’ve compiled a list of lessons learned that you may want to reflect on.

1. A Lot of Community Management Work Can Be Completed Remotely

Pre-COVID, much of the work involved in managing a community was conducted on-site or in an office, but it is possible to do almost everything online and still provide excellent customer service.

The internet has opened many more opportunities because it allows for more effective time management while still interacting with your communities. Only now, a lot of that happens online too.

2. Technology (Beyond Email and Microsoft Programs) Is Necessary to Conduct Business In 2021 and Beyond

The pandemic has served as a catalyst for many to adopt technology advancements they previously ignored.

Without virtual meetings and file-sharing software, many would have lost more than the collaborative benefits of working with a team. Operations may have come to a screeching halt, causing profits to drop, triggering temporary or permanent company shutdowns.

3. Self-Service Options Save Time and Enable Owners and Board Members to Handle Tasks on Their Own

Self-service options help eliminate the need for face-to-face interactions.

Features like online payment submissions, like TOPS Pay and owner access give your staff, the owners, and board members more freedom to do what they need to do.

Instead of owners coming into your office to pay or mailing their monthly dues, they can submit payments online. And instead of running reports, board members can view them with a few clicks using Advanced Portals, offered by TOPS.

4. The Internet and Your Files May Not Be as Safe as You Think

Cybercrimes are on the rise, and the risks grow with increased data sharing outside of the office.

Safeguards like secure servers and encrypted data are necessary to protect your organization and your owners.

TOPS stores all files in a secure data center protected from theft, fire, and flood. You can rest assured your sensitive data is safe, and you’ll be able to access it even if your community is devastated by a fire or flood.

5. It’s Better to Overprepare Than Not Prepare at All

If there’s one thing we’ve learned that applies to both business and personal life, it’s that overpreparing is better than not having a plan.

Planning for the unknown is necessary, so you’re never left unprepared. You’ll feel more in control and always have an idea of what steps to take next in a crisis when you think ahead.

6. Budget MORE for the Unexpected

Following the above point on overpreparation, budgeting more for your cash reserve is not a bad idea.

In the event of another upset where many owners are out of work or experiencing lower incomes, you want to be sure you can maintain all expenses without issue.

Yes, a bank may bail you out with a loan but having a complete budget and reserve cash at the ready is always a better option than the community taking on debt.

7. Flexibility Is Essential When Managing a Team

Offering flex hours to your employees will go a long way in keeping them on your team.

Managing your community may not require a strict “9-5” schedule, which was made nearly impossible to sustain for employees with young children at home doing distance learning during the pandemic.

Without the burden of a rigorous schedule, people can tend to the needs of their families during this new normal while still maintaining efficiency and output levels.

8. Provide Transparency and Communicate Often

Transparency is one of the most critical factors for establishing and preserving credibility. Without it, owners and board members might lose trust.

You want to communicate with everyone even if you’re unsure of the proper decision on reopening the pool or restarting group classes in areas where the government doesn’t have a mandate. Online community websites can provide a forum to draw general consensus to include in your decision-making process.

People are handling the pandemic differently with varied expectations of what needs to happen. The best thing you can do is be open and transparent during such an uncertain time.

The Future of Community Management

TOPS [ONE] Platform
It is possible to manage your community well in the face of a situation like COVID-19, but it will take change. Management teams may need to revisit their company policies to accommodate new demands on members and owners.

Some of these adjustments may include:

Property management companies and self-managed associations will benefit from community management software, like TOPS [ONE]. It’s robust enough to do everything you need and can handle multiple communities while simple to learn and easy to use. Contact us with any questions.


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“What to Ask When Considering Community Association Management Software”

Are you in the market for CAM Software? Will you know what you want both in the software and in the company which develops it? Don’t make a decision you will regret in the future because you failed to ask the right questions in the first place!

This list doesn’t give you all the answers, but it does provide a thought provoking opportunity to insure that whatever solution you are considering, it will work well for your organization.

This is the resource you’ve been waiting for.