The community management industry is growing according to the CAI Research Foundation’s most recent statistical review. In the last 20 years alone, the United States community association landscape has grown from 222,500 communities comprising 45.2 million residents to approximately 355,000 communities comprising more than 74 million residents. Further, the percentage of existing and new communities that are professionally managed continues to increase as well, with nearly 70% of communities employing a professional property manager or management company in 2020. This trend, coupled with employee turnover, has led to a growing challenge for management companies to recruit, train, and retain talented community managers and operational professionals to fill these roles.
“The industry is growing, turnover is happening, talent is hard to come by, and our belief is that technology can help at all those points and make it easier to acquire and retain talent, and make those interactions between people more seamless,” said Vantaca CEO Ben Currin.
For a look into the future of the community management industry, Currin pointed to The Foundation for Community for Community Association Research’s published report, Attracting Talent to the Community Association Industry as an insightful report for industry leaders.
A key component of attracting and retaining top talent highlighted in this CAI Foundation report is updated technology and systems. At Vantaca, this has been a core belief since the day the company was founded. Specifically, that a comprehensive, cloud-based community management system is not only key to the success of community management companies’ operational efficiency, but a vital component of personnel strategy.
“Management companies have to create environments for people to be successful in this next stretch of growth for the industry,” Currin said. “Those companies that are investing in the future and evolving are doing very well and are positioned well because this is a great opportunity for the industry with increasing growth.”
As community management companies recruit and hire talented community managers, accounting professionals, and other roles from outside industries, these individuals not only expect, but demand technology that can allow them to work faster, smarter, and happier.
“You want the technology to complement their job process, not be an obstacle,” Currin said. “The business of managing communities, whether from an accounting perspective or a community manager perspective, is a challenging but rewarding opportunity and technology should be a tool to aid in that process.”
The talent management challenge facing community management companies certainly goes beyond just software. Another prime example is the value of quality onboarding and training of new hires to increase engagement and decrease time to on-the-job proficiency. Vantaca has learned these lessons during its own growth journey, striving to constantly improve the new hire onboarding experience. This journey and the lessons learned along the way led Vantaca to create a learning management system for its clients – Vantaca University.
“Vantaca University and our approach to training can really help supplement rapid onboarding of new staff to your business and your technology stack,” Currin said. “In addition to that, the very nature of Vantaca’s configurable workflow engine is that you define the way your business works and Vantaca helps in any action, whether that is a work order, an invoice, a collections process, or any other process.”
Currin believes that innovative and intuitive software solutions like Vantaca will continue to cut down on the amount of time community managers spend on routine tasks and give them more time to focus on the interpersonal features of their job.
“At the end of the day this is a people business,” he said. “Management companies are in the business of interacting with people and doing so with great community managers and accounting staff, so through technology and training we want to reduce the friction between all those personal interactions while allowing them to focus their time on proactive work like relationship building and value delivery.”
These observations only scratch the surface of both the challenge and opportunity for community management leaders to continue to build and develop world-class teams. Leaders positioning their teams for long-term success are keenly aware of these trends and are investing in their team by developing recruiting strategies, training plans, and putting the right technology and systems in place for tomorrow, today.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Innovia Co-op and it’s valued partners like Vantaca can help accelerate your community management company’s growth, set up a discovery call today!