Why Staying Up to Date on Industry Trends is Vital for Community Management Professionals

Hands typing on a laptop keyboard with housing icons.

As market expectations evolve, community managers must learn how to use the latest tools and provide expected services to stay ahead of the competition

Key takeaways:

  • To stay competitive, community managers need to keep up with industry trends
  • Continuously evolving as a professional is necessary for success
  • This evolution can involve integrating the latest technology
  • The result is better outcomes for your communities and residents

There’s significant competition in the community management industry, as you’ll continually battle other professionals looking to expand their client rosters. If your residents see a neighboring community using technology in new and exciting ways or receiving services you don’t currently offer, they could move on once their leases expire. Or the homeowners’ association might decide to replace you with a community manager who’s keeping up-to-date. So it’s crucial to stay current on industry trends if you want to keep your clients happy and grow your business

Fortunately, the tools and technologies gaining influence in the industry will also make your job easier. Here’s everything you need to know.

State of the industry

Like many industries, community management is going through a challenging time. Attracting and retaining talent is difficult in the current employment landscape, and management firms are struggling to retain employees. 

And the employees these firms do manage to keep are often overloaded with work and underqualified to complete it. This trend is leading to growing unhappiness among residents because they aren’t receiving the level of service they expect.

Luckily, today’s technology can help fill many of these gaps. Modern community management software can automate many tasks that previously required employees to complete, easing property managers’ workloads and maximizing outcomes for residents. 

Overall, the market is demanding more services, faster communication, and lower prices. While meeting all of these expectations is difficult, the available tools and technology can help put you on the right track.

What you can do to evolve

As a community manager, it’s vital that you take personal responsibility for meeting resident expectations. Achieving this goal could require personal and professional development as you evolve to meet client needs. 

The first thing you might consider is investing in continuing education. This step might involve returning to school to learn new technology or management techniques – especially if learning on the fly isn’t cutting it anymore. Community management training is available to help you better understand the industry’s principles and practices and provide better service to your clients.

You’ll also want to begin developing a professional network. This step could involve having a list of trusted vendors you can contact at any time to assist with jobs around the community because your residents don’t want to wait for repairs or maintenance. 

How technology can help

A common theme you’ll notice as you develop your skills and identify industry trends is the use of technology. Adopting technology into your day-to-day operations is vital because it saves you time and gives residents what they want. 

The right community management software can streamline your interactions with residents by providing a portal for rent collection, emailing overdue notices, and posting rules and regulations in an easily accessible place. Such systems can also advertise vacancies on online platforms and organize and store all of your important documents in one place. In short, they can make your life – and the lives of your residents – much easier. 

Vendor management is another task technology can make more straightforward. A vendor management platform like VendorSmart uses technology to seek out service providers in your area and vet them for compliance, saving you significant time throughout the entire process. 

Integrating technology into your communities might not be easy, depending on the willingness of residents to adapt. As a result, you might have to give existing residents multiple options for sending rent payments and communicating with you. But as more and more residents become comfortable using the technology, your job will become that much easier.

Providing value

The goal of staying up to date on industry trends is to promote adaptability and maximize value for your communities. You can offer this value in multiple ways.

For starters, community maintenance and upkeep will improve as you develop relationships with quality local vendors. Using a vendor management platform provides better outcomes in this scenario because it ensures you’re hiring vetted workers with all the necessary compliance documents. 

You’ll also save residents money because you won’t need as much staff to handle day-to-day operations. The technology you’re employing will assist with many of these jobs, so you won’t have to concern yourself with tedious work and can focus on providing the services your residents want. For example, using a community management platform to collect rent allows you to focus on capital improvement projects to maximize property values in your communities.

Using a vendor management platform also delivers bids from multiple providers, so you’ll have information on cost as you select the best one for your communities. So you can save money without sacrificing quality. 

As your use of technology evolves, retaining tenants will likely become easier because they’ll be happier with the job you’re doing. Happy residents are likely to stay long-term, and you can keep them happy by giving them what they want.

Begin your evolution

You don’t have to become a technological wizard all at once, but using technology to improve the services you provide is vital for future business growth. Start small by using an intuitive platform to find vendors or collect rent and continue using new tools as you get more comfortable with how they work. Continually pushing yourself will also help push your community management firm to new heights as you meet and exceed resident expectations.

VendorSmart can help you provide better service to your residents with our vendor management platform. This technology will help you identify local service providers to work in your communities, and our team will vet them for compliance behind the scenes before they can submit a bid for your project. 

Contact VendorSmart today to find out how we can make your life easier by doing the heavy lifting of vendor management for you.