November 1st, 2018
Any well-run organization of any size operates within constraints and opportunities, generally derived from a budget. Regardless of the type of organization, each uses technology at some level. The graphic below charts many business sectors and the degree of digital usage in their operations.1
Aside from listing services, much of the real estate business has traditionally been offline, taking place in person and/or on site. Real estate properties themselves are tangible, requiring in-person visits, service, and maintenance. And connections and transactions are very often personally guided by real estate professionals. Because of this, technology has not always been the first means to completing objectives.
But this is changing. More and more, real estate service industries are embracing technology, using it to create efficiencies for themselves and the end users — homeowners. One of these sectors is the Home Owner Association (HOA) space. HOAs are made up of owners of common interest properties, like condominiums, townhomes, and single-family homes As in the traditional real estate model, the real estate professionals operating in the HOA sector of real estate have typically been more hands-on, more labor-intensive, driven focus in servicing their HOA clients.
This approach met the HOA’s service needs, but often not the HOA management company’s goals. HOA management companies, many of whom operate within fixed revenue business models, are often under pressure to meet financial return goals amidst the increasing costs of hiring human capital. Fixed or limited budgets has meant that many HOAs are not able to retain quality HOA managers, who may find better economic opportunities outside the HOA sector. High turnover can lead to many negative outcomes: lack of continuity, negative client/service provider relationships, inefficiencies, and a general perception by HOA members of a bad return on their investment.
How are successful HOAs dealing with these challenges? Many of them are leaning on technology solutions to relieve financial pressure and to streamline day-to-day processes. The most successful technologies developed for the HOA sector tend to be derived from real estate to service a need. Their experiences, knowledge, and expertise can be utilized to develop a technology platform that is widely accepted and user-friendly to HOA members.
JSP Toolbox is an example of such a platform. Inspired by an existing real estate operation and developed by industry experts, JSP Toolbox is a solution available to HOAs, whether they are professionally managed or self-managed. JSP Toolbox empowers HOAs by assisting them in communication, organization, and resources through an online marketplace in a cost-effective format. For information, visit www.jsptoolbox.com.
As the economy continues to strengthen and employment becomes more competitive, look to technology platforms to help offset in part – or whole — areas of costs while improving HOA operations.
- Courtesy Harvard Business Review Which Industries Are the Most Digital (and Why)? Prashant Gandhi, Somesh Khanna, Sree Ramaswamy.
About Jason Parr
Co-founder of JSP Toolbox, an online marketplace focused on serving HOAs. He has over 20 years’ experience in HOA management, real estate, and investing throughout the USA, while authoring books on real estate, teaching other real estate professionals, and mentoring young professionals.
Posted In: Technology