By Beth Gilbert
It’s safe to say that the community association management industry has changed this past year. From the shift to remote work to the rapid adoption of technology, association management businesses had to pivot to stay successful and meet the needs of their residents.
At AppFolio, we stay in tune with the changing needs of the industry, so we can bring association management businesses and their boards the real-time insights and learnings they need to keep their organization running smoothly. To better understand how the market has adapted, the top challenges businesses have faced, and how they are preparing for the future, our team surveyed association management professionals across the country. Below I’ll detail some of the key findings.
Top Challenges for Association Management Businesses
While association management businesses have had to overcome many hurdles in the wake of COVID-19, there are a few challenges that have taken precedence. Based on the survey, communication, meeting customers’ needs and expectations, and manual/outdated processes are the top three challenges businesses are facing today. Out of the three, communication appeared to be the most common challenge with 21% of respondents reporting it as an issue.
In the complete report, we reveal some of the reasons why these challenges were at the top of the list. Simply scroll down to the bottom of the article to download it.
Main Priorities for Association Management Businesses
Along with challenges, the survey also asked association management businesses what their top priorities were. Operational efficiency reigned supreme with 27.9% of respondents reporting this as a top priority, in addition to improving customer service (19.4%), and adopting new technologies (16.4%).
One of the reasons efficiency is so high on association management businesses’ list is probably the fact that so many organizations had to transition to remote work and digital processes in 2020. As businesses look to fine-tune their workflows and better serve their customers, it makes sense that efficiency would continue to be a main business goal.
How Businesses are Preparing for the Future
One of the most interesting findings from the survey is how association management businesses are preparing for the future. When asked whether or not they plan to adopt technology in the next 12 months, an astounding 83.6% said yes. This proves that technology’s role in the industry has grown substantially and it will be a crucial part of business moving forward. The full report goes into a bit more details on the types of technologies businesses plan to adopt — I highly recommend taking a look.
Confidence and Technology Go Hand-in-Hand
The past year has had a lot of ups and downs and moments of uncertainty for all of us, but businesses who have embraced technology and adapted their processes have overall fared better than those who did not.
In fact, when respondents were asked if they feel confident about the current state of their business, the majority (78.7%) said they did, and 80.3% said they feel prepared to adapt to any changing needs within the industry and their customers. Out of those who said they were confident and prepared to adapt, 78.7% said they were planning on adopting technology in the next 12 months. So we can see there’s clearly a correlation between confidence and technology, and those who either have technology in place or are planning to adopt it have a positive outlook on the future of their business.
While we can’t predict the future, we can take steps to position ourselves for success. Mobile, on-demand, and digital association management tools can help you boost efficiency, streamline communications, and stay competitive. If you’d like to discover the complete findings from the industry report, you can download it here.
Beth Gilbert is the Sr. Director of the Community Association market at AppFolio. Beth brings over 15 years of product experience to AppFolio and is currently responsible for developing the vision and strategy for the community association market. She is passionate about building relationships with customers to learn about new ways to partner in the success of their businesses.