5 Ways To Deal With Board Members That Micro-Manage

board-micro-manage

“I’d like to be able to review every message before you reply to residents”. That’s one of many cases we’ve heard from property managers, voicing their concern regarding board members that micro-manage.

It’s no secret that board members that micro-manage make life tough for property managers. The need for the board to control even the smallest aspect of a property manager’s job is not only considered a nuisance—it’s stressful. What if I told you there’s a way to satisfy a board’s thirst for control AND keep your sanity?

The first rule of thumb is to be rational about the situation. In other words, don’t let the board’s demands, no matter how unreasonable, trigger an emotional reaction. Keep calm, be professional and always smile. =)

Then, do what they ask or need but on your own terms. It’s really that simple. Think of it as “managing the micro-manager”. In this way, you’re no longer a victim—you’re actually in control of how the dynamic plays out. Here are five tips for dealing with it:

Remember that it’s not personal.

Board members are not micro-managers because they want to torment you personally. Usually, it’s because they are control freaks by nature—it’s a behavioral issue that affects all their relationships. Realize that it’s their issue, not yours. Let go of feeling under personal attack, so you can let go of feeling angry, resentful, and overwhelmed. Here’s a trick. The next time a board member asks for an unreasonable request, understand that it may be due to personal circumstances. Be sympathetic and everything should be a breeze.

Make regular use of the email “cc” field.

When you keep your board members in the loop about issues, it demonstrates your understanding of their need to be informed. An easy way to do this, is to copy them on your responses to emails with suppliers, contractors, staff, and others if appropriate. You can also send them an end-of-week summary. This keeps them in the loop for easy reference and proof of your efficiency.

Establish a weekly meeting.

It doesn’t have to be a face-to-face meeting. Using tools like Google Hangouts or Skype can work out better. Be proactive with your board member and catch up on things each week to discuss issues and projects. A formal meeting will give the board member the special attention they feel they deserve. But make sure to set the meeting time in your favor. If you schedule it at 4:30 p.m., for example, it’s more likely to encourage the board member to finish within a reasonable period. And while it seems like overkill, this tactic helps you control the amount of time you devote to the board member and stops them from running roughshod over your entire workweek.

Automate access to community documents.

Often, board members simply want ready access to information. Tools like Evercondo give board members the control they desire without adding more work for you as the property manager. You can use Evercondo to store documents (reports, meeting minutes, financial statements, status documents, etc.) online and give access to board members through a secure web portal.

Give board members something to do.

Simply involving them in projects or asking for their help will change your relationship with the board member. Instead of seeing you as an obstacle to their desire for control, they will see you as a proactive partner. Plus it’s a great way to keep them busy and give you something to discuss in your weekly meetings!

Have you ever been micro-managed by a board or any other boss? How did you handle it? Share your stories in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

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

Change Management Tips To Overcome Resistance To Change In Your HOA Management Organization

resistance-to-change

Who likes change when everything seems to be working fine. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” as most would say. While this holds true in your own reality, the truth is, change is always happening around us – as the old saying goes, “Change is the only constant in life”.

As innovators in the space of condo and HOA management, we’ve come across many management companies that face the challenge of having to get the buy-in of their managers in adopting new processes and tools that can help them optimize and improve their efficiencies. The leadership sees the high level benefits but not necessarily those on the front lines.

It’s a daunting task, especially when you have a large team of community managers. Getting all of them to embrace a new piece of software or process is challenging but when done well, it can bring about big gains in efficiencies and overall morale.

Here are 4 tips to help you overcome the resistance.

Work with the resistance.

Try to understand the reasons why managers in your organization might resist changes before you start making them. If you prepare ahead of time to meet people at their resistance points, your platform for change is stronger. Reasons to resist change include:

  • Belief that the change is unnecessary or will make things worse (i.e. create more work)
  • Distrust of the people leading the change effort (which could mean you or the management team)
  • The change was introduced too abruptly or without consultation
  • Fear that the change will not succeed
  • Fear that change will mean job loss
  • Exhaustion from too much change already; needing a break from disruption

Explain why the change is happening.

People appreciate a reason “why” the change must happen—even if they don’t believe or support the reason. But giving them a clear explanation about why the change is necessary becomes your platform for winning support and allies. Good reasons for changing something (i.e. better service; more efficient; less costly) will eventually make sense to most of those affected by the change. (Top tip: back up your reasons with data.)

Help managers see how they benefit personally.

