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!

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!

This Is Why We Love What We Do. Thank You.

happy-community-with-evercondo

At Evercondo, we’re obsessed at making community living better. We have a mission: To make condo and HOA community living and management 10x better than how it is today; from the day-to-day tasks of community managers to the daily household chores and community living of residents.

We understand it is no easy task, even overwhelming, but like the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and we’ve started laying the bricks. All of our effort would have been meaningless without the support of our dear customers. We’re glad to say that we’ve come very far from where we were in the past 2 years and we know we wouldn’t be here today if not for you.

Here’s why we love what we do and why we wake up each day with the belief that achieving our mission and vision is possible.

 

Anne Burgoon, Vice President – EOPMG

Eastern Ontario Property Management

” Two of the most common requests from owners in the Condominium Industry is improved transparency and better communication. The website services provided through Evercondo address both of these very effectively. The website links the community to the Corporation with a user friendly system. Our residents love it! “


Christopher Davis, Managing Partner – DVP Management

DVP Property Management

” Since the inception of DVP Management, Evercondo has been our most valuable partner by providing a direct, personal connecting to the people who live in the communities we serve. Whether accessed using a mobile device or desktop browser, the user friendly interface allows owners to quickly communicate with DVP and their neighbors, make payments, view their community’s documents – and much more. Importantly, Evercondo goes critically further than any other online property management portal; it truly recreates a sense of community in the cloud. Board members can easily access financials, approve architectural requests, and create work orders. The mobile app makes it extremely easy for us to manage our communities from anywhere, at any time, without being intrusive. Managers can send bulletins, answer questions and access a wide range of information in just just a few taps on their screen. Evercondo has been instrumental in our mission to bring a powerful combination of wide-ranging resources and a personal touch to each community we serve, no matter the location, size or community type. “


Tim Arel, Principal – North Point Management

Northpoint Property Management” Evercondo has been an invaluable partner in our efforts to provide the highest level of HOA management and complete transparency to our client Associations. “

 


Donald Wilden, President – Action Management

Action Management” Evercondo is a valuable communication tool for our associations. As a property management company we can quickly inform the homeowners about a wide range of topics by posting bulletins to the dashboard and posting upcoming events to the Calendar. Homeowners like the quick access to forms, financials and association information through Evercondo. Realtors and lenders have given positive feedback about having easy access to Evercondo to obtain all the needed documents when selling a home. Being able to direct realtors, lenders and homeowners to the website is a great time saver for the office staff. We find all aspects of using Evercondo to be extremely user friendly from uploading documents, creating bulletins, and setting up new accounts or files to advising our clients how to use Evercondo. The Evercondo staff always quickly responds to our questions in a friendly, easy to understand manner. “


Marcus Mayo, Owner – CAMCO Property Management

CAMCO Property Management” We have distinguished ourselves as a property management company since we began using Evercondo. The simple, intuitive platform is an ideal solution for responding quickly to problems and opportunities that arise in managed communities. With Evercondo we’re able to streamline processes, increase our productivity, and deliver more value to the condo board and ultimately, to our residents. “


Joshua Spivey, President – Wise Property Management

wise-logo” Our experience with Evercondo has been extremely positive. At Wise Property Management, we are always looking for ways to enhance the experience of our Boards and the owners we serve. It is very important to our company to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to solutions that can provide our clients with the additional conveniences and efficiencies they deserve. Evercondo’s team is not only helping us achieve our goals, but they are also forward thinkers who have demonstrated a desire to constantly improve and enhance the end-user experience. Rather than settling with their already impressive product, they seem highly motivated to work towards the betterment of their clients’ interests, both management companies and community associations alike. We value the relationship with Evercondo and look forward to continuing our shared efforts in providing industry-leading service to each and every client who has given us the great opportunity of serving them. “


Steven Benton, President – Millbrook Property Management

Millbrook Real Estate Services” Evercondo has helped provide a much better service to our residents. By allowing for more transparency and better communication, our residents experience a much more enhanced living experience. This in turn allows our management company’s services to be much better perceived by our clients and also potential clients. We’re very much pleased with our relationship with Evercondo and look forward to working together in the future. “


John Young, General Manager – Honua Kai COA

” We looked at a number of operating platforms before choosing Evercondo. However the choice was not a difficult one and unanimous when we made the decision as it was very clear that Evercondo provided the ‘bells and whistles’ we were looking for in a property website. More importantly was the simplicity of using the site. Honua Kai is 628 units and it was imperative we find a web platform that was robust but simplistic in its approach. Evercondo does that. We had lots of staff and owner frustrations with our previous platform. I’m very happy to be able to report, we have almost eliminated frustrations and complaints since implementing the transition. Finally the other equally important component was personal service. Evercondo has done that and continues to do so. “


Casey Beacock, President – Sanderson Management

Sanderson Management Inc” Evercondo has allowed us to share our expertise in property management but also living in the Tri City area to our condominium owners. We can update individual corporations based on local events. Our intention it to use EverCondo not just as a place where you sometimes deal with the not so fun aspects of your condominium but are opened to the real experience of what it means to live in a specific condominium community. Owners and Board Members have really appreciated EverCondo and the transparency it provides. It has been touted as the best as far as community awareness and communication. There is an abundance of appreciation of the system from property managers, boards of directors, owners, and tenants. “


Chris Brown, Vice President – Fraser Property Management

Fraser Property Management” We have been very pleased with the results to date in regards to our implementation of Evercondo with our property portfolio. We have found it to be a very effective method for communicating with our clients. It allows for a more direct transfer of information without many of the traditional roadblocks we have encountered in the past. Emergency bulletins, financial information, facilities bookings and work orders are all readily available to owners. This direct communication allows managers to correspond with owners and occupants and let them know of progress on various matters while eliminating many phone calls and email queries.

