How To Prepare Your Community For The Next Hurricane With Evercondo

Hurricane-Irma

Source: https://www.newyorker.com

In the wake of disasters such as Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, we are reminded of the vast importance of communication and keeping communities informed and connected. When these types of events occur, there is often panic and chaos. Communities are faced with many questions about how to prepare in advance, where to find updated news, and what to do after the storm has passed. Platforms such as Evercondo are essential for staying organized and having necessary information available in one convenient location.

Before a Storm

Before a natural disaster strikes, Condo Associations and HOAs should reach out to members and let them know how they can prepare and what safety precautions to take. They can also share what the Association is doing to keep property and members safe. Instead of relying on members to get information from a variety of outlets, Evercondo can be used to send announcements via email, SMS, voice, or push notifications. Members receive important messages straight from the Association and know exactly what applies to them and what they should be doing.

After a Storm

Once the storm has passed, Evercondo can be a valuable tool in managing cleanup, ensuring that members are accounted for, and quickly accessing necessary documents whether for insurance claims or to partner with service providers. By maintaining updated contact information for all residents, Associations know who is living the community, where they live, and how to get in touch with them.
It is also a wonderful platform that makes it easier for residents to submit requests for repairs or alert the Association about potential problems. All service requests are tracked to ensure that they are not overlooked. On the flip side, the Association can notify members regarding any damage or outages and update them on progress as these problems are corrected. All messages are neatly organized in one location so board members and property managers are all on the same page and know what is happening.

By keeping communities connected, Associations can also notify residents about ways that they can help the community or others in need. There are frequently fundraisers and donation drives that take place after natural disasters or other major events. One way that members can always help – and how Evercondo has been supporting those in need – is by donating to the Red Cross. Monetary donations of any size are appreciated and go toward fulfilling the needs of those affected by disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

If your community is looking for an easy, convenient way to stay in touch with members, organize Association files and events, and make communication more efficient and effective, find out how Evercondo can help.

Evercondo is the leading web and mobile platform that facilitates quick and useful communication between community managers, HOA board, and residents. Contact us for a demonstration or sign up for a free trial to see how we can keep your communities happy today!

6 Tips on How to Become a More Effective Board Member

effective-board

Serving on the board of your homeowners association (HOA) or condo community association can be a very rewarding experience. You’re able to have a greater impact and influence on how things are run and be an integral part of decision making. But given the importance of these tasks, it is a job to be taken seriously and one you must be prepared to assume. When vying for a spot on the board, make sure you’re ready for the commitment and dedication to making your community an even better place to live and resolving issues that arise.

Here are a few ways to boost your effectiveness as a board member:

1. Read the governing documents

This may seem obvious, but make sure you’re familiar with the rules and regulations of your community before you’re tasked with trying to enforce them. If you’re unsure about something, know where to find these documents so that you can do some research before responding. Putting everything online using Evercondo can be a great way to stay organized and quickly find what you need. It’s hard to fault someone for not following the rules if you’re not even sure what the exact rules are. Plus, familiarizing yourself with these documents can help you to develop better process improvements or projects.

2. Seek mentorship

If you’re new to the board, turn to more experienced members for guidance. Talk to others who served on the board and find out what they wish they had known when starting, or if they have any tips. Glean insight from them on how you can ensure you’re doing your part and making a positive difference. Experienced board members also have better knowledge about how issues were handled in the past and what has worked and not worked.

3. Read up on Association news

It’s a good idea to stay abreast of any legal issues that may affect how your condo association is run. This could include topics such as rent, leases, building approvals, safety concerns, contracts, and much more. Stay current on what is happening not just locally, but nationally as well and how it may impact your association and its residents. Don’t forget to inform residents as you learn more too.

4. Participate in professional development

There is always more to learn. Be proactive in participating in professional development and refining your skills. Organizations such as the Community Association Institute (CAI) offer workshops, seminars, and courses specifically for board members and other leaders. If your budgeting skills aren’t quite up to par, or you’re struggling with conflict management, take advantage of learning opportunities.

5. Keep an open mind

Just because something has always been done one way does not mean that is the only way. Be open to implementing change and figuring out ways to do things better. Listen to residents and try to work with them to find agreeable solutions and create positive change that will benefit the association for the future.

6. Get to know residents

Now that you’re on the board, you’re a face of the HOA or condo association. Introduce yourself to residents and be actively involved in the community so that people know who you are and you’re not just another faceless name making decisions. Building trust and positive relationships can help smooth the way, improve the sense of community, and increase buy-in.

Becoming a board member can be a wonderful way to give back and know that you’re making a difference. Just make sure that you’re ready to assume all of the responsibilities that come with it and are passionate about what you’re doing.

Evercondo is the leading web and mobile platform that facilitates quick and useful communication between community managers, HOA board, and residents. Contact us for a demonstration or sign up for a free trial to see how we can keep your communities happy today!

5 Tips to Improve Communication with HOA Communities

Improve HOA communication

Communication is key in any relationship, and Condo and HOA communities are no exception. In order to foster a more peaceful environment, curb violations, and reduce misunderstandings, the board should strive to keep community members in the loop.

Well-educated members are often more satisfied and engaged with the association. And fortunately, HOAs have a variety of resources at their disposal to enhance communication and keep members informed.

