How To Create an Effective Condominium Website, HOA Website, or Association Website

"We are trying to develop a website for our condominium, but, we don’t know where to start. Can you help?" 

This is a question I have been asked numerous times by condominium board members. Regardless of whether the condominium is located in Vancouver or Halifax, if it’s 40 units or 400 units, it is a question that many condominium boards struggle with frequently.

This is a show stopper that keeps condominium boards from moving forward. 

This is also preventing your condo board from developing a website as well. You are not a web designer, web master, “computer guru”, or programmer, and it’s very likely your board members aren’t either.

The most common problem is that board members, or committees, don’t even know what to include in their website. How would they? This is not their daily job.

Another problem that’s quite common today, is simple static websites. Websites with static pages that owners or tenants have to visit every day to see if there are any new updates or new information posted. Pages that aren’t updated regularly.

Many condominium boards create these static websites. Everyone gets excited, everyone checks out the website every day. Then a month or two passes, and nobody visits the website anymore. The excitement is gone. Everyone feels they failed, but they don’t know why.

Today, people don’t have the time to visit every website on their list every single day just to see what is new. People want information delivered to them in the quickest and easiest way possible.

Think about this:

Would you be willing to drive to a newspapers office every day to pick up a newspaper or magazine? Probably not. Over time you would forget about it.

But the bigger questions is this:

If the magazine didn’t cover topics or events that interest you, would you even read this magazine?  Likely not and this is what we’ll address today.

How can a board create an effective website for our condominium that our owners and tenants will use on a regular basis?

We will not be discussing the technology used in developing a website. We will discuss the information and features you need to include in your website so you receive the biggest return on your investment and keep your owners and tenants coming back. After all, you will be investing time, or money, or both. 

So where is the best place to find this information? Find the right data to review!

Here at GeniePad we have created hundreds of websites for condominiums across Canada and the United States. For condominiums and associations ranging from 16 to more than 1000 units. 

We have compiled all this information and this is what the data tells us. 

  • On average 26.9% of boards and owners use a website as an easier and quicker way to communicate with the board and manager. 
  • 21.9% use the website to access important documents such as bylaws, minutes, policies, forms, etc. 
  • 15.1% use a website to communicate with other owners within their condominium. 
  • 13.3% use the website to post and distribute news announcements. 
  • 10.5% use the website to view availability and book amenities. 
  • 6.3% use the website to track tasks and work requests. 
  • 4.1% use the website to post classifieds of items for sale. 
  • Finally, 2.1% use the website to generate various reports.
So what are the benefits of having these features?

News (Newsletters, Announcements)

  • Help to inform your owners & residents of the latest news, announcements, and events INSTANTLY!
  • Save the board and property manager time, and reduce the number of phone calls, e-mails, and inquiries.

Documents (Minutes, Bylaws, Policies, Forms, etc.)

  • Provide owners, residents, boards, and property managers with quick and easy access to important documents.
  • Help to store all your important documents in one place so you’ll never lose a document.

Messages & Contact (Contacting the board/council/manager)

  • Provide an easy way to contact the board or property manager. Track all messages, comments, and their status. 
  • Never lose a message or letter again!

Task and Issue Tracking (Track tasks and work requests)

  • Helps to keep track of all the work, tasks, and issues that have to be completed efficiently.
  • Eliminates the pesky sticky notes and keeps everyone informed of the progress.

Message Forum & Classifieds (Community communication)

  • Helps to build a stronger community by giving your owners and residents a way to communicate and help each other
  • Increases owner feedback before a board meeting or AGM!

Amenities & Bookings (Book common amenities)

  • Helps your owners or tenants view availability and information for each amenity and allows them to book the amenity on their own.
  • Reduce the amount of time it takes you to schedule, confirm, and track amenity bookings.


  • Helps the board manager generate minutes, task & issue reports, a list of up to date contact information.

Now we have a bit of data to see what owners really need in a website. This is a great start of what you should include in your condominium’s website.

Before you start screaming “Eureka”, there is one more problem to solve. You need to keep your owners and tenants involved and engaged in your website. You need to make sure they come back.