We provide Evercondo to all our new properties we have taken on, and we envision a day when all our properties are handled via Evercondo. It works well with our accounting system, providing up to date account balances to individual owners and more detailed information to directors.

Furthermore, we have found that working with Grant, Adrian and the rest of their team has been an excellent experience. They are very receptive to our suggestions and take an interest in improving their product on an ongoing basis. This has resulted in a very positive end user experience as we feel that our input (and input provided from our customers) is valued and acted upon.

We view the implementation of Evercondo as part of our business model to be an excellent decision and we look forward to a long and fruitful partnership in the years ahead. ”


Rebecca Rajchgot, Property Manager – Wilkar Property Management

Wilkar Property Management Inc” Using Evercondo gives us an edge in pitching to condo boards. Knowing that we are equipped to attend to their needs 24/7 is a big advantage. Our business has gone completely new direction since we started using Evercondo and residents have given us great feedback so far. “


Nicolas Del Valle, Director of Operations – Conkrite Capital Corporation

Conkrite” Evercondo has been a very important channel for us to create a better sense of community for residents. It is very easy to use yet powerful enough to make a big impact. Residents get amazed by how information is delivered to them and how they can interact with management and their fellow neighbors through the platform. In one tense I would say that Evercondo is a community builder. “


Joanie, Property Manager – Sentinel Property Management

Gestion Immobilier Sentinel” Our residents thank us for the additional attention & support from our management through Evercondo. Their support team is always available to answer our questions. “


Blair Milroy, President – Tridel’s Rêve Condominium

reve” Evercondo has enabled our board to become more responsive and deliver superior service to our residents. We have seen a notable shift in the level of engagement in our community and overall satisfaction has increased dramatically. We conducted a comprehensive review of community management solutions found that Evercondo offers the best value and features for our community. “


Syahrin, Board Member – Armanee Condominium

” Evercondo has transformed the way we interact with residents of our condo and they’re pleased with our quick and prompt response. “


Madeleine, Board Member – Les Sommets Condominium

” Happy to have Evercondo for our condominium. Now our co-owners are in the loop in real time and the managers appreciate its simplicity and its efficiency. “

Evercondo the leading web and mobile software that facilitates quick, useful communication between community managers, HOA/Condo board, and residents. Contact us for a live demo or sign up for a free trial to see how we can keep your management and communities happy.

5 Tips For Hiring A Good HOA Community Manager

hoa-community-manager-hiring

Choosing a community manager is one of the most important decisions that a HOA and condo board will make. Talk about pressure! You need to be careful in your selection because the people who work on your community’s management team—especially those on-site—will affect quality of life for residents. So it’s important to make a smart choice.

When you hire a community management firm, they run the day-to-day operations of your community. It’s crucial to do your research when hiring a community manager so you’re confident they have what it takes to fit into your community and run things properly.

Apart from having good communication and conflict resolution skills, community managers need to have certain traits in order to be successful. Here are five tips for finding the right fit for your community:

Evaluate your last manager.

Unless you’re hiring because your community is moving from a self-managed model, your existing manager either quit or was fired. So when you choose another community management firm, board members should evaluate the last one for clues about what was missing. Be objective in your evaluation. Make a list of what you liked about the last community manager and what needs to be improved under the new firm.

Shop around, with intelligence.

Your HOA’s other service providers likely work with a number of community management firms, so ask them for recommendations. Check with people you know living in other communities, too—happy residents usually have good managers. Make a short list of the best candidates and research their reputations. Search them out online; ask for references and follow up to see how they performed for past clients. Ask references about their strengths and weaknesses as a manager. Are they accountable? How are their accounting, deadline juggling, and communication skills? If you’re evaluating large management companies, ask for the names and credentials of the team members who will provide the actual service in your community (such as the senior manager, onsite manager, or administrator) so you can research them online and check their references.

Ask the right questions.

Find out exactly what services are offered by the different community management companies you’re considering, and ask for a complete list of management fees so there are no hidden surprises. Ask about their expectations from the board, too: sick days; time off for professional development; offsite meetings; etc. Ask about their vendor relationships (do they get multiple quotes for services and have relationships with multiple vendors for the same service?); back office skills (is a live person available 24/7 in cases of emergency? Are HOA finances kept by a qualified, certified financial expert? Are they up to date on all laws governing the running of a condo or HOA?); and about their experience as community managers (for example, a gated community HOA wouldn’t hire a firm that has only managed high-rise condos).

Look for experience and credentials.

Not all property management companies are created equal. Firms that have been in business for years have a longer track record of staying current with best practices and regulatory changes. But make sure their experience covers all aspects you need: landscaping, governance, pest control, waste and recycling, special projects, etc. Verify the firms’ and individual managers’ industry designations to make sure their credentials meet your standards.

Meet with them in person.

All board members should have a chance to meet prospective managers and talk face-to-face. This way you can evaluate how well they listen and relate to people. A good community manager needs great communication skills and the ability to interact with many different people and personalities, while keeping the community’s logistics in order. You want someone proactive and resourceful who is also personable and level headed. Someone responsive, who returns calls and keeps open lines of communication so everyone in the building—residents and workers alike—feel heard. (Bonus points: give extra consideration to prospective managers who are savvy enough to use Evercondo to communicate, manage, organize and optimize operations.)

Have you ever hired a property manager? How did you choose the right person or firm for the job? Share your stories 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 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 HOA and condo communities happy while saving your community managers tons of time.

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.