Running a community association management company in 2022 seems like a tale of fire and ice. On the one hand, you have a desperate need to keep your organization fully staffed with expert community managers. These managers, who have faced immense burnout over the past 18 months, are also the main culprit of your turnover numbers, and as a result, you’re finding that you need to raise their salary higher than the average cost of living. On the other hand, inflation and the overall rising cost of business is eating away at your budget, and like every small business owner, you’re probably concerned with hitting your bottom line this year. So how do you manage both needs simultaneously in such a chaotic market?
Keep focus on culture
Even with higher salary expectations, a poor company culture is still the main driver of turnover. One of the best things you can do right now for your employees is to focus your efforts on the values you’ve set within your company. Ensure that your employees are part of the business planning for your company, with a full understanding of your goals and expectations for the year. Even if it isn’t time for a formal annual employee review, now would also be a great time to reconnect with your employees on their overall growth for the year thus far. Are they on track with achieving the career goals they’ve developed for themselves earlier in the year? Who within your employee pool has promotional and leadership opportunity, and are there any opportunities to enhance leadership skills right now for someone with a special project or initiative? Team alignment and individual growth is a winning combination to drive any culture – just ask the experts at Priestley Management Company.
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Consider virtual assistance
Are there any mundane tasks eating away at productivity for your employees? Probably so, but you may not have financial bandwidth to hire a whole other person. Enter the rise of the virtual assistant, who has become a bit of a hidden secret for many small business and large corporations over the past year. Virtual assistants are contract-based employees who, in their own free time, manage tasks for companies that are simple yet time consuming. This may include completing spreadsheets, getting paper mailouts ready, updating address books, and so forth. Some organizations even hire virtual assistants to manage their own expense reports and budgets. You can easily find a virtual assistant to tackle a project on the fly through services like Fiverr, and if you’re happy with the results, you may find someone that you can pay on an at-project basis. Our only suggestion here is to make sure that you are not starting a virtual assistant off with a confidential project, and to ensure that you’re still keeping homeowner financials and data in the hands of your core staff.
Double down on operational efficiency
Rising material costs, overhead expenses, and overall inflationary pressures have made 2022 extremely challenging for management companies. We are starting to see the pressure cool off as the Fed has been raising interest rates, but it’s still incredibly challenging right now to keep costs down. The effects are hitting homeowners hard too, with mortgage expenses now adding up to 31 percent of the median American’s household income.
So what exactly can you do to keep costs down? Focus on operational efficiency. Consider this: what can you and your employees do in your day-to-day that will cut time and costs? For instance, are there ways you can increase paperless efficiency within your office? Perhaps you’re still printing out monthly financial reports instead of sending them to your boards within a mobile app. Another operational blunder we see often in community association management pertains to time spent reconciling mismatched payments, which can add hours (if not days) to the workload of your accounting team. Could there be an easier way to keep mismatched payments at bay? Finally, consider how you’re managing your own budgets and projects. Are you using multiple spreadsheets and calendar reminders to stay on track, or are you taking advantage of modules through your software provider to stay on track with projects and budgets in real time? Take a moment to reexamine the time and cost-consuming tasks that you can improve upon now, and be sure to connect with your software provider’s account manager to learn how you can drive better efficiencies through the technologies you have on hand.
As we continue to navigate the challenges management companies are facing right now, continue staying connected with us at CINC Systems. We regularly offer tips and tricks to drive employee morale, operational efficiency, technological advancements, and more. Stay tuned as we make it through 2022 together!