Today, more and more businesses are working remotely. Remote work offers multiple benefits for employees, managers, and clients alike. Can an association management company work remotely? Absolutely. In fact, operating your homeowners’ association (HOA) or condominium association (COA) management business as a remote company is a smart move.
As an association management company owner, you’ll save money, work more efficiently, and experience increased levels of productivity. Your employees will experience a better work-life balance, which has been shown to improve health and lead to a stronger work ethic. Your HOA/COA clients then benefit because you and your company can offer improved service.
If you’re starting a new HOA/COA management company or thinking about transitioning your current company to a remote model, here are some tips to help you manage your company remotely.
Many people assume that working remotely means working in your pajamas all day with the TV on in the background. Although working from home isn’t as formal as working in an office, it’s important to cultivate a professional atmosphere even when you’re working remotely.
One of the downsides to working remotely is that it can be harder to focus when you don’t have a team around you to keep you motivated. If you’re not used to working remotely, it can be distracting. By promoting a professional culture within your remote association management company, you help avoid this.
Encourage everyone on your team to treat their remote job with the same level of professionalism as an office job. Set regular working hours, even if they’re evenings instead of 9-to-5, and be consistent with this schedule.
If you or your employees live with family or roommates, make sure to communicate that you’re unavailable during these working hours. Respect these boundaries no matter what. Consistency is key to working remotely.
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Another way to help manage an association company remotely is to use instant messaging. Many remote companies use apps like Slack, Discord, and Google Hangouts to communicate with one another during work time.
These instant messaging apps act as a virtual office. You can see who’s online and get caught up on all the latest news pertaining to different clients or different projects by checking into specific chat channels.
It’s important to check in with your remote HOA/COA management team every day that you’re working. This helps keep everyone on task and fosters team building.
In addition to an instant messaging service, another great way to manage your HOA/COA company remotely is to use an online project manager. There are multiple ways to do this. Apps like Trello, Asana, Airtable, and Google Suite give your company the ability to track projects online.
You can break each project down by category or client, then add detailed steps, supporting documents, and due dates. Your team members will receive email alerts or notifications when projects are due. As a manager, you can track their progress online.
Using an online service to track projects for your remote HOA/COA management company streamlines communication. Instead of asking your employees to give you constant updates, you can simply go to the project manager and see the status of their work.
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Another very important tool for a remote association management company is cloud-based association management software. Using cloud-based association management software, you’ll be able to assist your clients with virtually all aspects of HOA/COA management.
Association management software like CINC Systems allows you to go mobile and work from anywhere. You and your team members don’t even need to install anything. Simply log in to your account from any computer or tablet to access your clients’ HOA/COA data.
Association management software usually includes powerful tools for HOA/COA accounting, as well as basic options such as client information profiles. One of the most valuable tools for a remote HOA/COA management company is automatic bank reconciliation.
Automatic bank reconciliation means that you can sync each of your client’s financial accounts to your HOA/COA management software dashboard. Then, you can access their accounts online in one convenient location. This means you can manage your client’s finances remotely without going to a bank.
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Similarly, another way to manage an association company remotely is to use your HOA/COA management software to set up a web portal for online fee collection. In the past, it would have been very difficult to work remotely as an HOA/COA manager because you needed to be on-site to collect checks from residents, then take these checks to the bank.
With HOA/COA management software, you can accept payments for your client online via credit card or e-check. The money is automatically deposited and you can even generate a list of individuals who are behind on payments.
Residents love being able to make remote payments because it’s less work for them, too.
In addition to processing association payments remotely, you can use your HOA/COA management software for work orders. When a resident notices something in a common area that needs repairing or maintenance, they can take a photo of the issue and upload it directly to the web portal.
Then, from your remote office, you’ll receive the work order and can arrange to have the work completed. You can organize work orders for greater efficiency and send status updates to the resident who submitted the ticket. When the work has been completed, you can even pay the contractor’s invoice remotely.
When you work remotely, everyone wins. It’s better for you, your employees, your clients, and even the environment — after all, there’s no need for a long commute by car if your “office” is your spare bedroom! With the tips above, you’ll be able to manage your HOA/COA company remotely with ease.
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