With the inception of The Boardroom podcast, the CINC team looks to shed light on the HOA industry, its key players, how associations impact communities, and how to bridge the gap between homeowners, board members, and management companies. On this series, they’ll chat about everything from alligators and flower control to fee increases and the great misunderstandings about HOA in general, and have some fun along the way.
In the wake of COVID, pandemic related economic uncertainty has rather strained homeowner relationships with the HOA, and The Boardroom podcast hopes to correct just that. Chatting with CINC teammates, Billy and Kim, Shea taps into both their experiences and their fresh perspective on the home management industry to help homeowners, board members and management companies unite in a common goal of successful homeownership.
After all, home management associations do so much more than what many people realize. They help homeowners increase their property value, fend off unwanted rodents and animals, and protect their investments. More often than not, their duties pertain to 24/7 service and emergency care. Not only are they a regulatory agency, but they’re also a very helpful resource.
Rarely and sadly, however, does that side of the industry get seen. Going forward, the CINC team will shed light on the more positive side of the home management industry that goes ignored, and correct myths about the side that doesn’t. In doing so, this podcast hopes to create a stronger sense of solidarity between homeowners and their management team.
The CINC team and The Boardroom are here to clarify the narrative, shine a light on the positive, and bring the various stakeholders closer – all while enjoying some laughs in the process . So get yourself in ‘CINC’ with this noble initiative and listen in to this and all future episodes of The Boardroom to help get the ball rolling.
Until next time, enjoy the show!
Shea Dittrich: Hey, homeowners! Welcome to The Boardroom, a podcast by CINC Systems focused on how homeowner associations impact your community. From unwanted alligators to flower-type arguments to fee increases, we not only bring these stories to life, but we will provide you with industry best practices on how to tackle and relieve all that stress. Let’s jump in.
Hey, everyone! Welcome to The Boardroom. This is Episode Number One, but it will always be the first episode you should listen to because what I wanted to do is I’ve got a few colleagues in here: Kim, our Director of Marketing at CINC Systems, Billy King, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at CINC Systems, and myself, Head of Sales at Sync Systems. We have no idea what we’re doing, right, guys?
Shea Dittrich: Everybody in this room knows podcasts are cool.
Kim: We know that.
Shea Dittrich: But what do we do, right? That’s kind of the way we’ve thought about this. But the reason this episode will be the most important episode that you will listen to is because you’re going to end up listening to these all the time because you’re gonna be captivated by the humor involved in this industry.
But we wanted to share with you the reason that we’re doing this and we wanted it to be unscripted and raw this first time around so you can see how much we’ve learned. But at the end of the day, we did kind of want to share our vision. So, Billy, introduce yourself, tell them how long you’ve been here because I think how long you’ve been here actually matters because all of this came from outside of the space and it’s telling in why we’re doing this?
Billy King: So, I’m Billy King. I’m Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at CINC. I joined CINC two years ago today, June 1st. I’ve got my CINC birthday today.
Kim: My name is Kim. I’m the Director of Marketing here. I thought I joined two years ago as of August, but I joined before you, so now I’m actually not sure when I joined.
Shea Dittrich: When is your birthday?
Kim: My actual birthday?
Shea Dittrich: No, your CINC birthday.
Kim: I’ve had two CINC birthdays.
Shea Dittrich: Well, good. Well, I think that, as I said, I’m Shea Dittrich, Head of Sales and Marketing here and I joined just over two years ago as well. So, collectively, in this room, we don’t have HOA veterans.
The goal of this podcast is to bring you people that had been in this business for a really long time and share with you best practices and things like that. But I think that the three of us, we’re able to come at this as it’s been our life for two years and we can bring an outsider’s perspective into it. And I think the biggest thing for me, and curious and for the two of you as well, I’ve noticed that there seems to be somewhat of a disconnect.
I remember the first thought I had when someone brought up this opportunity to come work here was, ‘It’s the association management industry.’ And I literally said, ‘What?’
I understood what an HOA is, I live in an HOA, but I didn’t realize that this was an entire industry, where there were legislative issues, there were, obviously, you know of the stories and you hear about HOAs. But it’s like, ‘Where does this industry really live?’
In the two years, what I’ve learned is that this is such a stressful job for not only HOA board members, but management companies that are involved.
It’s like the amount of work that goes into ensuring that somebody’s investment in their home is protected and worthwhile becomes very personal. And when it becomes very personal, there are no set hours in this industry.
