Adapting and Evolving: How to Leverage Tech Tools to Better Serve Our Communities

Hands typing on a laptop keyboard with images of houses superimposed of them.

Community managers can harness the power of technology to automate and streamline many of their day-to-day tasks.

Key takeaways:

  • Community managers are incredibly busy people
  • Technology can lighten some of your workload
  • These tools can automate tasks and streamline communication
  • Community management software is an option worth considering

New technology can be overwhelming and frightening at first, but it quickly becomes second nature once you figure it out. You don’t necessarily have to be tech-savvy to use community management software and other tools, either, because they’re relatively simple and intuitive. 

But why should you bother? Because introducing and using new tools provides advantages to your community management team and residents – and it helps keep you a step ahead of the competition. Here’s everything you need to know about leveraging tech tools to better serve your communities.

On-site security

From surveillance cameras to motion detectors to access control systems, technology can improve security within the communities you manage in various ways. You might also consider upgrading the community’s lighting to eliminate dark and dangerous locations or erecting fences to keep the property more secure.

Some communities take security further by leveraging technology through monitored video surveillance. These systems often use AI to identify threats and assign an off-site security guard to intervene if the system detects a hazard or trespasser. This off-site officer can contact local authorities, sound alarms, and take numerous other steps to intervene without physically setting foot on the property. 

There are some cost savings when using technology to improve your security because you can often avoid hiring full-time staff to handle the job. However, you’ll need a vendor to install your system and perform periodic maintenance to ensure its functionality.

Online communication

The most straightforward way technology can make the life of a community manager easier is by streamlining communication. You no longer have to phone every resident or deliver letters informing them of policies or updates because technology can do the job for you.

For instance, creating an email list lets you instantly deliver news to every resident at once, minimizing the work you put into the task. You can also email or text specific tenants when you need to speak with them rather than arranging an in-person meeting or phone call. 

Communication goes further than emails and texting, too, as you can also send messages through social media, online platforms, and community forums, all of which will save you time. This technology also has a direct financial impact because you’ll spend much less on paper and postage.

Digital documents

Another way to streamline interactions with residents is by delivering digital documents. In the past, you’d have to print out rental agreements and other forms before getting each resident to sign in person, taking a considerable amount of time. 

Today, you can send digital documents instantly via email or your community management system, and new tenants can sign them in seconds using their smartphones. Sending and receiving records in this manner saves money because you won’t have to print the paperwork out, and it frees your time up for other tasks because you won’t have to meet with tenants in person.

Digital documents also take up less space, are easier to access, and are far more secure than paper versions. You won’t have to worry about losing or damaging paperwork because you’ll have access to digital copies whenever you need them.

Cloud-based document storage

You could store digital documents on your laptop, but cloud-based document storage offers a better solution because it allows you to access all the community’s documentation from anywhere in the world. You can read tenancy agreements, bylaws, rules and regulations, vendor contracts, and other essential paperwork by logging in from any device, which is the essence of convenience. 

You can also make specific paperwork available to residents through a cloud-based system. So if residents struggle to remember some community rules, for instance, sharing access to these documents means they can check them with their phones, potentially minimizing problems. 

Community management software

Community management software can automate many of your day-to-day tasks and bring all of the benefits of technology together under one umbrella. It can screen tenants, create listings, develop and send digital contracts, and store documents through a cloud-based service. Community management software can also create and send invoices and receive online payments, keeping track of your tenants and providing reminders when rent is late. 

Using this software allows for easy communication with your employees, too. When you need to delegate tasks to your staff, you can easily send this information through the software, guaranteeing that the necessary people understand what you want them to do. 

Community management software can even keep track of your maintenance team and other vendors and let them know when you need them. Some technology even provides a method of vetting your vendors before hiring them, so you can be sure that everyone working within your communities is reputable. 

Where to find vendor management software

A vendor management system can make your life easier by providing the tools you need to vet and manage your external teams as you find ways to serve your communities better. VendorSmart is a comprehensive web-based marketplace that connects community management professionals and reputable vendors. We thoroughly vet every vendor in our system, saving you time and effort while minimizing your risk during the hiring process. Contact VendorSmart today, and let us do the heavy lifting for you.