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  • #10697
    Avatarwebman
    Flatchatter

    Do you use any software to help manage your building? How expensive is it? How well does it work?Thanks for any comments or suggestions you might have!

    The original post here was posted by a user called Webman whose email address started with the words spam-flatchat.  

    It also carried a link to a commercial software.  In a later post, Webman disparaged other rival software.

    For obvious reasons these posts have now been edited or deleted and Webman has been banned from the site.

    But the question is valid – what’s the best management software?

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  • #25653
    Sir HumphreySir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    One of our EC members is introducing us to Trello, just to keep track of who is up to what point on which project. It is free up to a point. We have not really got started so I can’t say how well it is working. 

    #25669
    AvatarHappy Strata
    Flatchatter

    Hi Jimmy,

    We have been using BuildingLink https://www.buildinglinkau.com.au/ for the past few months successfully. Our building manager, strata manager and more active EC members have found that it is significantly improved our processes and especially helped with interactions with residents, owners and tradespeople. We have standardised all our processes so the work is captured and coordinated through the product, which should help with the corporate memory of the complex.

    As per http://www.flat-chat.com.au/forum/strata-managers/building-maintenance-software/ we investigated and considered a number of options but found BuildingLink to probably have the most complete and mature offering for a strata complex, and had staff based in Australia. 

    Like any system though, the truism of garbage in – garbage out applies. As such we have spent significant time taking a rather incomplete strata roll and contacting by letter / note under door / email / SMS,  all the owners / tenants / real estate agents, to track down the missing information and even more. This job is now 95% complete, which has allowed us to automate the emailing of residents with update or outages in real time. 

    Pricing in our complex is $2 per lot per month. Our complex has over 100 lots, but I am not sure if the pricing is the same regardless of complex size. 

    #25670
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Yes, I have heard good things about Buildinglink.  And the point about needing to do some spadework to set it up is well made.

    However, I am still looking for an all-in-one package that can do all that, allow for discussion of issues and then provide for online voting as per the new legislation.  

    Anybody?

    #25700

    Hi Jimmy and all,

    as an alternative to building management software, we have been working to develop a modern, a all-in-one web portal specifically for Strata. It covers building management aspects, but our main focus is administration and communication. It doesn’t include voting just yet, but we will add it soon.

    We have released the beta version a week ago and offer 12 months free for schemes who wish to take part, for a limited time.

    As it is an open platform, it avoids most of the hassle of setting up the strata roll compared with a centralized system.

    Feel free to have a look and contact us if you have any questions!

    http://www.stratabox.com.au

    #25732
    Avatarg-g
    Flatchatter

    After 4 years of using BuildingLink ($2 per lot/month), a separate committee discussion forum (free), a separate invoicing system (provided by SM) and more recently a separate voting site ($300 per year), an all-in-one package is appealing.

    However, if our experience is anything to go by, the success of an all-in-one solution will depend on the ‘smarts’ of the users involved and not necessarily prove to be better than having a number of dedicated programs that can work together but independently if required. As ‘Happy strata’ stated garbage in, garbage out and often bears no relation to the ability of the software itself.

    For example:

    Strata Manager – in our case, will not use our management software so committee is constantly comparing two strata rolls. This is a time-wasting nuisance that we can see no way round this in the foreseeable future. We like our SM otherwise.

    Committee members – management software offers a very good general forum but a mediocre committee forum (time restrictions for one).

    Building Manager – maintenance and building-wide communications via management software are excellent. 

    Communication – SMS or email messages are wonderful – but can be over-used by over-enthusiastic residents. Our ‘marketplace’ was subjected to 25 posts by one resident in 5 minutes a couple of days ago – leading a number of other residents to ‘unsubscribe’.

    Voting – we have had recent conversations with a voting service about linking to our management software – but that has gone into the too hard basket, A simple workaround exporting/importing the strata roll into a dedicated voting site worked a treat.

    Document library – some users cannot spell! So documents can be archived all over the place.

    We have also had the experience of losing data following a falling out with a single provider.

    So, for what it is worth, when considering an all-in-one package caution should prevail. 

    #25775

    Hi Pamela,

    sorry I haven’t checked the forum in a few days and just saw your response.

    Thank you for the feedback, it is very valuable for us to hear from different users to ensure we come up with a relevant solution.

    Our solution is primarily focused on communication and archiving, but we believe that once the users are familiar with the product and once all the required user information and accesses have been set up, it can then be user to cover all other aspects as well. If done well, having everything in one place would save time and effort for everyone.

    I would be very happy to discuss this further with you at your best convenience!

    Cheers, Paul

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