The solution is quite simple. Make sure that when new information is posted on your website everyone is notified of this update as soon as possible. The simplest way to accomplish this is by sending an update via e-mail. 

If you develop this feature into your website, or use a platform with this feature built-in, you won’t have to worry about any of this. As soon as you upload a new document, or post a news announcement, your website will send an e-mail notification to your owners and tenants for you automatically. This sounds easy, right?

We have covered a bit of information today. At this point you may be thinking… 

“This sounds like a lot of work and time that I just don’t have!” 

If you create an effective website for your condominium, your owners and tenants will have important information at their fingertips, therefore the amount of time you will have to invest as a board member, or property manager, will reduce over time. Why? Because owners and tenants will be able to get answers on their own without taking up your time.

Ask yourself: “Is it worth it to invest a small amount of time today, to save countless hours in the future?”

How small amount of time? You can create a website for your condo in 33 seconds! Want to see how? 


Just click this link and I'll show you a video on how you can create a website for your condominium, homeowners association, or just a normal association in 33 seconds!



Tuesday, November 10 2015

How A Communication Portal Makes Your Condo Life Better

Condo living is amazing, if you find a place that you like. So what are the things that you will look for when buying or renting a condo? Most people look for as many amenities as they can find is less amount of money. What you do need to remember is that if you are getting too many things cheap, there has to be something wrong with the place. The easiest way to put your mind at ease is to ask in the neighborhood. Is the area secure? Are there any street crimes? Does the management ensure that all residents are happy and comfortable? Are the neighbors friendly? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you need to start looking elsewhere. 

The one other very important thing that you need to look for is an effective communication system that allows residents to stay in touch with the management. With the help of a communication portal system transferring information and news becomes very easy. This would ensure an easy solution to all the problems the residents might have or all the worries the management may want to share with the residents. Here are some other benefits of having a communication portal:

Notifications via email

The great thing about a communication portal is that it makes sure all the residents know whatever the management might want to impart. An email is automatically dispatched to the residents when there is some new news or piece of information. This means that the management would not have to worry about trying to seek all the residents separately. 

News or Announcements

The portal does not only feature information, it also releases news or announcements. Whenever there is something new about to take place, or some changes in the rules or regulations of the condos, the association can easily inform all the residents. 

Library of Documents

Be it the utilities billing files, tax related information or any kind of forms all can be published on the communication portal. This would make it more convenient and effective.  


With the help of a communication portal, the management can also create a website that can be accessed by all residents. This too would make the transfer of information easier. 

Stay Linked to Neighbors

A communication portal is not just a link between the management and residents but also between all the residents themselves. This way the neighbors can arrange events and parties, enjoying a fun and happy coexistence together. They can also seek help if there is any need. 

The communication portal is an excellent tool that can be improved according to the needs of any particular condominium building. It is the best way to ensure all the residents that the management is concerned about and working to constantly improve living conditions of the condo. If your building does not feature a communication portal, you can suggest it to the authorities and see the changes this new system brings in your condo experience.      

Thursday, June 11 2015

Managing Complaints in a Condominium

It is the responsibility of the condo board to keep the condo civilized by maintaining peace and handling issues in a professional way. A good condo board will keep in touch with the residents to help solve their problems. However, when the board is unable to implement effective communication strategies, it cannot handle complains and issues arising in the condo. 

Let’s find out what a condo board can do to improve communication to handle complains in an efficient way. 

Be Open to the Residents

A good condo board opens up to the residents about the condo laws and regulations. Moreover, an efficient board listens to the residents and handles their complaints. The board should be able to maintain decorum within the condo and help the residents follow the rules without causing inconvenience. Communication shouldn’t be done once only, but the board should continue to interact with the residents regularly. This practice will not only keep the residents satisfied, but it will also keep the board out of major problems.

Creating a Platform for Communication

A successful condo is the one in which the board members are eager to connect with the residents. This can only happen if the board applies effective communication strategies that include creating a website and a message portal. With the advancement in the digital technology, it has become easier to connect, communicate, and interact with the residents. 

So, choose a platform that your residents are most likely to use to convey important messages and too help solve residents’ problems.  These communication portals allow the board members to stay updated with the problems arising in the condo. 

