In today's competitive business landscape, HOA management companies recognize the importance of supporting their key employees.
Community manager burnout and high turnover are major problems in the industry. And yet, the solutions to these problems have traditionally been the same handful of ideas: higher salaries, software efficiencies, outsourcing services, or adding more employees. In short, throw more resources at the problem. But, as the famous quote goes, trying the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.
It's time to try something different — a fresh perspective on how to organize your company.
Dynamic Association Managers Wanted
Community managers must have dynamic skills to be successful in their roles. And must be adaptable and flexible to tackle the fast-paced HOA industry.
The ever-changing demands of board members and homeowners require crystal-clear communication and exceptional problem-solving skills. A community manager must also be organized and have excellent time management skills.
Finding talent with a combination of these skills can be difficult — no wonder management company recruitment efforts often feel like searching for a needle in an impossible-to-find haystack.
Community managers often struggle to handle the influx of responsibilities due to high staff turnover, contributing to burnout or leaving the profession altogether.
A significant way to support community managers is to lessen their workload. This is not about taking away core tasks but reassessing how to perform specific tasks.
According to the Foundation of Community Association Research:
- 55% of managers listed unreasonable homeowner demands as a top contributor to job dissatisfaction.
- 49% of CEOs and hiring personnel are working to reduce the workload for portfolio managers.
- To reduce workload, CEOs are rebalancing portfolios (80%) and hiring more support staff (74%).
Outdated and Ineffective: How Traditional Organizational Structures Hold Management Companies Back
Community managers today wear many hats. They handle covenant enforcement, community maintenance, project management, board meetings, new employee training, and more. Many HOA management companies offer support through an assistant or care team.
The "assistant community manager" helps with administrative tasks, including answering homeowner phone calls, handling invoice payments, and preparing welcome packages and mailings. Often, they assist a team of community managers and multiple properties to keep company costs down.
Community managers report they are barely keeping their heads above water. The work piles up, and they're trying to keep from drowning.
Getting to the Crux of the Matter: Unfulfilled Career Aspirations
The outlook is not so bleak, though. There are some things about the job community managers enjoy and find rewarding.
According to the Foundation of Community Association Research, these key factors contribute to longevity in the profession.
- 84% of community managers enjoy solving problems, followed by variety in their daily tasks (73%) and helping people (72%).
- Community managers want to improve the communities they serve. Both in appearance (68%) and financially (64%).
- 60% say that the opportunity to lead contributes to their satisfaction.
Motivate overworked and underfulfilled community managers by enhancing these positives. This requires a fresh perspective on how to organize your company structure.
Rethinking Traditional Organizational Structures through Community Association Virtual Employees
So, how do management companies reduce workloads, hire more support, and keep prices down?
The new emerging trend — virtual employees (VEs). Save costs and improve operations by utilizing virtual employees. Reduce the burden of administrative tasks and optimize efficiency.
Virtual employees can also lead to improved customer experiences. Train VEs like the rest of your employees. They can easily communicate with customers in a personalized and conversational manner using your HOA software system, through email, chat, or over the phone.
Rethinking Job Duties: Sample Organizational Structure
Every management company functions differently. When considering how this may best work for your company, remember your unique needs. Here is a sample organizational structure that can aid in rethinking job duties:
- Community Managers: Community managers love positively impacting the communities they manage. They have the knowledge, talent, and problem-solving skills to handle the complex board demands. Empower managers to handle the bigger picture aspects of the association's business. This includes the goals of the board and what falls under the approved budget. Cut factors that lead to job dissatisfaction, like administrative job duties. Managers can better focus on the bigger picture of community goals.
Reduce turnover and costs related to hiring and training new employees. Improve company morale, productivity, and customer service. Let managers do what they do best.
- Assistant Community Managers: The upcoming workforce wants the opportunity to advance. They are smart and value growth & learning. Assistant Community Managers can take a more active role in overseeing community operations, things like conducting site visits, covenant enforcement, and board meeting preparation.
Tap into the existing talents of your newer employees as your company grows. Assistant managers have the skills needed to advance into Manager roles. Reduce recruitment costs and minimize the learning curve associated with new hires.
- Virtual Employees: Virtual employees want to be part of your team and make an impact. They are patient, organized, and enjoy helping customers. VEs can handle homeowner communications and requests and administrative tasks that take away from your manager's and assistant manager's effectiveness in handling welcome packages, community mailings, newsletters, and more.
Productivity increases, homeowners communicate better, and your board members are happy. And the cost is less than hiring an in-office administrative assistant!
Start by assessing your employees' strengths and interests and realigning their responsibilities accordingly. Think outside the box to unlock your managers' full potential and keep your best talent. Gain a competitive edge and position your company for long-term success.
Click here to set up a free consultation and let us embark on this transformative journey.