Most of the natural resistance to change disappears when managers are clear about the benefits they gain as individuals from the change. Communicate the benefits clearly and stress on actual examples that can help save time for managers on their day-to-day tasks (i.e. you no longer need to print out reports for board members, as they can now access it on their own via the Evercondo community website).

Set up a feedback loop.

Establish a simple yet efficient reporting process before you begin. Keep open lines of communication throughout your management company. This will help managers feel supported and engaged (rather than neglected) during the disruptive phase of change. It also means feedback will reach the right people so any necessary tweaks to details can happen as the change progresses.

Have you been a “change agent” in your career, or survived a difficult change process? Share your stories in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

May the force be with you 🙂

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

Improve Your Condo and HOA Management Brand in 5 Easy Steps

brand-marketing-for-condo-hoa-management

Property management is a competitive business. To stand out from the crowd, your company needs a strong “brand presence” – an impression you give people about the benefits of choosing your firm over a competitor. But branding is more than just a corporate logo and tagline. Think about Nike’s swoosh and “Just do it” brand elements. Then think about how they help create an emotional bond with the company’s customers.

A strong brand portrays the good things about your company. It defines your qualities and values so people know what you stand for when they choose to do business with you. Jeff Bezos, the CEO and founder of Amazon, describes it aptly: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

If your commitment is to provide premium service, your brand needs to reflect this image. An amateurish logo or website speaks volumes about a company’s approach to the finer details of their business. It influences folks’ expectations of the type of experience they might have with your product or service.

Make sure your company sends the right message to customers. Here are five tips for building a stronger property management brand:

Be strategic.

Your brand should represent your vision as a company. Whether you want to become the biggest player in the North American market, or be seen as the go-to expert in your local area, your brand concept needs to reflect the values that support your vision. Figure out what your company is good at—customer service; creative problem solving; innovations for modern lifestyles. These are your brand attributes. Think of them as the framework for your marketing efforts.

Paint the right picture.

Images make powerful impressions—even if they underwhelm. A company with a bold stance won’t get their message across using mousy images or clip art on their website. If you want to be known for superior maintenance services, you could imply this with a large “hero” image showing workers dressed in company uniforms, wielding impressive tools and looking confident. If upscale customer service is your thing, the hero image of a smiling person wearing a navy blue blazer or some other visual badge of professionalism is a better fit.

Words (and fonts) matter.

Not every company needs a graphic logo. Often, your company name makes an ideal wordmark—a text-only design that uses font and color for impact. It’s a good idea to work with a graphic designer to create a professional-looking logo. Choose someone who understands color theory and the power of fonts. If you’re using a tagline make sure it’s a short, catchy phrase that sums up what your company is all about.

Think mobile.

Everyone has a smartphone these days and for the growing population, they expect everything including your services to be somewhat “swipe-able” on their phone. Create positive experiences for people in the mobile online space. Make sure your company website is well designed, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly. Offer a mobile app to simplify service delivery. Make sure your website and mobile app are fully branded to promote your company and its attributes at the grassroots level. Evercondo provides an easy way to do this with our white label program, which gives customers a customizable version of Evercondo’s web platform and mobile app they can brand with their own logo and tagline for a more professional look.

Content marketing keeps things fresh.

A blog space on your website is an important feature because it’s a place where you can post fresh content to interest your potential customers (i.e. HOA / condo board members). Websites that feature new content regularly tend to get better Google search engine results. You can also reinforce your brand by writing about topics that position your company as a leader or expert. Think of your blog as a timeless shareable content library—one that can gain a widening audience over time by sharing posts on (branded) social media sites or pages. A blog article posted today will get you leads forever as long as it stays relevant.

How does your company approach brand marketing? Share some of your ideas in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Evercondo is the leading web and mobile platform that facilitates quick, useful communication between property managers, the condo association or HOA board, and residents. Click here to learn more about our mobile platform and how we can tailor it to your management brand for maximum exposure to residents.

3 Tips to Help You Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution

new-year-resolution

As a community manager you endure stressful challenges every day. We know this from the countless conversations we’ve had with community managers across North America, about how to make your work life easier.

We also know that what you DON’T need is another know-it-all article. You know, the type that tells you to set goals or organizational tips for your New Year’s resolutions.

Research shows that of the roughly 200 million Americans who make New Year’s resolutions, only eight percent are successful. A third of people don’t even make it past January while a quarter of us give up within the first week!