Handling Complains Efficiently

A good condo board should always keep its residents as its first priority. The board members should be able to handle complains before anything else. Residents are very sensitive about their problems and once they tell the board about it, they expect it to be resolved quickly. The board members should respect the residents and should listen and resolve their problems without causing a delay. 

The members should be trained to handle complains in a professional way. Not listening to the complaints, ignoring the residents, and arguing with them is not a good way to settle things. 

How can a Communication Portal help?

Whether you want to spread the word about a condo event or you want the residents to share their problems, a communication portal will help you communicate effectively. The purpose of a communication portal is to help people socialize and connect. So, if you think your condo management is falling apart, make sure you get on a platform to connect to the residents. Communication portals are extremely interactive and allow people to share pictures and messages. This type of a platform is perfect for handling the residents’ complaints, issues, and problems. 

You can also opt for traditional ways like sending out a automatic SMS/Text notificaitons or automated phoen calls. No matter what platform you choose to communicate with the residents, make sure you give priority to their complaints and help resolve issues immediately.

Tuesday, June 09 2015

How Residents Can Contribute To A Condo Building

Living in a condominium comes with its own set of advantages. These include the liberty of cleaning, maintaining and repairing the exterior of the building, amenity spaces and landscaping along with others. You also get to be a part of a community and can socialize with the neighbors. 

Benefits of Living in a Condo

While living in a condo, you can make friendships with neighbors that can last a lifetime. You can also make business relationships. People you may have never worked with can also become a great source of referrals because of your interaction with them. They will also be the first ones to help you out in case of emergencies, and may even take care of your home, plants, or pets while you are on vacation or some other trip.

Giving Back to the Community

When a building gives you so much as compared to other housing options, how does one contribute to the building itself? 

Becoming A Board Member

For starters, take the initiative of running for the condominium board of directors. These people ensure that the community is operated smoothly, and the residents’ problems are addressed on a timely basis, keeping in mind the myriad rules of the building. The main motive behind people serving on a condo board is to have some influence in the decision making process of running their home.

The duties of board members pertain to giving out contracts for maintenance to worthy contractors. These may be related to up keeping of the grounds, snow cleaning, ensuring that there are sufficient funds available at all times for repairs in the building, etc. They also make rules and policies pertaining to amenity hours and use, security, noise, pets, determination of acceptable behavior in the building, etc.  If and when there is a tiff between different owners, the board acts as a liaison.

In order to become a board member, you need to be objective, possess strong communication skills, patience, team playing skills, etc. You need to be patient when the vote on a particular matter does not go your way since it is part of the job. You also need to commit some of your time for meetings and other duties.

No Time for Board Commitments – What To Do?

In case you do not want to become a board member due to lack of time or any other reason, then be sure to participate in the election of board members actively. Inquire about those people running for the position like their backgrounds and their ideas for running the building. A condo board will work best if there are people from diverse backgrounds in it, e.g. those from law, property management, administration, real estate sales, etc. You should ensure that the right mix of the people make up the board because it will determine your convenience and comfort on a daily basis.

Another way of contributing to the condo is by following all the rules set out by the board. They have been created objectively so that all residents are comfortable in their living and everyone’s needs are addressed. 



Wednesday, June 03 2015

Why Condo Residents Need a Communication Portal?

A communication portal is the secret to effective communication between condo board and condo residents, because it makes it easier for the residents to reach the condo board to convey their messages, complaints, and queries. 

Indeed, stories of troubled condos are quite hackneyed, just because they suffer from governance and financial troubles, that could have been solved easily but weren’t, because of the lack of an apt and effective communication portal in place

What Benefits Can A Communication Portal Possibly Have?

A good communication portal is thus the solution to many of the issues that are faced by condo residents. There are little challenges that affect the lives of condo residents time and time again. If the condo board tackles all of them in a timely manner, it would be able to ensure well being and lifestyle of the condo community. To tackle all the issues on time, and be able to develop a proactive approach, it’s important that the condo board implements such portal.

A communication portal can essentially help create a sense of community, foster an encouraging and open environment, and help to establish trust between the residents and the board. 

What Problems Do Condo Residents Feel Without A Communication Portal?

