For those of us of a certain age we sometimes view the future through the lens of the Jetsons. The future, we were promised, would be filled with gee-whiz gadgetry that would cook dinner, style our hair, or whisk us across town with a push of a button. While hover cars and tele-porters are still a distant dream, technology is changing our daily lives in ways that provide convenience, security and efficiency. While the community association industry is not known for being on the cutting edge of technology, new services and systems are quickly changing the community management industry.
The promise of hover cars and the push-button home of the future may still be a ways off, but we have already seen how technology is changing our daily lives. Reading the morning news on our tablets, paying bills with our cell phones, and even video chatting are all now fairly commonplace. In fact, many consumers today can survive just fine without ever setting foot in a bricks and mortar store. Stop for a moment and think about the changes around us. Record stores are now an oddity, iTunes and other online music stores account for a vast majority of music sold. Travel agents are few and far between as each of us is empowered to shop online for flights to anywhere in the world. Finally, online retailers like Amazon can deliver just about anything to our doorstep with a click of a mouse. As a result consumers are embracing the convenience that such services provide and the community management industry is following suit.
Think about the benefits such changes will provide to your board and your residents. Having instant access to association financial records, pulling up association invoices from your tablet or computer and authorizing payment or snapping a photo of a rule violation and instantly transmitting it to the unit owner all these changes have either arrived or are on the horizon. The result will be a transformation of how boards, management companies and residents interact with all three groups enjoying increased transparency, convenience and efficiency. In fact, Associa is once again leading the industry by making substantial investments in moving our services into the future.
Of course no transformation is ever easy, especially when we are used to cutting checks, handling physical invoices or dealing directly with people not processes. But moving through the change process leads us to a new normal with benefits we can anticipate and benefits that will surprise. In the end such changes provide our communities with more opportunities to focus on what really matters, serving the needs of the residents and allows Associa to provide outstanding lifestyle and management services to communities worldwide.
Andrew S. Fortin
Senior Vice President, External Affairs