At Evercondo, we believe that we need some kind of mental support in order to achieve our goals like how a table needs legs to support it in order to stand. So before we get into the mode of listing out our goals for the next year, it’s important for us to reflect upon all the things we’ve accomplished in the past year, even the smalls ones. It happened and it was all because of you and your work. Celebrate it with joy because you deserve it and use that momentum to support and propel you towards achieving loftier goals this coming new year.

Here are three things to ponder as we finish off the year:

The high points of the past year

What outstanding things happened this year? What made you feel happy? Think about what you learned and whom you met—all the new people, meaningful experiences, and life lessons. Remember your achievements and feel good about your good deeds.

What you’re grateful for

Reflect on all the good things in your life and give thanks in your heart. This includes your career. An air of gratitude about your work makes challenges easier to face. Being a property manager is stressful; so be grateful your job pushes you to develop skills valued by other industries. That crossover flexibility expands your career possibilities.

What you want most in your life and career

Let your mind wander as you imagine what you want to do with the rest of your life. Dream big. Think about where you want to live, what your “dream job” looks like. Expand your thinking beyond small, progressive changes from the life and career you have now.

Do you usually make New Year’s resolutions? Share with us your stories in the comments below!

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

15 Helpful Steps to Create a Budget for your HOA or Condo Association

hoa-budgeting

Budgeting for a community association is both a difficult task and a massive responsibility. The process is a marathon, not a sprint. If you wait too long to start budget preparations, you’re adding the burden of last-minute panic to an already stressful project.

Give yourself at least five months to prepare next year’s budget before the end of your current fiscal year. If your year-end is December 31, for example, you should have started the budgeting process back in July.

To create a well-planned, realistic budget, board members and budget committees need to understand the community’s assets and operations. They also need to comply with condo or HOA legislation and governing documents – rules for disclosure to owners, time limits, and more.

The first rule of budgeting (besides starting early) is to always develop a budget by projecting income and expenses on a monthly basis, which then adds up to the totals for the year.

But before you start plugging numbers into a spreadsheet, you need to gather all the relevant information: utilities costs (adjusted for inflation); the current reserve fund study and financial statements; prior year financial statements; projected income statement; and insurance quotes.

Having all your ducks in a row will make the budgeting process smoother. A great place to get started is with this handy budgeting checklist created by ACM Community Management – it spells out all the steps you need to take, from preparing a business plan that outlines the community’s goals for the year to distributing the budget.

Here’s a quick reference of the 15 steps for creating your HOA or Condo association budget:

Prepare a business plan.
What do the board and residents want to accomplish, as a whole? Adding amenities (e.g., a playground or security gate) can be costly, or a luxury. Residents may instead want a budget that enhances the current property at this time.
Develop processes & assign tasks.
The goals and objectives of the association have to be reviewed, numbers must be crunched, resident input should be sought, and budget review meetings need to be scheduled. All of this takes time and effort. Put an organized process in place.
Review financial history
Examine budgets and financial statements, from at least the past several years to help determine a starting point. Compare this year’s actual expenditures to date against the original budget, so adjustments can be made as well in next year’s budget.
Project utility costs.
Do you provide water and/or heat to your residents and the common areas? Utility rates are soaring in many cities nationwide. Find out what the trends are in your community. Some increase, should always be built in for utility costs regardless.
Review vendor contracts.
Do landscaper or maintenance company contracts call for a price increase in the coming year? Are any contracts expiring? Review all contracts and seek bids.
Do a maintenance review.
Inspect the entire property. Are playground or pool repairs pressing? Any driveways or lots need repaving? Hallways due to be repainted? Preventive maintenance can prevent costlier problems.
Evaluate insurance policies.
Like your personal policies, your community’s policies should be reviewed yearly. Are limits and types of coverage sufficient? Do your reserves cover any deductibles that might be needed? Would a lower-premium, higher-deductible plan make sense?
Include legal and collections costs.
Few associations can translate 100 percent of their fees due into actual revenue. Referring to previous legal or collection actions might provide valuable insight into expectations for your future costs.
Create a worksheet.
When you determine known expenses, start inserting the numbers into a spreadsheet and compare them with expected revenue. At least you’ll know how much above or below your projected operating costs you are.
Prioritize projects.
Something will need upkeep or a change every year. Make sure needs — especially those that expose the association to liability
(e.g., stairwell repairs) — are budgeted for before wants (e.g., beautification projects).
Expect the unexpected.
Set aside funding for some “emergencies” that cannot be identified in advance. One year, mosquito abatement might be necessary; another year, vandalism might present a problem, or a storm might destroy landscaping. Being prepared is a good plan.
Plan out reserves.
Over a long enough period, projects such as replacing a building’s roof are as inevitable as they are expensive. Experts suggest a good reserve study should tell you how to fund your reserves.
Be transparent.
It’s not possible to keep every resident happy, but keeping the budgeting process open and transparent at least gives residents a chance to have their opinions heard.
Distribute the budget.
Distribute the proposed budget to the homeowners for their review and comment. Then, once the new budget has been approved by the association board, get it into the hands of all homeowners.
Follow the budget.
Except for emergencies that have not been budgeted for, follow your plan. The budgeting tool keeps the community operations on track.