When a condo has no adequate communication in place, board members and condo residents won’t be able to share their issues, and there will come a point when frustration levels of the residents would peak, yet they would be a standstill about what to do. That is why efficient condo boards are implementing effective communication portals to ensure good governance.

Moreover, one of the most frequent complaints made by residents is that they are unable to get sufficient information from the condo board members. This gives rise to problems related to lack of transparency as well, is not a positive harbinger for the board, and may also lead to negative news about the condos.

What Should The Communication Portal Be Like?

Board members may not realize, but information is important for all the condo residents, regardless if they are an owner or a tenant. Some may actively seek it and some may not, but all of them need to be informed about important matters related to the condos that they live in.

Condo residents are interested in getting information about the steps taken for routine maintenance, service repairs, daily operations, fire alarms, about obtaining insurance, garbage chutes and parking rules, and other important matters such as protecting the value of the property, minimizing risk, and obtaining insurance. This is essential communication, and a communication portal will ensure that all the old and new members have access to such information at all times.

The communication portal will not only enable two-way communications between the board and residents, it will also help authorities in resolving problems just when they arise and also not place undue load on the condo board. 

An efficient communications portal is not a requirement – it’s a need to ensure sound management of the condo and to cultivate a positive environment for the condo residents.



Thursday, May 28 2015

The Rules of Conduct of a Strata Corporation

Before buying a unit for yourself in a strata, you need to stay aware of the fact that everything regarding the strata's management and policies is looked after by a strata corporation which is established specifically to do all of this work. To help you out in understanding the role of a strata corporation in a strata, we have listed the most common duties of a Strata Corporation below which will more than definitely assist you in knowing your strata corporation much better.

Controls and Looks After the Common Property

The main role of the strata corporation is to look after the common property.  For this, the corporation acts as a governing body that must take care of all issues and problems and deal with any developing nuisances effectively. Simply put, if you happen to find out that there’s something wrong within the strata's premises, you can report it to the corporation and have them take care of the matter.

Insures the Buildings

It is highly recommended that you opt for a strata which features insured buildings. Speaking of which, insuring the strata's buildings is also one of the major jobs of the strata corporation. This includes taking care of the replacement cost as well as making regular payments of premiums.

Keeps the Common Property Held

Some sort of neutral body needs to keep the common property held and do this in trust for the owners of all the units. As such, the strata corporation also takes over this role and makes sure it keeps hold of the common property in trust for the unit owners.

Owns a Bank Account Dedicated to the Strata

A strata needs to run properly and it must have a bank account which is maintained and kept safe for the funds of maintenance. Of course, these funds are all contributed by the unit owners for the welfare of their community. The strata corporation plays a leading role in this regard, as well as it collects the maintenance fund contributions given by the owners of all the units and keeps them all safe in a bank account. This bank account is entirely dedicated to the strata's  maintenance, and the funds inside it are only used in case any maintenance problem arises. The corporation cannot and must not utilize these funds for their own usage. Furthermore, the strata corporation cannot undertake business for profit by using the maintenance fund contributions provided by the unit owners.

The Strata Corporation cannot, in any way, be a profit based business as it is solely present to deal with any developing problems and underlying issues in the strata scheme among a few other tasks. Studying the above mentioned rules of conduct of a strata corporation and understanding them will help you realize the extent to which you can question your strata's association in case you notice them doing something out of the ordinary.

Tuesday, May 26 2015

The Provisional Differences in Small and Large Strata Schemes

A strata scheme is usually a single building, or a selection of buildings in which the owners have small portions called lots. These schemes can be small communities. As such, the actions and approach of some people of the scheme can have a direct impact on the lifestyle of others in the same community. This is why in strata schemes the most important part for the people is to remain conscious about their responsibilities along with the rules and regulations of the scheme. Most corporations that own strata schemes usually hire property management companies or professional managers to look after their strata.

Generally, there are two types of provisions in strata schemes: small and large. Both of these provisions are discussed in this post in detail.

