In early 2022, CINC conducted a survey of community managers, management company executives, and board members throughout the country, with the goal of determining the State of the Community Association Management Industry. The feedback and responses indicated several common goals shared by management companies, including increasing revenue and productivity.
Regardless of company or industry, almost everyone would agree that they would be more productive if they were paid more money. Unfortunately, that’s pretty hard to deliver on if you’re only focused on the dollars, and it can create a vicious cycle because of how interconnected the two goals are.
If you take a step back and look at the kind of changes that tend to buff revenue, you often find that they do double duty, as they’re also boosting productivity in staff. That correlation is the smartest way management companies can start attaining their 2022 goals. Here are some ways to increase productivity, and in turn increase revenue:
Improve Employee Morale
This is a task that has a lot of steps to execute correctly, but it’s the most holistic and effective step in driving productivity through the roof. The Great Resignation has shown us that not only is low morale and poor work/life balance causing staff to leave careers and industries in droves, but it’s also proving that they’re leaving because they’ve found better elsewhere, and feel that they are thriving.
When talking about morale boosters, we don’t mean adding in-office goodies like free snacks or beer taps. Though those are fun in the moment, they’re being identified and called out as superficial replacements for real impact. Instead, consider taking actions that have will have a longer-lasting influence in someone’s life, like more comprehensive benefits packages, flexible paid time off, as well as compassion and understanding for everyday life situations. How a business handles employees dealing with emergencies or common situations related to parenthood is a huge indicator on employee satisfaction.
It’s also worthwhile to note that a very newly popularized approach to paid time off can be interpreted as a negative: unlimited PTO. On the surface, it sounds great, and there are plenty of companies that permit it and execute it unsuccessfully, but many say that it creates a different kind of hostile work environment where they feel pressured into taking no time off just the same as if they had limited hours to work within. If you’re considering this option, be sure you take in all perspectives and include your own staff in the decision.
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Minimize Staff Workload
This is another action item that does double duty–less work means happier staff, so this really contributes in a lot of ways. It’s not easy to accomplish though and might take some experimentation to find what works best for your management company.
One solution might be redistributing staff internally. Although many companies look first to increasing the staff on hand (which we will also touch on), reallocating functions in such a way that the workload is more balanced is a great option for companies that don’t have the funds to introduce new people to the team. So instead of having one or two supporting teams, plus a team of managers who are effectively jacks of all trades, consolidating responsibilities by task instead of by role could be an effective productivity jump starter.
If you do have the capacity to add on staff, making the most out of those resources could be a critical decision. So instead of seeking out expensive, resource-heavy hires like certified community managers, look instead to qualified, full- or part-time virtual assistants. Someone who can shoulder the burden of lengthy tasks so that your high-qualified team of managers can devote their attention purely to the managerial community tasks.
One survey respondent mentioned that in their efforts to increase revenue, they would be, “taking on better clients and dropping bad ones.” This is such a great tactic. While not all management companies have the luxury of being able to turn away business, those that do should consider the dual benefits this kind of decision can bring. Selectively taking on the right kind of clientele does often pad the revenue a bit, but by removing problematic, difficult, or underfunded clients, you’re removing stress for your management team, thereby again, helping to resolve their diminishing morale.
Create Better Vendor Relationships
This is another great suggestion from our survey. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that this is just one more way to contribute to employee satisfaction and morale. Vendor relationships are a critical component of the workload managers handle every day for each of their communities, and MANY condo and HOA residents often conflate mistakes made by vendors with mistakes made by a manager.
Selecting vendors who are timely in their payment collection, reasonably priced, and consistent on delivery of service is pretty standard. Finding vendors who truly excel in these departments, or who find ways to compensate, is the best way to curate those vendor relationships. Whether that’s through transparent and consistent communication or through general customer service performance, there are plenty of ways community association providers can give fire-star service and be a true partner to the community and your management company.
Choosing the correct partner for the job is a similar perk. This same respondent listed “looking into new banking options and software” as part of their vendor evaluation. With the right technology to support a community, your managers are guaranteed to handle fewer tasks and deal with fewer issues relating to daily needs. Especially if the software provider has a comprehensive banking integration, this could put precious time back into managers’ days.
Focus on your Staff
Increasing revenue and increasing productivity go hand in hand. Management companies have many options when it comes to achieving both of those goals in 2022, and nearly all of them focus on the impact satisfied staff can have in your organization.