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Condo Board Tools you can Actually Use
Informative, timely, and effective communication is the bedrock of any successful condominium association. Those who fail to maintain this productive communication between the board, members, and their management team do so at their own peril.
Timely, relevant, and efficient communication serves to foster a sense of involvement for the members and a connection to the board and their decisions. That means confidence. Projects are organized and executed smoothly, team members participate effectively, and members truly feel heard and understood.
But even though all of this is vitally important to the board’s success, many organizations are challenged by how to accomplish it. Missed meetings, scheduling issues, and poor information flow is at the heart of these shortcomings.
Here you will find our top five solutions for making your communications work for you, not against you. Each has its own benefits and depending on how technologically savvy your members are will determine which works for you.
Condo Papers: Condominium Documents Library
This is a simply elegant way to find all of your condo specific documents in one centralized location. Working closely with several condominium management companies, they have curated an extensive library of documents which include By-laws, AGM and Board Minutes, Financial Statements, Certificates, and much more. All are available for download or paper delivery.
This service provides field-tested documents, on-demand, without the costly expense of having to develop them from the ground up.
You can learn more about them here: http://magnumyork.com/documents-and-certificates/
Top Condo Resource for Communication
MailChimp, fun to Say. Easy to Use.
Email is perhaps the most simple and elegant solution for disseminating information to large numbers of people effectively. The problem comes when you consider how you are going to manage your contact information, when messages are released, and how they actually look.
This is where services like MailChimp shine. A cloud-based service, there is no software to purchase or equipment to maintain. An extremely straightforward and intuitive user interface allows most anyone to be up and running with an attractive email campaign within an hour. Simply import your current contact database to the MailChimp website, put together an email template with their easy to use tools, and schedule your mailing.
Simple and easy to use, MailChimp will streamline all of your email campaign functions with minimal effort. Find them at www.mailchimp.com
Top Condo Resource for Collaboration
I remember clearly the first time that I was told about Google docs and their corresponding calendar app. How I could put all of my important documents, spreadsheets, manuals, etc. on the internet for easy viewing, wherever I was. I wasn’t exactly comfortable at first. In fact, the whole idea felt like changing clothes with the drapes open. Too much exposure.
Brought to us by the search engine giant, they are means by which you can create, edit, and store your documents and shared calendars on the cloud. For free.
Yep, that means spreadsheets, presentations, word documents; everything.
What does this mean for the typical condo board and association? Well, if you are collaborating on a document like a new flyer, meeting agenda, or policies manual, it means a lot. With this solution, the document being worked on can be accessed from any internet-enabled computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Need one of your managers to approve changes in your budget but they are currently out of state? Not a problem. Simply give that person access rights to the document and they are off and running. Trying to put the final touches on the next meeting agenda and need some feedback on what to include? Google Docs gives all of the people you work with, access from anywhere, anytime.
Google Calendar: If you are simply wanting to get everyone on the same page in regards to scheduling and would like the ability to see one another’s availability, Google Calendar is a perfect solution for you. Like most other Google apps, Calendar is a free to use application that is cloud-based and easy to learn.
The clean user interface and the ability to invite multiple attendees and track their RSVPs make this a favourite among many organizations.
It is definitely worth a look. Google will help managers and Condo Boards alike.
The best part of all? It is completely free of charge.
Zoho Projects: Condo Board Organization Bliss
When people think of project management, their thoughts automatically turn to some elaborate product development or construction project. Although these certainly qualify, projects take many forms and in just as many shapes and sizes.
Anytime that several tasks must be accomplished by several people, over a period of time (maybe even on schedule), project management software can be a tremendous tool.
There are many platforms to choose from but my personal favourite is Zoho Projects. This online, cloud-based software is free to use (single projects) and can be scaled up to meet the demands of any project, big or small.
By utilizing their application, you can easily organize project participants, communicate via project forums, exchange documents, track schedules, and deadlines, and monitor goals and milestones.
All in one solution, accessible anywhere you have internet access. You can find them at www.projects.zoho.com
Top Condo Resource for Finding Online Talent
You know that newsletter that is a week late every month? Chances are it’s because getting the person that volunteered for the job is busy too. Tasks like graphic design, website updates and copywriting take time. The time that you and your board may not have a lot of.
Enter the world of freelancers and Upwork. Upwork is a leading freelance job board where clients can post projects and find highly skilled freelancers to work on them. You can find your graphic designer and copywriter there, as well as accounting professionals, software developers, website designers, and even virtual administrative assistants.
The best part of Upwork is that it is free of charge to the client (the freelancer pays the commission fees). When the project is done, so is your contract.
Find out more about this top condo resources at www.upwork.com
The Final Must have Condominium Resource – Magnum York
While no online solution is going to serve every organization in every way, the above five examples are free to test drive and use and offer the convenience and flexibility of use that your board can appreciate.