Top Tech Tip for Condos, Coops & HOAs
Many people appreciate the obvious work we — the FolSon Group — does in helping boards cut budgets, save money, and run more efficiently. There are many “big” items involved with this, but small details also matter and add up. Effective communication is an example of this.
Most large association boards rely on a managing agent or property manager to take care of “stuff.” Everything from accounts payable, accounts receivable, compliance with building codes, laws, etc., to managing the staff is the direct responsibility of the managing agent.
Between the many moving parts and layers of management, board, super, managing agent and the different department heads within the managing agent, much can go wrong. This is a case of “too many cooks in the kitchen.” In spite of their hard work at taking care of residents’ “issues” or complaints, there is often a lack of clear communication which results in some residents’ needs falling through the cracks.
Here is one technology that improves the communications and transparency between the board, residents, and staff while at the same time creating cost efficiencies.
There are a few variations of how the maintenance portals are set up and who owns or administers them. It is not uncommon for the property management firm to offer their own internal system to their associations. Some maintenance portals are included in the package tracking systems like BuildingLink.com or RealPage.com. MaxHOA provides an app focusing on reporting and tracking maintenance request.
A maintenance tracking system offers residents not only easier access to reporting issues, but the ability to track them when their maintenance requests have been received and with some systems also when they have been read. The staff is aware that the residents know when maintenance requests have been read and take pride in reducing the time that issues are resolved as credit to them can be directly traced.
When it is easier for residents to report issues, they are more likely to do so. Since issues are being reported in a more timely manner, they are less likely to result in much bigger issues. Smaller issues are often associated with smaller costs than large issues, which can often escalate as they are becoming bigger issues. One example is ignored plumbing problems, which can often result in really large problems if ignored or postponed, especially in large apartment buildings.
We take a holistic approach of looking at improving the organizational structure of the building or association. This includes everything from better communications, to better reporting, to better follow-through. Just like any business, improved organizational structure with the help of the right technology often results in reduced costs.