Interview with Cary Treff of Keystone
Keystone has been providing outstanding community association management service in Southern California since 1982 and currently has four offices located in Irvine, Rancho Santa Margarita, Ontario, and Temecula. Keystone is changing the game in HOA management by providing tailored solutions to enhance property values and empowering communities to re-connect. We invest the time and resources to recruit and develop the best community managers in the industry who treat each community like their own and elevate them with intuitive HOA management tools that helps homeowners feel like their HOA has got their back.
J. David Rauch: “What are the main changes that you or your company have made in your business due to Covid?"
Cary Treff: “Keystone’s number one priority is the safety of our team members and the communities we serve. This has become particularly important in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past few years, Keystone has made strategic technology investments to ensure all internal processes can be supported electronically. Phone systems can be redirected and answered from anywhere a team member is located and have easily accessed systems from virtually anywhere to fulfill our service commitments to our clients and their communities. As an essential business, our commitment has remained to ensure essential community service needs have been seamlessly supported.
We believe staying connected is very important in a time when so many people are feeling isolated. In order to enhance connection, all of Keystone’s corporate employees have mobile devices that they can use to perform their daily tasks. Our IS Team has worked tirelessly to introduce new software and communication channels to facilitate necessary tasks and allow many members of our team to work remotely and effectively. Our communication efforts have consistently provided proactive email updates, client webinars, and a COIVD-19 resource center atkppm.com. In addition, we have continued to invest in our current tools such as our Board and Member Portal which provides real-time information to our Boards of Directors and their members allowing them to stay connected with up-to-the-minute community information. Committee and Board Meetings have been primarily attended via teleconference to limit exposure. Additionally, we have implemented innovative, virtual election procedures for communities to aid in their continued evolution.
Keystone has been proactively communicating with our Board Members to offer advice on safeguarding the communities that we serve and keeping them abreast of new legislation that may impact their governance and account receivable procedures during the COVID-19outbreak. We know how important it is to give them the best professional advice to keep their community safe and allow for the enjoyment of the common area amenities.
We are working hard to keep our team members as safe as possible while providing service to our communities. Over the past several years, we have made strategic investments to allow our team to work remotely when possible and allow our clients to connect virtually. When COVID-19 stay-at-home orders it, we made additional investments to equip our team with mobile capabilities. Our offices continued to work regular hours and assist our clients via phone. In addition, we implemented a curb-side pick-up service for homeowners to receive key fobs and transponders. We increased sanitization efforts and developed an operating protocol based on CDC guidelines to keep everyone healthy. We have taken extraordinary measures to implement social distancing, PPE, increased cleaning protocols, and appointed a Wellness Ambassador to monitor the health of our team members to ensure Keystone remains fully operational.”
J. David Rauch: “Do you have any advice for vendors on how to make the community managers job easier in this Covid time?”
Cary Treff: “We view our relationships with our vendors as partnerships to serve the best interests of our mutual clients. In order to maintain a strong partnership, communication is critical, especially during a time when people have been more isolated. So, if there is anything a vendor can do to help, we think proactive communication and collaboration is essential. This is especially important after a site walk or after completing work in the community. Providing a picture along with an email about work completed or emerging issues can go a long way in closing the loop from a manager’s perspective.“
J. David Rauch: “Prior to Covid there was quite a bit of purchasing of management companies by bigger companies(roll-ups). Do you see this as a strategy that you are going to pursue? Do you see it as a major part of the HOA industry future?”
Cary Treff: “There are several exciting trends going on that we think will drive higher levels or service for our clients and help redefine and disrupt our industry. Ultimately, we think that defining an amazing customer experience that is supported by an amazing employee experience and technology will revolutionize our industry. This will fuel continued M&A in our industry. It could not be a more exciting time and we are happy to be a part it.“
J. David Rauch: "Do you foresee that our industry is headed for any major changes in the future?"
Cary Treff: “The vision of Keystone is intent on disrupting the community management industry. We believe that HOA’s and HOA Management companies are seen negatively as nameless, faceless enforcement bodies, focused more on process and procedure than on people. Our team is driven to improve people’s lives by transforming the industry by combining great people with great technology to represent HOA’s in a modern, user-friendly way. Our team is driving Keystone to deliver an end-to-end customer experience that makes customers feel proud to live in their HOA. Keystone has set its sights on nothing less than becoming the best-in-class model by which all other property management companies are judged. Our new progressive service model is designed to change people’s perceptions of their HOA. We believe that with hard work and dedication, Keystone will have the opportunity to build and maintain respectful and positive relationships with our customers, implement intuitive community management tools and re-connect communities. Thus, setting the standard for exceptional service in the homeowner’s association industry.”
J. David Rauch: “Has Covid permanently changed any of the ways that Keystone is doing business?”
Cary Treff: “Although Keystone’s commitment to investing in industry-leading tech, rigorously training our team members, and implementing intuitive community management tools that effortlessly fit into resident’s rapid-paced lives, have all been the cornerstones of our business model, the sudden onset of the pandemic certainly put these efforts to a test. The challenges that Covid-19presented, doubled our efforts in providing effective and reliable technology that equips our team members to solve problems for the communities that we serve, rather than creating them. We will continue to innovate new ways to stay connected in an effort to exceed expectations and treat each community as our own.”
J. David Rauch: “Are there any issues that we have not mentioned that you’d like to discuss?”
Cary Treff: “I just want to thank you for the opportunity to give me this forum. We believe that we all have an amazing opportunity ahead of us and we are thrilled to have an opportunity to communicate our vision.”