A substantial number of respondents added, “We can’t/board doesn’t think we can afford an AMS,” and a handful said “What’s an AMS?” That’s a lot of AEs who either don’t have an AMS, don’t know what one is, or are making do with a less-than-ideal option.
So I took on an experiment: I set out to run our association for two weeks without using our AMS. That way, I could better explain the benefits and help AEs explain the benefits to their leadership.
What was it like? Pure hell. I nearly quit, then remembered that I had done this to myself. I could go into excruciating detail about how challenging it was, but I’d rather focus on what our members didn’t get from our association due to my lack of resources and time.
Here’s just some of what they missed:
- A real person to answer the phones
- Prompt return of emails, text messages, and voicemails
- Prompt fulfillment of requests
- On-time monthly billings
- Complete and prompt committee meeting agendas and minutes
- Quick follow-up on action items
- Timely monthly reconciliations
Simply put, this board functions best with an AMS. Everything I tried to do not only took longer, but some tasks got so messy that members started asking questions. That’s when I realized that having an AMS is one of the best member benefits any association can offer.
I’m at my best when I can tackle projects in an organized fashion, everything I need is at my fingertips, my databases sync automatically, billing is automated, and I’m confident that every member is getting the information they need (even if they say, “I didn’t get that”).
The late Harley E. Rouda Sr., a REALTOR® from Ohio who served as president of the National Association of REALTORS® in 1991, once said, “If real estate is your career, then politics is your business.” I would add that if association management is your business, an AMS is the digital Swiss Army knife that helps you get things done.