I’ve been working with condos in Canada, the US and around the world since 2010 and these are some best practices. We’ve dealt with thousands of boards across Canada, the United States, and other countries in the world.
1. All documents need to be in a PDF format. Non editable and try to ensure all files are as small of a file size as possible – PDF is a web standard. Most computers and devices are able to open up these files. The most problems we have encountered at GeniePad.com was when the board, or management company, posted documents in a format that another person wasn’t able to open due to the person not having a piece of software installed on their computer. The PDF format also prevents from users editing files for their benefit.
2. You need to use a storage system that is easy to administer and specify who has access to which documents – When the board changes, make sure the new board is able to take over control of all documents/files. Also ensure it’s easy to administer who is able to access which files. As an example, owners need to have access to minutes, bylaws, regulations, acts, and also if the board chooses financial statement. Tenants/renters do not need access all of these documents, however they still need access to bylaws, the act, and regulations. So don’t exclude tenants/renters.
The more people living at your condo are involved and informed of the decisions and what is happening the less complaints the board/management company will receive.
If you have to manage a Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft’s Cloud Storage it can become a nightmare managing all the permissions, access, users, etc. Ensure that the service you use it is as simple as clicking a checkbox and clicking a Save button.
3. Document storage in a web service/online is not overkill. It’s one of the best decisions you can take. You as a board director is responsible to the owners. Meaning, you have to make decisions which will benefit the condo corporation and the owners for years to come. You need to pick a solution where current and future board directors/owners will not only be able to access current documents, but also work history, submitted messages, complaints, and work requests, so you and future directors can make the best decision based on the information and history you are provided.
Canadian versus other storage systems – Many people look a specific “Location” storage systems. Unless you directly connect to such a service, which is very rare unless you connect to then directly, your information/connection will be going through various locations. As an example, you could be living in Edmonton, Vancouver, or Toronto, and to connect to a specific service you might be connecting through 1 or more COUNTRIES based on your location, speed, and at time time of day.
What you should be looking at are the terms of service and privacy policies on how a company or service handles your information and if they resell your information to a third party. Have you signed up for a bank account or cell phone service and all of a sudden started receiving “OFFERS” from other companies? Many times a “country specific company” will resell your information to a third party to make an extra buck. Think about that…
Facebook will resell this information to advertisers, same with Google and other “FREE” services. Free comes at a cost unfortunately. Make sure you are familiar with their terms of service and privacy policies.
As to digitizing your documents:
1. You can buy a scanner and scan all your files. Ensure that the file size is a small as possible so it’s quick to open.
2. If you have a smart phone or a tablet. You can download apps/applications which will make scanning documents possible without buying a scanner. Many of these applications will also ensure that the files size are as small as possible so they’re quick to load and consume.
If you have any further questions feel free to ask in this thread or send me an email:
Rafal D on September 11 2018 at 03:41 PM