In recent years, the Internet has become one of the most efficient and widely used resources when it comes to sharing and accessing information. Each year, Internet usage grows exponentially. A recent Stats Canada report reveals 98 per cent of people aged 16-24 went online in 2009, and of those aged 45 or older, two thirds went online.
Knowing so many people turn to the Internet as a source of information, a condo / strata website is a great communication tool. It provides residents 24-hour access to information about their community and community events. It also provides a great forum for board members to convey information about new board initiatives and accomplishments and to share documents (such as meeting minutes and agendas). It is a great place to post announcements (such as parking lot maintenance or building painting) to the community. In essence, strata and condo websites bridge the communication gap that can often occur in larger communities.
Condo websites can also save you time and money. By using a condo website, the board of directors can eliminate newsletter postage and the costly printing of letters, notices and promotional materials. By listing homes for rent or sale on the site, residents can save advertising costs. FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) pages can help cut down the number of calls, emails and letters to board members or property managers, providing great cost-saving measures. And if you sell advertising space to local businesses, your community site may even earn money.
A condo/strata website is a relationship builder. It creates a central location in which residents, who may not otherwise meet their neighbours, can get to know one another online. They can share interests; information with other members of their community; and that helps strengthen the sense of community.
Condo / Strata websites give residents the feeling their opinions are relevant and their feedback is heard. Online surveys can invite feedback from residents, and forums or message boards can provide a means for sharing advice or opinions about local contractors or restaurants, for example.
There’s no end to the features you may want to include on your condo website:
- Private pages for residents or board members
- Public pages to convey your community’s public image
- Event calendars to give residents the chance to get out and meet their neighbours.
- Online payment features so residents can pay their dues
- Facility hours of operation and online booking for private functions
- Forums for community and board discussions
- Listings to show homes for sale or rent or community buy and sell items
So why launch a Condo Website?
It’s a great communication tool for board members and residents alike. It can save (and possibly earn) money for the community. And most importantly, it can help build a sense of community in this Internet era by giving residents the opportunity to get to know each other on a personal level.