Last modified on March 15th, 2022
By Brittany Benz
Are your boards truly satisfied with your management company? A lot of association management businesses have been asking the same question, as board member expectations have changed over the years. As an association management professional, satisfaction should matter to you, because when your boards are happy and find value in your management company, they are more likely to stay with your business over the long-term and also recommend your services to other communities. However, when the opposite is the case, it can be detrimental to your company. Ultimately, it’s the boards’ responsibility to find and partner with a management company that best serves the needs of their community — so if you’re not meeting those needs or falling short, they may end up switching to a management company who can. But how can you meet and exceed your boards’ expectations if you are unsure of what they want?
To find out exactly what board members look for in a management company, insights as to why they may switch management companies, and the kinds of technologies they use or expect, AppFolio partnered with HOA-USA to survey current and former HOA and COA board members. Below we detail some of the key takeaways from the survey and a link to the full report, which includes tips for how to leverage the data to better serve your communities and retain your associations.
5 Key Board Member Survey Takeaways
1.) Board members expect their management company to handle financial management
Community associations have complex needs when it comes to financials, so it’s not surprising it’s one of the top responsibilities boards expect their management company to oversee. In fact, when survey respondents were asked to rank the top three responsibilities they thought were the most important for their management company to handle, 75% ranked funds management and financial reporting in the top three, with 29% ranking it as number one. Following funds management, 54% expect their management company to provide information to keep homeowners informed, and 51% expect them to collect dues and assessments.
2.) The majority of boards are not satisfied with their management companies
Board members work closely with their management company, and their satisfaction is ultimately a reflection of the service they receive. However, many boards are not satisfied with their management company. This was evidenced in the survey, as only 23% of board members said they would recommend their current or most recent management company — indicating there’s room for association management businesses to improve.
3.) Board members are switching management companies because of unresponsiveness
In what ways are management companies falling short when it comes to meeting their boards’ needs and keeping them satisfied? According to the survey, the majority of board members (66%) cited unresponsiveness/long response times as the reason why they switched management companies in the past or were considering doing so now. This was followed by failure to quickly and accurately follow through on projects (65%), and overall poor customer service (61%).
In the full report we reveal some of the reasons why association management businesses are struggling to respond in a timely manner.
4.) Boards value technology above all else
Today’s boards want to be able to carry out tasks and stay connected from anywhere, on any device. In fact, more than half (57%) of respondents said it was extremely important or very important for an association management company to use modern technology and self-service tools. As for the kinds of tools, respondents ranked online portals, email, and online payments as the top three most valuable digital tools.
5.) A lack of access to online tools influences boards’ decision when choosing a new management company
Technology is so valuable to boards, that they use it as a part of the criteria in choosing which management company they should partner with. According to the survey, 72% of respondents said a lack of access to online/digital tools would influence their decision when choosing a new management company.
To find out the rest of the results and to learn how you can leverage the data to pivot your customer service strategy and retain your associations, download the full report.
Comments by Brittany Benz