Do you have any experience with creating a condo association or HOA budget? Share your tips in the comments below!

Since 1986, ACM Community Management provides high quality management services to town homes, multi-story condos, homeowner associations, and vintage buildings in the Chicagoland area.

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

Why Directors and Officers (D&O) Insurance Is A Must For Homeowner Associations

do-insurance

Did you know that volunteering as a board member for your condo or HOA could jeopardize your personal financial security? You’re actually at risk from lawsuits against the board—whether they have merit or not. Having an indemnification clause in your bylaws helps protect directors financially but at a greater potential cost to the condo association than a comprehensive Directors and Officers (D&O) liability insurance policy.

It may not seem fair that being a volunteer director of your condo or HOA board comes with the potential for financial ruin. But it’s a very real risk—there are many cases where directors have been found personally liable for board decisions and required to pay expensive legal costs as a result.

One example from Ottawa, Ontario is the case Boily vs. Carleton Condominium Corporation 145, where a number of unit owners sued the board over repairs to a parking garage that resulted in “substantial changes” being made to the courtyard area. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice awarded in favour of the owners (a decision later upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal); the directors were found in contempt of court and personally liable for more than $95,000 in legal costs.

Being a director is a somewhat thankless job that comes with big responsibilities. You have a legal duty to protect owners and their investment in the property. And if the board is not covered by the right liability insurance, you are at risk if the board is sued. No matter how frivolous a lawsuit might be, you are required by law to hire an attorney (with your own money) to defend your actions as a director.

Typical lawsuits that plague condo and HOA boards include:

  • Wrongful termination of an employee
  • Discrimination due to race, religion, sex, or disability
  • Defamation of character (i.e. libel or slander)
  • Breach of contract by a third-party vendor
  • Renovations by the building or homeowner
  • Noise by another homeowner, a contractor, or the building’s machinery
  • Subletting guidelines and restrictions
  • Pet guidelines and restrictions

While an indemnification clause in the bylaws will require the condo association to reimburse directors for uninsured legal fees incurred in their capacity as board members, it can become expensive if the board is sued.

On the other hand, a comprehensive D&O liability insurance policy can be a budget line item that pays for itself in the event of a lawsuit.

“Comprehensive” means that the policy stands on its own—it’s not D&O liability coverage that’s embedded into the property’s commercial insurance or general liability policy. This is important because a comprehensive policy provides coverage for elected or appointed directors, trustees, officers, employees, committee members, and volunteers now or in the past. But the embedded policy usually just covers the directors and officers in office during the policy period.

To protect yourself as a board member, make sure to consult the association’s insurance broker to see if the liability coverage can withstand a legal assault.

Do you have any experience with lawsuits as a condo/HOA owner or board member? Share your story in the comments below!

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

3 Tips to Warm Up With Your Condo HOA Community Neighbours This Cold Holiday Season

condo neighbours get together

Seasonal celebrations will be in full swing soon with December’s holidays around the corner. It’s the perfect time to share some good cheer with your neighbours and enjoy the comfort of a happy community. Here are three suggestions to make it happen.

Remember that guy you always bump into at the elevator or that lady who walks her dog each day when you leave for work? Aren’t you curious about what they do? What their story is? It’s this stranger who you bump into constantly in the same building. Of course you’re curious!

When you live in a condo building or HOA community, you’re in close quarters with fellow residents. You see each other daily—in the hallways, elevators, parking garage or other common spaces—but rarely share more than a passing nod or “hello”. At most you might say “Could you please press level 4 for me? Thanks”.

Don’t get me wrong here—it’s not a sad thing. But I do think there’s a huge missed opportunity in not getting to know your neighbours.

Let’s change that. Let’s make the places we live in even better. Isn’t living vertically all about the people, our neighbours? It’s the liveliness of the community that makes your condo living so much better. Everything else is just constant. At the very least, your neighbours will be more considerate before turning up the volume after midnight the next time.

