Managing a dynamic ocean-side condo community

Spinnaker Condominium

Location: Sea Isle City, New Jersey
 

Executive Summary

Leigh Ann Sittineri is the General Manager of the Spinnaker Condominium Corporation, a vibrant New Jersey community located right beside the water. Leigh Ann and her team care for a mix of owners, seasonal renters, and a small group of people who rent out retail space within the development. Leigh Ann’s biggest frustrations were inefficient communications and service request management. Spinnaker Condominium Corporation was looking for a solution that would improve communications, and allow staff to be more productive. Condo Control made it significantly easier for management to stay on top of everything.

 

About Leigh Ann

Leigh Ann is the General Manager of the Spinnaker Condominium Corporation. She likes to have as much information as possible so that she can do her job well. She also works hard to ensure others in her community have the information that they need.

 

Background Information

The Spinnaker Condominium Corporation has just under 200 units. Approximately 50% of the units are rented on a seasonal basis, 10% are occupied by owners year-round, and 40% are used as second homes. The proximity to the water makes this property very attractive, especially in summer. There is also a large common area that is made up of 18 retail stores. The space is rented out to businesses through the association. Management must communicate with all of these different groups, but important information wouldn’t always make it to recipients. Condo Control’s Announcements and Service Requests features proved to be vital tools for the busy corporation.  

 

Challenges

Whether it was a notice about a fast-approaching flood, or a service request intended for maintenance staff, people were not getting the information they needed in a timely manner. The old processes that the corporation was using often made this problem worse.

Reaching owners and residents

Leigh Ann and her team were using email to communicate with owners and residents. But they found it challenging to keep up with all of the information that needed to be distributed. They would get very busy, and may not get around to sending out an important message.

Other times, someone might have accidentally been left off of the mailing list, or the email would get mixed up with junk mail. Since The Spinnaker is susceptible to flooding, a missed email could mean a resident is unprepared for volatile weather.

While sitting in board meetings, Leigh Ann would hear owners complain about the lack of communication, but she also noticed that people would bring up topics that were already addressed in detail with emails. “It got to be very repetitive at the meetings, and at that point I said, there’s got to be something out there that will work for us,” explained Leigh Ann.

Managing service requests

Service requests were being written manually. “We would give them to maintenance, and we would hope they would come back to us.” But on occasion, a request got lost. “There was no tracking system to make sure that requests were completed.” Sometimes, the management team wouldn’t know anything until the owner came in and complained that an issue still hadn’t been fixed.

“I was very frustrated,” said Leigh Ann. The disorganization put a little bit of animosity between staff and owners, and things weren’t getting done.

Finding time to get work done

Since the management team was spending so much time retrieving information that had already been distributed, or following up on service requests, they weren’t able to complete the tasks that they wanted to.

 

The Solution

Leigh Ann and her team started to research software solutions for property management. When she found Condo Control, Leigh Ann was delighted to see all of the practical features that would be available to her community.

A communication system just for the community

Leigh Ann’s favourite Condo Control feature is the Announcements. If she needs to send out an urgent message due to flooding or high tide, she can use the communications tool to reach residents quickly and effectively. “It goes out and it’s flagged right on someone’s cell phone if they have it set up, it sends out the email, it sends out priority alerts, and we’ve even been able to use the text message version. It just gets the communication out faster.”

With this feature, condo emails aren’t competing with other emails, and no one is accidentally left off of an email list. But Leigh Ann can specify who will receive messages.

Mass Communication

“There’s a north tower and a south tower, and then we have the retail. All 3 of them have their own separate groups because there are things that will affect one tower that won’t affect the other.” There’s also a group just for summer guests. This way, they can be looped in to what’s going on without expecting the owner of the unit to reach out to them.

A digital process for service requests 

Spinnaker residents use the service requests feature a lot. Management can enter new requests, but the owners can submit them as well. “The fact that it reminds you that there’s something that’s open or pending – it’s a beautiful thing,” said Leigh Ann. Now it’s easier to ensure issues are fixed right away. There’s a way for the staff to track these things.

Even the store owners can use this feature. And because staff can check on new requests at any time, they don’t have many unpleasant surprises waiting for them when they come in the next morning.

Streamlined resident services

The communication and service requests features have given Leigh Ann and her team a lot of valuable time back, but there are other features that have made life easier for the Spinnaker community, too.

condo security module

Owners can notify the team through Condo Control that they have a contractor or a guest coming through, which makes it easy for staff to authorize visitors and have the keys ready.

Since the pandemic, the corporation is also using the package tracking feature. “It holds everybody accountable,” said Leigh Ann. Residents can collect their items as soon as they’re delivered and management doesn’t have to store the packages in their office anymore.

 

Results

Both Spinnaker staff and residents are happy with the changes that Condo Control has helped the community make. Leigh Ann and her team have more time to focus on bigger projects and tasks.

 

Leigh Ann

  • Spends less time on the phone talking to owners
  • Can send out critical information in minutes
  • Has more time to devote to more significant tasks
  • Has the information she needs to do her job well

Staff

  • Are on the same page
  • Have improved the workflow process and can accomplish more
  • Can better serve residents

Residents

  • Are kept in the loop, even if they aren’t on the property
  • Get important information right away and can better prepare for floods
  • Know exactly where to go if they need to find a form or message

 

Final Words

“Condo Control definitely makes it easier to go home at night, the phones ring less, I don’t have to worry about what I missed during the day and it protects my sanity. It’s a great organizing tool and I get more done.”