Using Technology to Get Organized The Paperless Office

Are you one of those people who have papers everywhere? You know, the bills and mail that you tell yourself you are going to file away next week but just never seem to get to? Disorganization in one private household can be troublesome enough—but extrapolate that situation into a property management office or a condo association, and you can imagine the chaos that ensues when papers pile up or are filed haphazardly. Important information can be mislaid or lost forever, maintenance and resident issues can lie unanswered for weeks, and penalties and fines may even accrue because of late bill payments.

The Benefits of Organization

According to Chip Hoever, one of the principals at Somerset Management Group in Somerset and a CMCA and AMS certified property manager, "The biggest problem posed by poor office management is not being able to find what you need when you need it."

And with that in mind, most boards and managers do their level best to keep their offices organized and orderly. There are the occasional notable exceptions, of course—offices where papers and documents are squirreled away into deep filing cabinets, never to see the light of day again. Boards and management companies deal with an enormous amount of information every day, and it's easy to see how things could get a little dicey.

"The issue is often simple volume," says Hoever. "We get a lot of stuff! It can be very tedious, paper-wise. When we do closings, if the parties don't send the proper paperwork, we have to clean up the mess, which generates more paper. Or when a homeowner sends an application for modification. If they don't follow directions, that's more work. Twenty-five years ago, I worked for AT&T. My supervisor said we'd be in a paperless office within a few years, but that hasn't really happened. I can't ever read an e-mail of great importance until I print it out and see it on paper."

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