And what better time to get to know your neighbours than this coming holiday season?

Here are three suggestions to get you warmed up:

1. Don’t hesitate. Just attend the resident events.

Instead of hibernating at home, bring your best dish to the holiday potluck and baked goodies to the cookie exchange. Help decorate the lobby. Go watch classic Hollywood Christmas films in the media room. Take advantage of the group gift-wrapping session and contribute to the toy drive. Get involved with holiday socializing and be open to making new connections with board members and other residents.

2. Break the ice. Initiate conversations.

Introduce yourself to anyone you don’t know by name. “Hi I’m Dave, I live on the fourth floor” with a handshake is a simple way to break the ice. Even if you feel socially awkward, it takes little courage to introduce yourself first. Don’t be shy to start conversations, either—simply ask people about themselves. Good icebreakers and topics of conversation include:

  • Hi, I think I saw you a couple of times in the elevator…
  • When did you move to the condo / HOA?
  • Where did you live before?
  • Why did you choose this building or neighbourhood?
  • What are your favourite holiday traditions?

3. “Hygge” Up!

People who live in cold, northern climates have a tendency to gather together for warmth and comfort. The Danish call this phenomenon “hygge”. Bring the feeling of hygge to your community through good cheer, appreciation of shared values, and respect for each other. Make it last through the holidays and beyond.

Do you have any other ideas or tips to get residents warmed up with neighbours in a condo community? If so, let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Evercondo the leading web and mobile platform that facilitates quick, useful communication between property managers, the condo association or HOA board, and residents. Contact us for a demonstration or a free trial to see how we can keep your communities warm and happy.

Top 5 reasons why your condo or HOA management needs a smartphone app

evercondo-smartphone-app

It’s no news to anyone that smartphone is one of mankind’s greatest creations. It has revolutionized many industries ranging from food and shopping to transportation services. Yet, nothing much has happened in the condo / HOA management world when it comes to smartphones.

To kick things off, here are 5 reasons why we believe that smartphone apps is the next big thing in condo / HOA management and how you can ride this wave of opportunity.

1. Everyone has a smartphone

As of March 2016, our world’s population was estimated at 7.4 billion, an all-time record high. What’s more staggering about this is that 1 in 3 of the population currently owns a smartphone, that’s over 2 billion smartphone users. If my psychic powers serves me right, I’m guessing you’re probably holding one right now while reading this article.

2. “I wish my condo has an app”

I am a smartphone user myself and the sad truth is, I always have it with me no matter where I go and what I do. From the moment I wake up to the moment I sleep. It’s my alarm clock, it’s where I read my news, check my emails, keep in touch with friends, snap and share photos, pay my bills, play games, watch movies, listen to music and I’m pretty sure I can live my entire life without leaving my bed if I wanted to. Gone are the days when I have to write, print and mail to get a message sent or even call the operator to look up for a number. Everything is just a few taps away and it’s always with me in my pocket.

“I wish my condo has an app that I can use to reserve the party room” is a common question we get when visiting friends at their condo. Here’s a few more:

  • Why can’t I reserve the party room from my smartphone
  • I’d like to receive push notifications for building announcements
  • What is the WIFI password to the conference room
  • Has my package arrived yet? Wished there’s an app for that
  • Wish I could check my account balances

3. Most management are still in the 90s

Like getting an Uber ride, condo or HOA management is in the services industry. Unlike Uber however, getting information, or making a reservation in communities today isn’t as easy and convenient. Many managers today still rely on a lot of manual labor work through phone calls, papers and spreadsheets. This makes it a good opportunity for you to sprint ahead of the competition while giving your residents the convenience and access they deserve.

4. Increased productivity & efficiency for managers

Property managers need to juggle with 101 things everyday and with so little time available, it’s important for managers to squeeze out at much time as possible. With a smartphone app, managers can answer to resident requests while out having lunch or approve a party room reservation while waiting for taxi. It also comes in handy when managers need to pull up the latest minutes during a short conversation with a committee member.

5. An app speaks a 1,000 words

When was the last time you heard a friend brag about their condo management’s service? That’s right. None. An app that gives residents the convenience to reserve their party room or check their account balances will sure to give your residents something to talk about with their friends at work and guests at the dinner table. Nothing generates more brand awareness than good old word-of-mouth!

Want to see our mobile app in action?

At Evercondo, we don’t just believe in the smartphone revolution for community management, we’re pioneering it. Thousands of community residents are already enjoying the convenience of our iPhone and Android app to communicate with their property managers.

