How communities make use of Internet to reduce their community fees during the crisis.
Communities and urbanizations in many areas are suffering badly due to the recession and economical situation and times we are living in. Many communities have therefore renegotiated contracts, cut down on unwanted extras and implemented measures to reduce costs. One of these has been the adoption of internet based software, such as Votoweb, todosvecinos, mycasaoline, and OCM. It is not surprising therefore to see communities save an average of €3 to €10 euro per property per year by going electronic. Majorities of the communities in Spain are still using paper based communication to distribute fees and minutes of the meeting and few have adopted web2 services. However a few communities are prospering during these hard times.
El Porton de Mijas is a prime example of a community that by adopting such a service. Being tired of the lack of communication within their urbanisation, and having pinpointed fundamental costs occurring regularly that could have been saved if a proper communication system was in place, the community decided for a change of tactic. A full change of administration, committee and with the help of a purpose built website from Urbytus, they managed to turn the numbers in their favour. Denis O’Brien the Vice President of the Community, points out that “Communication is the key to success. Without communication you will have dictatorship and it is bound to fail at some point or another. Our website is multilingual and is specifically designed for communities of owners. It has bee an invaluable help in allowing all owners to interact whatever their language, creating a higher level of understanding and satisfaction amongst owners. It has also increased owner participation in forums where their expert advice has actually resulted in huge savings.”
David Pelham, financial advisor and member of the committee points out that the cost of the website was immediately offset by the savings in postage and photocopying costs and further more it allowed us to identify expenses that otherwise we would not have noticed. David adds “the website has been a huge help in keeping the information centralized so that it can be accessed at any time in future. It also helped with listing debtors and recovering over 75% in overdue community fees”.
El Porton might just be a small community of 40 owners, but they are not the only community that has decided to use the web to their benefit. Everyday more and more communities are signing up to web2 services. What’s for sure is that we cannot carry on in this day and age attached to an old fashioned community administration where no one knows about anything in their community from one AGM to the next.