cloud-based software

Cloud-based software on the rise in condos

Five ways tech-savvy communities are using solutions to streamline operations
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
By Dale Shackell

In recent years there has been significant growth in the adoption of cloud-based software among tech-savvy condo communities and property managers. These communities and property managers have used such software to streamline operations and help cultivate a more connected environment. Here are five popular ways they are embracing technology to achieve this:

1. Communication

With residents
In the past, communication between property management teams and the condo communities they managed was very static and paper based — an outdated method many communities still use today. Many digital options are now available to better communicate and connect instantly with owners. While many condo communities have transitioned to using email, not everyone in the community has email and so new alternatives have emerged.

The use of voice and text is proving to be very popular. Voice messages are a digital translation of text-based announcements, which are sent from a desktop to a recipient’s home phone (this method is exceptionally important in reaching those who may have poor eyesight). Push notifications and text messages can be sent instantaneously to a recipient’s cell phone. This technology has made it easier for property managers to send out mass announcements to their communities via multiple modes simultaneously, reaching a higher percentage of residents and regularly keeping them up to date with relevant information.

With suppliers
Property managers spend a substantial amount of time obtaining quotes for goods and services to maintain their property. Tech-savvy condo communities are now taking advantage of the ability to store and track all purchase orders online. They are able to create a comprehensive online database of preferred suppliers.

Communication with suppliers and all relevant stakeholders can be handled entirely online. Obtaining the appropriate approvals is also just a click away. Bringing this process online streamlines the entire process, making it much easier for property managers to get things done fast.

2. Amenity bookings

Amenities within condo buildings are a huge draw when it comes to attracting buyers and tenants alike. It is up to the condo corporation to make sure amenities are easily accessible and to promote fair use for all residents. Organizing all of this can often cause massive headaches as buildings generally have many different amenities, which all have specific rules and regulations when it comes to booking and usage. This is even more difficult for corporations managing shared amenities across multiple buildings.

As a solution, many tech-savvy condo communities have implemented online amenity booking that reflects current policies and procedures. Residents are empowered to request bookings themselves, freeing up time for property managers, and this also eliminates the potential to double book. Amenities that require payments — for example, a party room deposit — can be paid for online with a credit card, adding convenience for both the resident and the management team.

3. Online proxy voting

Reaching quorum is a difficult task to achieve for many condo buildings that have a high proportion of off-site owners. In order to streamline the entire process and reach quorum on the first try, many tech-savvy condo communities are looking to online proxy voting. Those using this technology are able to send out proxy voting information electronically and recipients can choose whether to vote online via proxy or attend the AGM in person.

The management team can track the voting statistics via an online dashboard and review the exact dates and times votes came in to inform future planning and execution. How many reminder emails were required? Should administrators have given owners more time to vote? How many votes were made by online proxy versus in person?

4. Package tracking and deliveries

With huge growth in online shopping, many condo communities have seen a major increase in packages being delivered to the concierge. Tech-savvy condo communities are using online package tracking in order to streamline and organize their delivery and tracking process to better cope with the increase.

The software is being used to log packages and automatically send notifications and reminders to recipients by email, text message, or voice message. Electronic signatures are captured and stored securely online once a package is picked up, reducing any delivery disputes that may arise.

Digitizing this process frees up time and space for the concierge and the owners and/or residents receive and manage their packages with less hassle.

5. Mobile apps

There is an app for almost everything these days, even for condos. There are various software options on the market, including solutions that offer native smartphone apps that complement the main system.

A mobile app allows property managers to complete tasks on the go; owners and residents can book visitor parking on the fly, open a service request or work order, and upload pictures straight from their smartphone. Having a mobile app to complement the desktop version saves time and helps keep condo owners connected wherever they may be. These are just a few examples of what can be achieved through a supporting mobile app.

Tech-savvy condo communities are leveraging a variety of features by adopting cloud-based software to help streamline many previously manual tasks. Technology will continue to grow and evolve creating new opportunities for tech-savvy condo communities to become even more connected and efficient in their operations, leaving only one question — what will be next?

Dale Shackell is Condo Control Central’s content strategist.

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