Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The fight club: Why your building should be more like a rental (Part 2 of 3) | BrickUnderground

Our friends at Brick Underground have posted the second installment in their three-part series, applying priciples of managing rentals to coops and condos.

We'd love to continue the conversation. What are your thoughts? Post them here!

The fight club: Why your building should be more like a rental (Part 2 of 3)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Why your building should be more like a rental (Part 1 of 3) from BrickUnderground

A reposting from our friends at Brick Undergound. This article features BuildingLink.com president & founder, Jerry Kestenbaum as part of a series on improving the dailys life of people living and working in co-op and condo buildings. Interesting food for thought for our NYC homeowners or for anyone familiar with the condo (and even rental) markets.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Condo Living: Comfort or Conflict? Communication is Crucial

There was interesting piece in the December 7, 2009 issue of The Biscayne Times that raises so many often asked questions about conflicts in the condo lifestyle. In every conflict there is always two sides, but often times the lines between both get so blurred. It is almost impossible to discern democratically or prove accountability without clear communication.

Long gone are the days of telephone trees, posting paper memos, and binders upon binders of past and present condo docs. Yet, so many (TOO many) condominiums and associations still operate as they did 10, 20, or 30 years ago because "it has always worked." But the truth is, it hasn't. Too often in this industry do we hear similar stories to the article in today's Biscayne Times. While there is no simple answer, there is a better solution: communication and not the kind that Dr. Phil talks about.

OBCOM (Online Building Communication Manager) software-a 21st cenutry innovation--is now not only a trendy thing to possess, but an essential tool to utilize. Software like BuildingLink.com can enable owners or shareholders, board members, trustees, staff and management to all be on the same page. With robust fuctions like online document storage, online survey or voting functions, reporting and graphng tools, enhanced visitor security and record-keeping modules, preventative maintenance, parking and valet system, and hundreds of automatic notifications--any condominium can transform from conflicted confusion to clear communication.

While any software is only as good as the user, BuildingLink.com has empowered over 300,000 users every day by providing a method to streamline the often-conflicting operations of condo life. And that proves to be comforting.

Friday, December 4, 2009

To Twitter or Not To Twitter?

When it comes to resident communication, the day-to-day communication, to "tweet" or not to "tweet" becomes an even more important question.

There is no question that online, social media and automatic notifications are becoming essential in the apartment, condo and multi-family housing community. In fact, no matter what industry publication you read, there is always a little section on social media usage by residents and management. In fact, the November 2009 issue of units runs a short piece in their Manager Insider section: Earning Resident Loyalty Through Twitter.

The article primarily suggests to use Twitter to broadcast important, urgent announcements. While the piece is informative, and no doubt brings up solutions not often considered by management companies, it still raises questions of practicality and effectiveness. Will residents actually sign up for twitter? Will they set their options to follow your property? Is there a better way?

Well, the answer is, yes. Automatic notifications are wonderful, but in the multi-family housing industry, they go way beyond mere broadcast notifications. Innovative software can host a multitude of automatic notifications ranging from new documents for residents to access online, package or pickup delivery notifications, key control, updated status for repair requests, floor or line specific email notifications and much more.

BuildingLink.com is the leader of this technology and they created a very smart, functional and user-friendly platform that is essentially a database. Within minutes, and often seconds, residents and managers can communicate like never before. Resident loyalty is equivalent to resident satisfaction and a community powered by BuildingLink can accommodate and exceed residents' needs and expectations.

When it comes to discussing the weather, the ball game, or what you are doing right now, Twitter. When it comes to the day-to-day operations of community, get connected with BuildingLink.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Trump University Blogspot: Thrifty Ways to Upgrade a Building

Trump University Blogspot: Thrifty Ways to Upgrade a Building

Easy Software Integration - What's that?

The words "software integration" seem to raise the hairs on any property managers neck, and with good reason.

Most software companies don't want to share the maketplace-pie, so they are resistant to working with other kinds of software databases. Why share data (and share profit) if we can just build it ourselves?

This is not a working solution for anyone in the multi-family housing industry.

