Smart communication tools: leveraging on existing platforms

How many apps do you currently have in your smartphone? Of those, how many do you use on a daily basis?

One of the main issues with software for management of residential communities is the difficulty to engage all community users.

As powerful as a solution may be, it is always a challenge to get everyone involved in learning and using the software.

According to the latest Urbytus survey among community managers, the main issue affecting them is the amount of emails and phone calls that they receive from residents.

Good software should avoid this problem. It should facilitate and filter communication with residents. But they need to use it first.

This is why a new trend in software development is becoming apparent now: integrations with apps and social networks where users spend most of their time.

Chatbots are an excellent example of this.

An automated chatbot can act as a concierge that handles requests by users without the need of interaction by a manager. If coupled with machine learning, it can be a powerful tool for customer service and handling of incidents.

Specifically in management of residential communities, Spanish software provider Comunitaria has done exactly that: a chatbot that integrates with software that is already used by residents. They call it Supervecina (super neighbour).

This is also part of the new upgrades currently being prepared for the Urbytus software.

Please contact us in case you wish to find out more about how chatbots and machine learning technology can assist you with the management of your residential community.

Does your residential community use software?

Letterboxes full of junk mail. Important notifications going missing. How do I tell my neighbour that his dog is digging holes in our gardens? Endless general meetings, but very little progress.

Does your residential community use software to tackle these problems?

There is no shortage of options available in the market. Free or premium; for professional administrators, but also for communities that wish to self-manage their affairs.

Digital disruption in property management: is the “Uber Moment” coming?

The world of property management software has been traditionally slow to adopt new technologies.

Is this necessarily a bad thing, though? Once the dust settles, it is probably easier to see which technological advancements worked and which ones didn’t.

With the onset of Uber-like platforms, different sectors have seen apps take over the work of middlemen, changing business models in the process.

Reducing paper use in your urbanisation

Paper is used extensively in homes and around urbanisations for cleaning, printing, communication, packing and much more. But paper manufacture is a huge drain on the world’s forests, not to mention a high user of energy and a polluting manufacturing process.

Using recycled paper and recycling the paper you do use is important to minimizing depletion of forests and there are lots of handy tips to reducing paper use at home and in the office. However as a community president you can lead the way by dramatically cutting the amount of paper you use and saving money by switching to online communication methods.

Use a community website to conduct polls, share ideas and information and improve communication. Having a website everyone can access rather than a notice board will dramatically reduce the amount you have to print out and will improve communication because owners can be in touch no matter where they are.

Urbytus is committed to helping communities to save paper and cut costs by rolling out our Online Community Management (OCM) software. OCM is a multi-lingual web-based solution designed to make the job of managing and living within a community easier. It allows effective, paperless communication between owners, the committee and administrators. Owners can advertise properties for sale and rent, access information and share their problems easily. The Community President and Administrator have access to easy to use management tools which can significantly reduce their workload.

Through this software we are already helping around 2 million owners to reduce their use of stamps, envelopes, paper and ink, saving them around 1.2 million Euros. We estimate that we can save large communities up to 15,000€ and help them to be more environmentally responsible.  Please contact Urbytus to find out more.

Recent loss of satellite TV channels Spain

Have you lost any TV channels on your urbanization? As a community president in Spain you are probably fielding all the enquiries from the owners so we thought we’d give you an update you can share.  As the president of my community, I have been lucky enough that through our community website, I’ve been able to update our owners and stop the spreading of large dishes across the community.

There has been much talk recently about the loss of certain UK TV channels such as 4HD, 4Seven and Channel 5 after many households across Spain stopped receiving them. A number of channels have moved from Astra 1N to Astra 2F with more channels due to make the move and to most this has come as a shock as they were unaware of any expected changes.

Other popular channels will be moving anytime between now and next summer and its said that if you have lost channel 5 now, then you will be very likely to lose all BBC, ITV channels and the remaining Channel 4 group including E4. However, until the channels actually make the move, it is uncertain what your current set-up will be able to receive.

What options have I got?

There are various companies offering solutions to this at the moment and many households on the Costa Blanca are being told to buy a bigger satellite dish in order to still pick up the channels. However on the Costa del Sol it’s still uncertain whether a bigger dish will even receive the channels after the move. So don’t rush out for a bigger satellite dish yet!

At the moment it seems the best advice would be to do nothing until more of the channels have made the move to the new satellite then you know exactly what you can still receive. Some people are being told they will lose all channels on the 16th December but it’s not certain which channels will be moving on that date, if any at all, however what is certain is that it will not be all of them.

The reception of the UK channels received in Spain from the new satellite is currently unknown so there is still a chance you could pick up some of the channels after the move.  There is not enough space on the new satellite for all the channels to move at the same time either which is why two new satellites will be launched in 2013 and 2014 and the remaining channels will be moved over then, so rest assured that this process is likely to be gradual.

If you really miss the channels you have already lost then a solution at the moment would be IPTV which is television through your internet. Many companies are currently offering this as a solution but its worth baring in mind that it may not be the same quality you would be used to with HD channels and it relies on a strong internet connection. You can also watch UK television via filmon.com.

To be able to connect with owners on your urbanization and answer questions like this, a handy tool is an online community forum which is one of the features of our OCM community website.

 

Malaga, One of the World’s Smart Cities

Malaga prides itself on being part of the International Project of Smart Cities and is ranked 1st in the top 5 smart cities in Spain. The key goals for Malaga Smart City are to reduce CO2 emissions, increase energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy to become a more sustainable city. The project includes energy efficiency solutions for the home and has benefited around 12,000 households since the launch in 2009.