Social Media, E-mail & Website – Putting it all together

March 2019

When living in a modern condo building with neighbours, some who have been there for generations and others new to the community, technology and social media offer ways to run your community smoothly and efficiently.

Most everyone uses some form of social media to communicate – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat – in addition to e-mail and text messaging.  Some are used to share articles or pictures, others to communicate information.  Then there are websites, listservs and mobile apps.  Regardless of how it is used, electronic communications are a part of our daily lives.

Condo buildings tend not to allow printed notices to be posted.  There are many reasons for this.  Primarily, a large number of notices are necessary to inform building residents of everything they should be informed about.  Then there are personal notices posted by building residents and committees.  This quickly becomes unmanageable and ineffective.  Electronic communication systems offer more effective ways to reach out to building residents.

The rise of social media and other electronic communication has been a challenge to condo corporations.  Communicating with owners and residents demands use of these tools.  Yet it can be confusing to know which tools are most suitable for communicating within a condo community.

Effectively navigating these varied electronic communication options allows condo corporations to provide residents and owners with information they require when desired.  Information regularly requested can be posted for access at any time.  This may include board meeting minutes and financial information.  Urgent or time sensitive information, including meeting dates and deadlines, can be communicated to all residents and owners.

Some fear embracing electronic communication means eliminating traditional print notices.  There will always be value in maintaining  print notices where people congregate including elevators, mail room and recreational spaces.

Having all information stored in one location and communicated though a single technology benefits everyone.  General information can be made accessible to all while more sensitive information may only be accessible to the board or management.

Reliable and fast internet access is crucial.  Some condo communities ensure everyone has this access by offering it as a service paid by condo fees at a negotiated discount.  Some communities will  require each unit to maintain their own internet access at whatever level is desired.  Still others make it available to all throughout common areas via Wi-Fi thus ensuring everyone has access to all information provided to them by the corporation via e-mail, social media, website and other methods they choose to utilize.

Condo management software provides a way to manage electronic communication preferences for the hundreds of people that make up condo communities.  It facilitates two-way communication so information can be provided to and received by the community, and to manage access to amenities.  Complaints or concerns can be submitted by residents and responded to by management.

Condo management software serves as a central contact centre where owners, residents, management and the board communicate and share information with each other.

One of the risks of electronic communication is potential loss of human interaction.  It will always be important for people to meet, speak and build relationships.  In fact, this remains the most effective way of getting things done.  What electronic communication offers is a way to share information when human interaction is unnecessary.  Used effectively, electronic communication should free up more time for people to meet and work together on more important matters that require personal interaction.