With rising inflation and economic uncertainty, there’s heavy pressure on homeowner associations (HOAs) and community association management (CAMs) teams to tighten the reins and better manage their cash flow. As if that’s not enough to handle, a shift to remote work, an aging workforce and a war on talent are making it increasingly difficult for firms to hire top-quality staff in order to stay competitive.
With too few people to do the work, current employees are doing the work of multiple people, and they’re feeling the burn. According to Pew Research, it has real consequences:
Firms can’t afford to lose their people and they’re ramping up retention efforts to ease their burden. For many, this means finding ways to improve the quality and efficiency of their work processes to help their teams keep up with rising demands.
Let’s take a closer look at the staffing problems facing HOAs and CAMs, and the technology solutions many firms are using within their AP departments to help avoid burnout.
Staffing challenges in the HOA/CAM industry are no joke
Today, just over half (53%) of all homeowners live in HOA communities and it’s estimated that 4,000 new HOAs are added each year. Growth is a good thing, but it requires talented people who continue to be hard to come by.
Why the pinch? HOAs and CAMs are part of an older industry with many staff members facing retirement age. Firms need to find new people to fill their shoes and also hire additional help to grow their portfolios.
There are a lot of opportunities ripe for the taking as housing continues to outpace projections and more and more people are drawn to HOA communities.
But, there’s a historically high number of jobs to fill in property management. Government data projects that there will be more than 21,000 job openings per year over the next decade as the industry continues its upward trajectory to meet rising demands.
Short-staffed workplaces and burgeoning workloads are taking a toll on HOAs and CAMs
According to the 2022 CINC Systems State of the Industry report, overload and burnout are frequent topics of discussion in the community association industry.
Staff burnout ranked as the sixth-biggest issue facing the industry.
When asked to name the top thing their firm needs to improve, nearly 20% said staffing.
There’s a lot of work to be done. On average, according to the CINC report, a property management firm is responsible for 891 units. Thirty-eight percent of executives said they actively manage one or more associations.
Staffing solutions to aid hiring and retention in the HOA and CAM industry
What’s the secret to avoiding burnout and retaining talent in these tough times? HOAs and CAMs need to create efficiencies to reduce staff workloads.
To better understand the staffing challenges currently facing financial departments, AvidXchange and the Institute of Finance & Management (IOFM) conducted an “AP Professional Career Satisfaction Survey.”
We found that 23% of AP professionals surveyed said they work up to an additional two or more hours each day. Additionally, 35% of respondents believe that one-quarter to one-half of their workday is spent on manual/repetitive tasks. Manually entering data, manually routing invoices and payments for approval and resolving exceptions were the top manual tasks respondents want to eliminate from their workday.
Investing in automation for the AP staff of HOAs and CAMs can help reduce burnout and the burden of manual, repetitive tasks to free them up for more strategic initiatives. Keying invoice data is time-consuming, and one error can lead to hours wasted trying to fix an erroneous payment.
To learn more about how AP automation can help your company with staffing challenges, download our white paper “How to Attract, Retain and Grow Top AP Talent Amid Economic Uncertainty.”