Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat, oh my! Today, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t use some form of social media to communicate with friends, family, and colleagues. Whether they are posting updates on their daily life, sharing articles and pictures of interest to them, or just seeing what others are up to, social media has become a part of our daily lives.
Many Tools, One Goal
As the rise of online social media has diffused into nearly every aspect of life, many of the savvier co-op, condo/HOA boards and property managers have embraced the medium as a powerful new tool for connecting and communicating with the residents in their communities. Building websites, email listservs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and custom mobile apps have also supplanted the mail room bulletin board as primary means of inter-building information exchange. For example, run a simple search on Twitter for ‘property management’ and up pops Power Property Management in Culver City, California. With more than 1,200 followers, Power Property Management posts information on community events, changes in hours of operation, and leasing updates.
In addition to social media, web portals have become a popular way of managing buildings and reaching residents. Sharing documents on these portals – things like board meeting minutes and covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs), just to name two common examples - to multiple residents in a community enables easier tracking and quicker communication.
“Generally speaking, social media is used by boards for homeowner notification. For example, for snow emergencies or a trash delay, things that have informational purposes,” says Joe Balzamo, the president of Alliance Property Management LLC in Morristown. “It can be very helpful in cutting down in a lot of confusion as to what is going on. If a board notifies the resident to check its Facebook page, it makes things very clear: one post and all questions are answered. It also saves the property manager time.”
“There’s tremendous upside to these portals,” agrees William Aronin, partner in the New York City-based law firm Perry & Aronin, PLLC. “They make it easier to manage and collect payments, organize and respond to repairs or other complaints, and let residents develop a community. You can also send announcements.”