1. Maintain an Updated Website.

The community website is a go-to resource not just for current residents, but also for future residents. Make it a one-stop-shop where people can find the information they’re looking for. Public access can include all of the basics about the community, its amenities, and events. A resident portal can include copies of all governing documents, forms to fill out for approvals or repairs, forms for questions or complaints, information about service providers, and updates on community events or happenings.

2. Send out Regular Newsletters.

Have a consistent schedule for the newsletter, whether it’s once a month, once a quarter, or twice a year, and stick to it. This way members know when it is coming and that it will actually arrive. Include updates about important events, upcoming projects or repairs, shout outs to recognize volunteers or success stories, and polite reminders about rules to keep in mind – especially if there have been issues with people violating certain terms.

3. Keep Emails Short and Relevant.

No one likes to have their inbox bombarded with multiple emails from the HOA each week (or day). Focus on using email blasts for the most important or time-sensitive issues. Keep messages short and to the point so that members are more likely to take the time to read them in their entirety. Decide what information should be sent via email and what is better left for the newsletter or website.

4. Make use of Social Media.

Most people are active on multiple forms of social media, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any combination thereof. Use these platforms to your advantage. Create pages for the HOA and use them to engage with residents, provide interesting articles and helpful tips, and promote the community. This can be a fast and simple way to reach more people.

5. Take advantage of Software and Apps.

Keep all of the HOA communications organized in one place and have access to important files and folders by using programs such as Evercondo. You can easily manage facility requests, disseminate announcements to all residents, track service requests, and much more. Society is becoming more technology-centric than ever, so it makes sense for HOAs and community managers to use the programs and apps that are available to improve operations and communication.

When residents are regularly informed about what is going on in the community and board members are all on the same page with projects and tasks, it can make condo management run more smoothly. Taking the time to listen to residents and find out what information they feel is important or areas they feel communication is lacking in can also help to direct communication efforts. Use this feedback along with available resources to set up a system that works for your community.

What are some ways that your condo or HOA community stays engaged with residents? Share your stories, tips and tricks in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Evercondo is the leading web and mobile platform that facilitates quick and useful communication between community managers, HOA board, and residents. Contact us for a demonstration or sign up for a free trial to see how we can keep your communities happy today!

6 Ways To “Go Green” in Your HOA or Condo Association

Go Green In Your HOA

There are more than 7 billion people on the Earth. We take up a lot of space and use a lot of resources. That makes implementing eco-friendly practices even more critical to preserve the environment and the resources that we do have. Trees can be cut down in the blink of an eye, but they take years to grow. HOAs and Condo Associations can do their part to protect the earth by going green and making more conscious decisions to be eco-friendly.

Here are just 6 ways your HOA or condo association can implement to start making a difference:

1. Use Paperless Communications

One of the biggest ways HOAs and COAs can be proactive is by cutting back on the amount of paper waste they create. Instead of sending out newsletters, fliers, and forms that will soon find their way into the trashcan, make use of electronic options. Create a spot on the community website or portal where governing documents, request or application forms, and other communications are kept. Send email blasts, electronic newsletters, and digital reminders instead of printing out countless pages of information. Software programs such as Evercondo can make managing and organizing electronic communications and files simple by having everything in one place.

2. Install Motion Detectors

Instead of keeping lights on all the time, use motion detectors so they’re only activated when needed. This can be done for both indoor and outdoor lights and significantly reduces energy usage. Motion sensors can also be a deterrent for suspicious activity because the lights pop on when movement is detected.

3. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances

Encourage homeowners to choose energy-efficient appliances when buying or replacing appliances in their home. Associations can also choose to use these types of devices in common areas such as business centers or clubhouses. Make sure they’re Energy Star Certified.

4. Service HVAC Systems Annually

Ensuring that the HVAC system is running efficiently is a great way to save energy and prolong the life of these systems. Regular maintenance can help to identify problems and keep the heat or air conditioning from being a drain on electricity because they are not functioning properly.

5. Promote Recycling

Many HOA and COA communities have recycling programs in place, but residents may not be taking full advantage of them. Post visual signs near recycling areas and send reminders about exactly what types of materials can be recycled. Residents may not realize that they can discard certain types of cardboard, paper, plastic, or other material. By simply raising awareness and educating homeowners, the HOA can help keep more waste out of landfills.

6. Plant Native Plants

When landscaping the area, use plants that are native to the region and are hearty. They often require less watering and maintenance. Pick plants and shrubs that are appropriate for the amount of sunlight, shade, and rainfall that the area receives. Consider installing an irrigation system to help control water usage, or limit watering to early morning or later in the evening so that it has time to soak in before the heat of the day.
Adopting more eco-friendly practices and going green can help with managing costs in the Association while also cutting down on unnecessary waste and energy usage. We only have one Earth, so we should be doing all that we can to protect it for generations to come.

What other ways have you found to go green in your HOA or condo community? Share your stories, tips and tricks in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Evercondo is the leading #gogreen web and mobile platform that facilitates quick and useful communication between property managers, HOA board, and residents. Contact us for a demonstration or sign up for a free trial to see how we can keep your communities happy and green today!