Good software is the key to success for any business in today’s world. Whether you’re managing a homeowner association (HOA) or condominium association (COA), choosing the right software is vital. An effective software can help you with accounting, client management, and more. So how do you choose the best association management software for your HOA/COA management business?
Often, association managers find themselves at a crossroad when choosing new software. Should you choose association management software or customer relationship management (CRM) software? What’s the difference, and which one will be a better fit for your management company? Whether you’re new to the industry and buying software for the first time, or simply upgrading your current systems, it’s important to choose wisely.
At CINC Systems, we understand the unique needs of your clients’ HOAs and COAs. We created our cloud-based management software to help association managers with everything from association accounting, payment processing, resident web portals, turn-key solutions, and more. To see how CINC can streamline and improve your association management business, request a free demo or call (855) 943-8246.
But if you’re wondering about association management software vs. CRM software, keep reading. Find out why association management software is the best choice over CRM software for your HOA/COA management company.
What Is Association Management Software?
Before deciding which software to purchase for your association management business, learn about the key differences between association management software and CRM software. First of all, what is association management software?
The answer is simple. Association management software, like CINC Systems, is any software program or cloud-based app that’s been specifically designed to manage HOAs and COAs. Sometimes known as association management systems (AMS), this type of software usually includes the following features:
- Automatic Bank Reconciliation: Link your clients’ bank accounts to your software dashboard so you can receive updates about financial transactions in real-time, automatically, and in one convenient place.
- General Ledger Accounting: Monitor your clients’ budgets, track expenses, and balance the books online.
- Resident Payment Portals: Setup an online payment portal, allowing your clients’ residents to pay their association fees via credit card or eCheck.
- Track Work Orders and Maintenance Requests: Allow residents to submit work orders and maintenance requests, then organize the jobs by date, category, and priority, and track the work order in real-time.
- Generate Financial Reports: Automatically create financial reports for your clients’ association boards, focusing on specific data categories or timeframes.
- Online Resident Directories: Create an online resident directory for your clients, allowing you to track notifications, fee payment status, violations, and more.
- Distribute Documents, Updates, and News: Use association management software to upload your clients’ HOA/COA governing documents to a web portal, where residents can access this information at any time, and easily send out relevant updates and news on behalf of the association.
Additionally, most association management software is designed to be scalable. This means it can handle the needs of any association, whether your clients are small COAs or large HOAs with dozens of properties.
For a free consultation, call 855.943.8246
What Is CRM Software?
If you’re weighing the advantages of association management software vs. CRM software, the next step is learning exactly what CRM software is. Common CRM software that you may have heard of include Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and Siebel.
In a nutshell, CRM software is all about customer service, marketing, and sales automation. The CRM features functionalities usually include:
- Contact Management: This enables users to segment their customer database into different groups, organizing them by categories such as gender, age, region, or prior contact history.
- Lead Management: Most CRMs offer the ability to process data specifically for leads, highlighting potential customers who are more likely to purchase whatever is being sold.
- Sales Analytics: Allows companies to track sales by date/time, customer category, salesperson, and other metrics enabling them to streamline their sales strategy.
- Salesforce Automation: Automatically schedule follow-up emails, reminders, and other sales campaigns to increase conversions in the customer base.
- Marketing Tools: Track the success rate of advertisements and easily create new marketing campaigns, such as email newsletters.
However, every CRM is slightly different. Like association management software, there are many different CRM programs with different features designed for specific types of companies. If you’re considering a CRM, make sure you research each software program and read customer reviews.
The Differences Between Association Management Software and CRM
Now that you understand the unique features of association management software and CRM software, it’s time to highlight the key differences. The primary difference is that association management software is meant to handle the needs of HOAs and COAs, while CRM software is for sales and marketing.
As an association manager, you need software that can help you deliver the best service to your clients. Association management software will improve your day-to-day tasks while streamlining big projects and helping you reach your business goals. Association management software also includes very useful accounting features.
If you’re running a big association management company with a large client portfolio, you may benefit from a CRM program as well. CRM software can help you market to new clients and increase your business. However, most association management companies can succeed without CRM software.
To summarize, your HOA/COA management business needs association management software. CRM software can offer certain benefits, but for the majority of association managers, it isn’t essential.
Choosing the Right Software for Your Business
If you’re still not sure how to choose the right software for your association management business, there are a few factors you can consider. Begin by making a list of all current and prospective clients. Write down your job responsibilities for each client. This will help you look for software that has all the features you need.
Next, consider your software budget. If you only have enough to invest in one type of software, choose an association management software. If you have extra money in your software budget, do some quick math to determine whether CRM software is worth it.
If you believe CRM software can pay for itself and grow your business by reaching new clients, it may be a good idea to purchase one in addition to your association management software.