So, that’s what my biggest realization was: this is an entire industry that unfortunately people can’t appreciate and respect because they don’t see it every day. They don’t see the behind-the-scenes of it. That’s my takeaway. What’s yours? What about you?
Billy King: I think early on the impression that I got about the industry in having conversations with prospects was hearing management companies talk about being really a 24/7 business and they have to be on call for whatever emergency pops up and for day-to-day activities that are there.
I noticed that it’s extremely manual and that the industry was really underserved by tech, and now it seems that it’s not a secret anymore and many, many technology companies have come into the fold. But I think it’s how you approach the business from the management company and board members, and homeowners’ point-of-view.
Shea Dittrich: And how they all connect, right? Like, I’m talking about technology, what about communication, right?
Shea Dittrich: The ability to actually communicate helps us understand and appreciate what everyone else is going through. And I think we all realized, man, there’s a lack of communication channels available. And so, you don’t understand what your treasurer is doing. You have no idea what goes into – you’re like, ‘I just write him a check for a grand’, and you think that that’s all that’s involved until you start to really understand everything. Like, what about collection dues? What about collections? What about amenity reservations and things where you have to pay for these amenities and usage?
You’re like, ‘Wait a second’, and then you start to realize, it’s a daunting job my treasure has, and you might gain a little bit of respect and appreciation for what they do. What about you?
Kim: I think one of the most interesting things right now is as you take a look at the way the industry is going – we just did this state of the industry report – and one of the biggest takeaways that is a big concern across board members is that homeowners have gone through this huge shift between the pandemic and economic uncertainty, and all that, and now they’re becoming a lot more hostile, if you will, than normal.
There are a lot of conflicts, and people aren’t sure how to resolve this new conflict and anxiety and tension. So, I think having an open forum like The Boardroom, where we can talk about openly and candidly how we can work with our homeowners better, to really be focused on building community, not just having back and forth arguments. That’s really one of the big goals of this.
Shea Dittrich: Yeah, exactly. As you were saying that, I was thinking about the pandemic induced – and I don’t want to over-talk about the pandemic – however, you look at the things that have happened and still, as so many people do work from home, you think about the number of hours spent at home versus before.
And we’re talking about Homeowners Associations, and my brother-in-law and sister were just in a situation in their condo where they’ve got their condo, and they put their office in this extra third room type of thing, and on the other side of the wall, are the storage units that you can also buy, depending on however that works within the condo association. And one of their neighbors took, behind that wall they took this almost like a closet for your storage and set up their home office because they didn’t have room in theirs. And so, he’s doing his work and, on the phone, on the other side of their wall, I mean, it’s turned into this big thing.
So, I guess that’s the point, right? These are the stories that we actually think can be fun. It would be really easy to listen to an association and an HOA and be like, ‘Oh, that’s boring’. It is not boring. And I think over the last two years, the three of us have collectively learned that.
And so, our goal – and that’s what we wanted to share, our goal in doing this is actually to help homeowners, to help board members, and help management companies all kind of unite against one common cause, which is improving the experience for a homeowner because, at the end of the day, it’s all of our own investments.
So how do we do that? We do that through – obviously, people want to live in a tighter community, people want to know that the value is increasing because there’s protection around certain things. Like, how do we make sure those things are fostered? And if they are, then we’re all better for it as there are 70 million Americans that own homes within an association like this.
So, it’s not a small industry. It’s a big industry, and we’ve got to quit talking about it like it’s small. I think that’s really what our goal is. We spent all that time talking about, like, what we were going to do, but we didn’t really tell you who CINC Systems was. We’re the largest provider of software in this space. That’s what we do. That’s what we’re good at. But we’ve got good people that have provided our clients and homeowners visibility into this whole process and we just want to take this to another level, and be able to share what those experiences are. And I think this is going to be a lot of fun.
We’ll talk alligators as we said, we’ll talk flowers as we said, but then we’ll talk about some serious issues too and the best way to resolve them where people really are in a pinch. We hope that our customers and ourselves can help you come to answers that obviously make this whole community experience an improvement.
So, Billy, thank you. Kim, thank you. They’ll jump back in, I’m sure periodically and be involved in this. Otherwise, it’d be my crazy self just picking up the phone and calling some folks and talking about some subjects – it’d be a lot of fun.
So, until next time, Episode Two.
Kim: Thank you.
Billy King: Thank you