tronically by filling out their name, email address, and signature. Their consent to email notices has been given once the signed form is returned to the management office. Great, so I’ll ask all my owners to send me their agreements Unfortunately, getting owners to complete the agreement and submit it back to the corporation is easier said than done. In an ideal world, owners would return forms to the management office in a timely manner. But, in the real world the biggest challenge to get the ball rolling on electronic communications is having owners respond to information requests in the first place. If your condo corporation doesn’t collect email addresses as a matter of routine procedure then creating an owner database or updating an existing one can seem like a daunting task. There are a number of approaches you can take though, which are outlined below: Get it when they move in / register - Whenever a new owner contacts the management office to register with the corporation, have them fill out their agreement to receive notices electronically too. Make contact through the telephone or doorto-door - It’s definitely time consuming and might be considered old-fashioned to pick up the phone and call owners, but a conversation with the property manager can be a meaningful way to connect with an owner and collect their emails and consents. Incentivize your owners - If the personal
CONDOVOICE FALL 2018
But, in the real world the biggest challenge to get the ball rolling on electronic communications is having owners respond to information requests in the first place.
touch doesn’t result in more email consents, then you might consider offering an incentive to encourage your owners. We heard of one condo that offered a $5 gift card to a coffee shop as an incentive for owners to complete their agreements to electronic notices. This small reward was persuasive enough to get nearly every unit of a large condo corporation onboard for electronic communication, but consider contacting your legal counsel before employing this approach. Though the expense of purchasing all of those gift cards may be steep, the long-term cost savings from e-distribution will far outweigh this initial expenditure.
Use a governance service - If all of the above suggestions don’t appeal to you because of the time, effort, and energy required to collect consents from your owners, then look into using a condominium governance service that does the work for you. Again, it’s an upfront expense, but the long-term savings more than make up for it. So what’s next? Once you have a database of email addresses and have collected consent from your owners, you can begin to distribute your notices by email. For smaller condos, you can utilize your preferred email client to send out these notices. For larger condos, it’s time to utilize condo management software or electronic governance distribution services to send notices to your owners. Try to ensure that the process of collecting email addresses and maintaining the database becomes a “common practice.” The process of regularly updating your database may be tedious and time consuming, however, this is an exercise that once done properly, becomes systematic and provides enormous benefits. All members of the management and administration team must understand this in order to ensure long-term sustainability of the condo’s operations. Serving notice and distributing meeting packages electronically can be a more efficient way of keeping owners informed and reminding your community about upcoming meetings, while keeping your notice distribution costs low. C V
CCi-T Condovoice - Fall 2018