If something is coming for Free, why not use it?
If you get a plastic pen for free in a conference, you may take it and use it. If it doesn’t work you can just throw it away.
There is not much time/effort needed to start using it. There is not much time/effort needed to get out of it and onto another pen.
But an ERP or Security Management System is not a Use-&-Throw Plastic Pen.
Just like a respected Corporate never uses all-free ERP or Security Management system, a respected Real Estate Community does not use all-free ERP or Security Management System.
If you are being forced by few Residents to use Free systems to manage your Community please ensure they have answers to the below :
- Why is the Product being given completely free?
Are there deficiencies in the product or support, that it is unable to compete with paid products in the same market? Is the Product not the main business of the Company?
- How is the Company making Money, if Customer is not paying them?
Are there hidden costs to you? Will they force you later to pay once you have no choice as your data as well as your credibility is at stake? (79% of MCs who choose a wrong/free solution do not change it during their tenure, due to fear of loss of credibility)
- If the Company is surviving mainly on Investor money, how long will they last?
Remember, you don’t want to change your ERP or Security Management System every year. It is a tremendous drain on the Time, Effort and Reputation of the whole Community. Also, by now there is enough history to show Free Association Management products don’t work in the long term.
There have been companies (e.g., Commonfloor) in the past who gave Product free, tried to sustain on marketing revenue or real estate classified revenue, Investor funds, but still shut down. Their Users first struggled to make it work without much support. They took the struggle for granted as Product came for free. Now as the Product/Support is shut down, the Customers are struggling to migrate a large amount of data and set up another system.
- You say, there are companies like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram etc. that are all Free. Then why not use this free Product as well?All these companies are Social Media. They do not provide Accounting Product or Security Management Product.
Some Reputed Paid Products in the Association Management Software Market (like ADDA) also have a social network component, that component ALONE is given free of cost in their Essential Package.