20B — July 12 - 25, 2019 — New Jersey — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal


N ew J ersey

lobal phone calls, glob- al emails, global texts, web sites, online pay- By Elaine Warga-Murray, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Regency Management Group, Inc. Keeping Communication Alive… G physical checks to pay regular routine expenses- the debit card and the phone are replac- ing cash and checks conditions and trends, man- agement firms have required new routines: pay their maintenance fees electronically • 95% of Boards approve ex- penditures electronically ered to the wrong place. • Immediate response is an expectation

ments, digital voting and more. These are the new ways to maintain good communication with residents in condominium and homeowner associations. While there are still many people who are not “online,” the trend is moving to every- one wanting information and responses immediately. The impact of advances in technology on the general operational behaviors of man- agers, Board members and homeowners includes: • More than 50% of owners

• Reliance on voice mail has decreased, since everyone uses their cell phone for emails and texts in order to communicate. • Photographs are require- ments for everything from what you are having for dinner to proof repairs were made- or are needed • Everyone thinks they are well informed because we are all on some form of social me- dia; and forget about anything that they do not regularly see on social media. • Most people do not write

1. Management firms now must have a free online pay- ment system available for every association and must be able to immediately scan checks received directly into the bank account of each as- sociation. 2. Management firms must have a secure digital approval system in place. 3. Management firms must now have more than one digi- tal “backup system” in place. The “cloud,” a mirror drive, an off sight electronic back-up service and/or a second server is the norm. 4. Data insurance is a regu- lar business expense that is dependent on the protocols and systems utilized every day. The number of people who have access to a “server” is fur- ther complicated by constantly expiring pass words and how information is processed dic- tates rates and premiums. Cyber security is as important as a physical alarm system. Being able to assure and prove to clients that the proper insur- ance and safety systems are in place for the community data is a new specification for all management firms. 5. A “Fed-Ex” or “UPS” or other “next day” daily paper mail delivery service account is needed to supplement the US Postal service. 6. Paper facsimiles are now being replaced by scanning directly to computers for email transmission. A good tracking system for daily emails is nec- essary. Such systems as Micro- soft 365 allow for all emails to be saved in folders and to print lists of correspondences. 7. Managers now must have a” smart phone” so they have immediate access to emails, texts, calls, and that they can communicate responses as quickly as possible. Fortu- nately, it takes far less time to read and respond to an email, which quickly identifies who the message is from and what the subject is, than is does to handle a phone conversation. In addition, managers can now utilize their phones to send global emails, global phone messages and global texts. 8. Smart phones now are utilized daily for photograph- ing property conditions and tracking contractor work. continued on page 23B

• 70% of office contact from clients, other professionals and vendors is electronic • Scanning is the new Faxing • Digital Files are required and hard copy paper files are often redundant • Computer security and data safety is a major concern and an insurance issue • Regular mail is not a sure and reliable way to communi- cate- since mail delays, label and bar code errors often result in delays or mail being deliv-

•Machines we use every day cannot be fixed by a knowledge of general mechanics- every machine has a computer or electronic operating system Not withstanding the above and the fact that everyone wants digital notifications, there is still a need for per- sonal face-to-face contact. In addition, everyone likes to have a real person answer a phone. In response to the noted


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