Small Schemes Provisions

  • Executive Committee, which is usually created by the owner corporation, needs to be formed between the owners. Elections aren’t necessarily required for people in the Executive Committee.
  • A quorum takes place in meetings, but only when all the owners of the lots are present.
  • The buildings in the scheme are kept separated from the other in order to avoid the need for insurance as all owners can mutually decide whether or not insurance is required.
  • Owners are allowed to have their buildings insured individually.
  • Since a common property is missing, owners have the ability to not opt for a sinking fund. As such, none of the buildings in the scheme are placed outside the lots.
  • Auditing of a statements and financial accounts is not required. In any case the owners of the lots wish to have their accounts audited, meeting the auditing standards is unnecessary.

Large Schemes Provisions

  • Auditing of financial accounts is necessary every year. As such, the auditing process needs to be strictly carried out on a yearly basis.
  • An expected amount that is likely to be used on specified things needs to be listed under the annual budgets.
  • The owner corporation of the scheme needs to obtain at least two or more quotations for the items that are likely to cost more than the official amount.
  • The Executive Committee isn’t allowed to spend over 10% of the budget, except of course, in case there are any emergencies.
  • A notice detailing any upcoming Executive Committee Meetings needs to be provided to all of the lot owners. Forwarding the notices through the scheme’s notice board is usually acceptable.

A large scheme which consists of a larger number of lots needs to have all of its proceedings handled in a different manner as compared to a small scheme that consists of only 2 owners. Simply put, the more owners a strata scheme features, the higher the chances of conflict among all of them. As such, strata schemes managing the affairs need to enforce special policies and terms in order to make sure all issues and underlying conflicts are taken care of effectively.



Wednesday, May 20 2015

Top 5 Questions to Ask When Joining a Strata Community

Strata schemes are becoming increasingly popular in this side of the world. They are effectively small communities where the activities and attitudes of residents can have a significant impact on the satisfaction and enjoyment of others. Therefore, it is imperative to be aware of your obligations, responsibilities, and rights before you start living in a strata unit.

Here are some of the questions you need to have answers to before you consider joining a strata community:

1. How Do Strata’s Work?

One of the most important questions to ask is how strata communities actually work. While this question is better answered by your realtor, as an overview, this is what you need to know:

  • Common property ownership - If you own a unit in a strata complex, you share certain areas with the other residents. These include the roof, gardens, walkways, fences, elevators, etc. 
  • Strata Corporation - this is the ownership at large - every single owner in the complex. 
  • Strata Council - a group of elected owners who oversee the day to day operations of the building and corporate affairs

2. What do I actually own?

Let’s start by listing the things you don’t own - gardens, pools, parking space, lifts, foyers, stairs, hallways, the outside – these are the things that you share with the other residents. In short, you own the inner space of your unit and little else.

3. The Four R’s -- Rights, Rules, Regulations and Restrictions

In strata communities, there may be heavy-handed and detailed set of bylaws or there may be very few. Either way, it is very important for you to know what they are because these set of rules and rights will directly affect your lifestyle and comfort. You should be well aware of the regulations and restrictions that apply on all the owners within the strata community. 

Restrictions like pets, age, rentals, or any others that may be enforced by a way of written warning or fines, you should know. The best way to do so is to acquire a full copy of the by-aws that are specific to your owner’s corporation so that you understand the rules you will be required to live by. 

4. Who to call?

Educate yourself about the responsibilities and rights when living in a strata title property. What’s more, educate yourself and know what the emergency arrangements are in place or who to contact on your executive committee if something goes wrong in the building. 

5. The Perks and Downsides?

Clearly know and weigh the perks and downsides of strata community living and how it will suit your lifestyle.

  • Are there more restrictions on the way you live or less?
  • What are the chances of security breaches?
  • Less or more control over the money spent on your property (strata fees and special assessments to be kept in mind)?
  • Is strata living more affordable for you?

 These are some of the potential perks and downsides of living in a strata community. 

The answers to these questions determine whether strata community living is for you or not. So don’t jump the gun, take your time, weigh your options, know and be aware of all the possibilities and then come to a decision.



Thursday, May 14 2015

Sharing is Caring - Stay in Contact with your Neighborhours via a Condo Portal

While there are countless ways through which condo portals can benefit the management, this innovative technology tool can also help users overcome communication barriers and allow residents to interact with each other. 