Unlike typical software integration projects, which can be lengthy, costy, frustrating or error-prone, BuildingLink has taken the frustration and cost out of the equation for our customers, by creating a powerful Integration Engine, that takes all the work away from you, yours software administrator, your management company's IT staff or the support department of your accounting software vendor.

Using the BuildingLink's Integration Engine, they can reduce the amount of time it takes to intergatre accounting data with BuildingLink. Why wait 3 to 6 months and deal with software integration headaches, when you could easily do a one-way, automatic integration in 1 or 2 weeks.

Running your building seamlessly has never been easier:

1. Send BuildingLink "rent roll" data extacly as it comes out of your accounting software, either vie email or via automatic nightly upload to our secure server.

2. The BuildingLink Intergration Engine automatically determines how to convert your raw data into specific update instructions for BuildingLink.

3. All recent changes to your accounting software data are now synchronized with your BuildingLink portal database.

This industry does not need to make more of data sharing than it is....it's easy. It doesn't have to require lots of meetings, planning or frustration. There is a solution to integrate software and BuildingLink has that innovation.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Budget Preparation - What Tools Are You Using?

As budget season is upon all of us, the rental and condo market is inundated with marketing messages from vendors promising a savings in money. In this economic climate, perhaps there is no stronger message. Yet like many preoccupied with turning red numbers to black; many managers, board trustees and board members "don't have time" to explore a professed money-saving product. Time is exactly what we all need and what we need to save, in addition to the dollar.

In the July/August 2009 Issue of CAI's Common Ground, there is a very concise article on preparing the budget for your community with tips on how to be efficient, like; allow ample time, do your homework, establish priorities, keep homeowners informed, or be flexible. While this is valuable information for one's budgeting, it's also a valuable mantra to your community's operations and communications. In fact, the more often buildings and communities focus on efficiency in their day-to-day operations, the easier the entire budgeting process can become.

There aren't too many tools that focus primarily on streamlining and organizing communication and operations in a property. We've all heard of programs or software that tracks leasing, or deals with accounting, or manages rent payments. While these can be essential to any property, too-often communities rely on sticky notes, binders, clipboards, Outlook...or even just their memory.

In 2001 with the innovation of BuildingLink, came a new and robust platform in the residential property management scene. Now operating in over 800 buildings worldwide; supporting millions and millions of tracked tasks, recorded packages, work order logs, condo documents, intelligent records and graphs; BuildingLink has become a de-facto standard in many of the top properties on the market. For example, you can't hop on the Craigslist's housing section, without seeing some rentals or condos with a "automatic package notification system." That's BuildingLink.

Moreover, this new kind of web-based tool as streamlined accountability for any board--high rise, low-rise, town home. In a matter of seconds, a board member could easily pull data on the daily operations in their own community--answering budget questions that could save their community thousands of dollars.

As we move into the budgeting climate for 2010, consider utilizing a tool like BuildingLink and streamlining not only your cash flow, but the time you save in crunching those numbers.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Property Management Software: Linking the Manager, Staff and Resident

Whether you are a new full-amenity condo, a traditional co-op, or a modern and busy rental building, you'll probably want to invest in operations management software. Not to be confused with an accounting package, online rent payment processor, or leasing software; operations management software enables a unique link between the daily operations of your staff and the residents of the community.

For example in BuildingLink, the platform's web-based system enables management and staff to run the daily on-site operations in an integrated and efficient manner like never before. A smart database, housing an unlimited amount of your community's desired data, BuildingLink will provide all users - both staff and residents - with an easy, logical and enjoyable interface. The online tools will handle all day-to-day communication, record-keeping, and task tracking needs.

Utilizing a host of customizeable automatic notifications, BuildingLink can keep everyone in a building on the same page like never before. Instead of phone tag, email chains and misplaced sticky notes, operational management software like BuildingLink, eliminates extra time spent, miscommunication, and inefficiency because the BuildingLink system is so flexible--it can be configured and customized for any community.

While accounting software and leasing software are essential to this industry, they can't replace this new kind of technology: devoted to the operations of a community. Feel free to contact the innovators of this web-based tool, now used in over 800 buildings worldwide. Contact BuildingLink.