Communications has become very confusing in condo corporations.
Communications used to refer to printed notices on a bulletin board, more important communications printed and distributed door to door and possibly a periodic newsletter.
Today there are cell phones, e-mail, websites, chat forums and social media just to name a few. No sooner is one form mastered than new methods become popular.
This presents challenges to condo corporations that desire and need to communicate with condo residents and owners. Ignoring these newer communication methods, which have been embraced by a majority, is tantamount to intentionally choosing not to effectively communicate with your condo community. Equally worrisome is that use of the wrong communication is also a failure to communicate what is desired or required.
Clear and transparent communication is now easier, faster and more economical. Proactive condo corporations have embraced those communication technologies used by condo residents.
E-mail is a way to communicate directly with select individuals. As with print communications, e-mail provides a “paper trail” or historical record.
E-mail provides a way to communicate with condo residents, or select groups of residents, without the cost or printing, disseminating, organizing and filing paper communications.
E-mail offers the capability of sending a single message to multiple people. Material most suitable for e-mail includes information intended for specific individuals and communications that have an expiration date. Documents, or attachments, can be included with an e-mail to provide detail. For example, the board may want to inform all residents of an upcoming meeting, event or maintenance issue.
This feature is integrated in most condo management software in a way that makes communications easier to organize, search and categorize.
Websites provide a place to post permanent or semi-permanent information so that it is viewable and accessible to the condo community. As with e-mail, a website allows for easier dissemination of information without the cost of printing and distributing paper.
Typical condo community website postings are items that do not frequently change and which remain useful to owners and residents over an extended period of time. They include the corporation declaration, by-laws and rules. Board meeting minutes, committee meeting notes, financials and newsletters may also be posted.
Condo Management Software
Condo management software is a more elegant way to communicate than either e-mail or an Internet website. It offers a better way to manage both e-mail and website communications.
Condo management software offers a way to more efficiently manage large volumes of e-mail communications while addressing potential security concerns. It provides a way to organize and search these e-mail communications.
Condo management software also provides a way to organize and make available the more permanent information important to the condo community that is not in the form of e-mail. This tends to be information that condo residents may require or refer to on a regular or periodic basis.
There will always be those who lack the technology to utilize electronic communications, and those who may oppose migration away from print communications. Neither form of opposition offers sufficient reason to avoid use of electronic communications that have been broadly embraced, make more relevant information available to more people in your condo community and reduce costs for the entire condo corporation.