Here is a look at some of the features of condo portals that allow condo communities to live like a big family:

1. Message Forum

There are a number of features that allow condo residents to communicate with each other. They can communicate via simple messages. Gone are those days when you had to worry about synchronizing all your contacts as with condo portals, you can automatically connect to all the community members. You can also initiate group chat sessions which allow more than two people to communicate to each other. 

2. Share Pictures

Portals not only allow you to send messages, but also allow registered users to exchange media files. You can share pictures and other important documents. As reliable portals provide connection through SSL, so you don’t have to worry about security issues. A condo portal provides residents a customized and centrally administered forum, through which they can stay connected with each other. Despite busy schedules, you can communicate to your neighbors as you only need an internet connection and a portable gadget to enjoy seamless connectivity.

3. Access Information

Another amazing feature of condo portals which allows residents to know about each other is residents’ database. Database contains basic information about every resident of condo community and allows registered users to access this information. As these portals are centrally monitored, so no unauthentic or unregistered user can access this information.

4. Discuss 

Portals provide residents an open and live forum to discuss residential issues with each other. This not only allows them to care for each other but also provides them an opportunity to live comfortably. 

5. Inform Management

While your residents can discuss problems with each other, they can also inform the management personnel about their problems. This allows condo associations to take action in a timely manner.

6. Stay Connected

All you need to access the portal is an active account and a reliable internet connection. You can access your portal via any portable gadget (mobile, laptop etc.). It means that you can stay connected with your community even if you are travelling. Automatic notifications keep you updated about important news regarding your condo. For example, if you are away on vacation, you can still receive important news announcements.

Condominium portals can bring condo communities closer. However, it is important to subscribe to such a portal that provides you secure access through SSL, thus ensuring you complete privacy and data protection.  

Tuesday, May 12 2015

Prompt Response To Residents - The Basic Responsibility of the Condo Board

The condo boards that are responsible for managing these multimillion businesses must have prompt responses to condo residents at the heart of their condo management strategies. Essentially, it is the responsibility of the board to service the condo residents in the most effective way possible, and this can only be possible when there is an active two-way communication between both the parties involved, and when the condo board promptly responds to concerns raised by the residents.

At the core, condo boards are just like miniature governments, condo board members are elected by the owners to effectively manage the condos, and deal with all aspects involved in their management. Just as the government has a responsibility to inform, to communicate, and to respond, it is also the basic responsibility of a condo board to promptly respond to the residents.

What Issues Can Arise If The Board Doesn’t Respond Timely?

Residents have to face little challenges related to their condos regularly, and for this, they feel there is a need to consult the condo board, and when the condo board doesn’t respond within a reasonable time period, it can become quite a hassle and result in frustration for the residents. Untimely responses may also lead the residents to develop a negative perception about the board members, which can be an obstacle in the development of a relation of mutual trust and cooperation between the board and the residents. 

How Will Prompt Responses Benefit The Condo Board?

It is the condo board’s responsibility to implement rules, review complaints, resolve problems, impose fines, conduct essential repair and maintenance etc. to ensure that the condos are run smoothly and efficiently, and the residents are satisfied. To perform all their responsibilities, the condo board will have to engage with the residents and maintain prompt to rightfully address the responsibilities that have been assigned to them by the condo owners. 

The Condo Act clearly spells out the responsibilities of the condo board, and it does mandate communication responsibilities on the board. The board members must hence take out the time to respond to all communication that comes their way. They must take the initiative required to solve the problems affecting condo residents that can range from anything such as building damage to reckless residents.

Condo boards can suitably hire third parties or outsource operational duties to professional companies, but that also won’t relieve them of the communication responsibilities, along with that even, they will have to participate and know all about what is happening in the condo community, and play an active role in warranting smooth governance of the condo. 

How can a Condo Board Quickly Respond to Residents

There are several ways by virtue of which the condo board can suitably communicate with the residents. They can either choose to maintain contact through text messages, calls, emails, and an effective communication system.

In addition, the condo board must ensure that important information must be provided to residents on time, and when customers send in their queries, the condo board must deal with them cordially to foster a positive relationship and an affable environment in the condo neighborhood.

Wednesday, May 06 2015