Communication is an important factor when living in a Sectional Title Scheme. As most of us live hectic lifestyles, it is sometimes impossible to keep up with the roles and responsibilities of being a trustee, let alone keep everyone informed and up to date with what’s going on in the scheme. Common practice is to use email and letters to communicate, but this rarely solves the problem as letters are costly and time consuming while emails are difficult to consolidate and provide little transparency, especially when there are groups of members replying to everyone while excluding others. A common complaint experienced in most schemes is the disclosure of private email addresses which the majority of residents are against. This makes it difficult to openly communicate with members and get feedback without arranging a meeting.
“To solve the issue of transparent and open communication within the scheme one must have access to a platform which provides a controlled and convenient means of communication for everyone in the scheme” says Ross Glenn, founder of Social Estate, an online body corporate management and communication tool for trustees and managing agents.
Not only will such a platform allow members to participate in matters of the scheme, it will build stronger relationships and new friendships improving the social well-being in the scheme. By nature, people are more understanding towards friends than to strangers. By building stronger relationships, you are automatically uplifting the community.
Such a platform can be used to discuss urgent matters which require input from the body corporate without the need for a special general meeting. Not only is this convenient but would save time and money as members can respond at their convenience and no venue is required. Unlike email, which would require management of the scheme to respond to each member individually, responses would be transparent to all members creating a sort of virtual meeting place. As an additional advantage, the discussion would be available historically for reference purposes.
“Many trustees are appointed without fully understanding the extent of their role which often leads to mismanagement of the scheme” says Ross. For this reason, it is imperative that the trustees and the managing agent remain transparent. Not only will this safeguard them but will also allow the body corporate to raise any concerns they may have before work commences or funds are spent.
“Social Estate is a platform created specifically for trustees and managing agents to enhance the communication within a scheme” says Ross. “In addition, management can track and manage requests from residents, publish notices which are available 24/7, create polls for residents to vote on pressing matters and create a list of recommended service providers.