We’d love to share how hundreds of management companies and self managed communities are using the Evercondo mobile app to launch their management services into the 21st century.

Click here to get a FREE personal tour today to see and learn how the Evercondo mobile app can help bing your management service to the next level!

How Are Condo Fees Calculated: The Truth Is Out

How are condo fees calculated? We’ll remove the shroud of mystery for you

Waterfront Living how are condo fees calculated

There is a lot of money moving around when you buy a condo – or any real estate for that matter. Points, closing costs, inspection fees, down payment, mortgage insurance, moving costs, taxes, and condo fees are just a few places your money gets allocated.

Some are straightforward, while others are cloaked in mystery. Figuring out your mortgage payment or closing costs is easy enough to determine. You know ahead of time what your condo fees are, but how are condo fees calculated? If you’re going to be paying a fee every month, it’s only fair that you know how those fees are decided.

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CES 2016 – The Best New Devices For Smart Condos

Smart Condo

If the products at CES 2016 are any indication, 2016 looks to be the year smart homes become mainstream. Smart home devices have increasingly taken centre stage at the event, which attracted 3,600 exhibitors and over 150,000 attendees on a global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace.

This year was no different as we saw the largest display of smart home technology ever. With so many gadgets to choose from, we picked out the ones most likely to make their way into condos in 2016 and turn your condo into a “smart condo.” 

I know what you’re thinking: the Jetsons already showed us what the future looked like. Though the market is full of systems and appliances that work without human input, we are still a ways away from a futuristc utopia. Smart home gadgets do not necessarily make living easier in condos. That’s especially true for condos because of their unique living arrangements. Here is something to consider before you start tearing our wires and unscrewing your lightbulbs; connectivity should only be considered if it is going to make your life easier.

While you are waiting for the Jetson’s trusty robot, Rosie to arrive, here are some gadgets that will surely make living easier and more convenient in your condo.

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo is labelled a music player, but what makes this product intriguing is that it is primarily controlled by Amazon’s Alexa voice command platform. Through voice commands, the device is able to link to and control other devices such as Philips’ Hue light bulbs. That means you can turn your lights on and off with your voice. The possibilities in the future are endless with this platform – think turning on your TV, vacuuming, making coffee all with your voice.

 

Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator

Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator

This may be the most complete kitchen appliance ever. With a 21.5 full HD Super AMOLED touchscreen and stereo speakers, the Family Hub Refrigerator aims to be just that: a family hub. It allows you to see recipes on the monitor, see inside of the fridge (via interior camera) without opening it, and order grocery straight from the fridge to have food or milk delivered to your door among other things.

Tado

Tado

Tado automatically turns on your heating when you’re headed home. Not only that, it turns on the lights, disables the alarm system and can call the elevator as you arrive. The point is, it’s meant to have ‘everything’ ready for you when you’re heading home. What’s even cooler is that allows you to automatically save energy and have your home ready for your return using  your smartphone’s location. Yes, that means it knows when you’ve left the house or when you’re on your way back based on the your phone’s location.

 

LG Hom-Bot Turbo+

A device that cleans your condo – we’ve seen that before. What’s different about the LG Hom-Bot Turbo+ is that it has a mounted camera that sends live video while it works (i.e., cleaning) to a smartphone or tablet. That means, it can double as a security camera, with an option to send you pictures whenever it detects movement. Not only that, you can order the device to clean certain areas of the floor via your smartphone.

Although not as sexy as some other smart devices, Honeywell’s Wi-Fi Water Leak Detector does exactly what its name says – when it detects water, it communicates this imformation, which in turn lets you know via smartphone so that you can take action. The sensor measures temperature and humidity as well. This moisture detecting device is used as preventative measure that helps you avoid expensive damage to your condo.

 Keen Home Smart Filters

Keen Home Smart Filters

Ever play the guessing game when it comes to replacing your filters? No more guessing! Keen Home Smart Filters mounts onto vents to monitor air quality and to keep you informed about when you they need to be replaced. You can also pay $3/month for a filter subscription, which sends you replacements whenever you need them.

 

Love them or hate them home automation is here to stay, we’re predicting better connectivity and communication across devices in the future. For now, we’ve filled our homes with a few of our favourites. Connecting your home is one piece of the puzzle, the next piece is connecting to your condo community. Be sure to build the whole puzzle and not just the edges. Connect more than just your lights, learn more about how Evercondo connects you to your condo.

Do you have a home automation story to share or a favorite gadget? If so, let us know in the comments!