Re: Management Software? Smart HOA
From: Norman Gauss (normangausscharter.net)
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 23:41:58 -0800 (PST)
I have been fiddling with the Smart HOA software.  If it were working as well 
as promoted, I probably would be happy with it.  However, in my opinion, it 
needs to be debugged more before it will be useful to me.  So far, I have found 
a few applications which do not work, or else they are so erratic, I am not 
sure what will happen when I press the button.

Norm Gauss
Oak Creek Commons HOA
Paso Robles, CA

-----Original Message-----
From: Cohousing-L [mailto:cohousing-l-bounces+normangauss=charter.net [at] 
cohousing.org] On Behalf Of Ken Winter
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 9:51 AM
To: Cohousing-L List
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Management Software?


One more property management package is smartHOA (http://www.smarthoa.com/).

For another whole class of possibilities, Google for "association
management software".

Another possible way to meet approximately the same set of needs is to
build a portal specifically for cohousing communities.  See the thread "Seeking
fellow cohousing geeks" (later renamed "Community portals") that I started
here a few months ago.  Also, see (and join!) the discussion forum
"Cohousing Portals" at http://tinyurl.com/coportals (which anyone can feel
free to expand to include discussions of commercially available packages
like those mentioned in this thread).  The current status of DIY coho
portals is that one already exists and is available, and another is an
exploratory work-in-progress.  For the status and discussions of these, see
the "Works in Progress" section of the "Cohousing Portals" forum referenced
above.

~ Ken, from Sunward


On Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 12:33 AM, Norman Gauss <normangauss [at] charter.net>
wrote:

>
> Philip Dowds:
>
> Thanks for the tips.  I have been experimenting with "Buildium", and, so
> far, it seems to do what we want. It is fairly easy to use.  It will cost
> us $40 per month.
>
> I played around with Pbworks Project Hub and so far have found it
> difficult.  But as long as it does not cost anything, I find poking around
> in it worthwhile.
>
> I am starting out with the idea that access to only certain committees
> would work best.  We have six people on the Facilities Committee whom I
> have invited to "Kick the Tires" in Buildium.  Eventually members of the
> Landscape and Common House committees could enter tasks and keep up with
> their progress.
>
> My preference would be to use simple spreadsheets, but putting them in the
> Cloud with edit privileges would probably require an interactive software
> package.  As you pointed out, Dropbox handles file sharing, but
> spreadsheets would probably not work, especially if you have both Apple and
> PC's in your membership.  The idea of a central server appeals to me, but
> setting it up would probably be very expensive.  Years ago, we experimented
> with Wi-Fi, and found signal transmission from the far reaches of our
> complex to the central receiving station to be inadequate.
>
> Sharon Villines has mentioned My Green Condo, and At Home Net.  I might
> take a look at them.
>
> Again, thank you for your ideas.
>
> Norman Gauss
> Oak Creek Commons
> Paso Robles, CA
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Cohousing-L [mailto:cohousing-l-bounces+normangauss=
> charter.net [at] cohousing.org] On Behalf Of R Philip Dowds
> Sent: Saturday, November 08, 2014 2:59 PM
> To: Cohousing-L
> Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Management Software?
>
>
> Norman —
>
> I use Dropbox for a variety of things, and it works fine, as far as it
> goes.  Basically, it stores stuff in the cloud such that you can get your
> stuff from anywhere, and also assign download and/or posting privileges to
> specific individuals (or, your entire community membership).
>
> But Dropbox is not very interactive.  For that, you need something like a
> “wiki”, which allows for sharing, edition management, co-authoring, and
> dialog.  The one we’ve tried and liked (some of us, anyway) is a free
> service provided by PBWorks.  There are many other wiki services available,
> but the free versions are typically too crippled (too few participants, not
> enough storage) to be useful to cohos.  The paid versions will often be
> more than you need, and cost a couple of thousand a year for site access
> and maintenance.
>
> Two really big things to watch out for:
>      ? Will most of the community agree to learn and use and
> semi-technical web service?  And,
>      ? How much web-based collaboration do you want?  I’ve found that
> providing broad write privileges to spreadsheets, text docs and databases
> usually results in document files that are either incomprehensible or
> ruined.
>
> RPD
>
> > On Nov 8, 2014, at 3:31 PM, Norman Gauss <normangauss [at] charter.net>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Phil Dowds:
> >
> > Do you find file sharing software useful that would allow us to create
> our own files and upload them to the web.  A service called Dropbox has
> been suggested by one our members.  She works in a small wildlife rescue
> facility which uses Dropbox.
> >
> > Do you know of other file sharing packages we might look into?
> >
> > Norman Gauss
> > Oak Creek Commons Cohousing
> > Paso Robles, CA
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Cohousing-L
> > [mailto:cohousing-l-bounces+normangauss=charter.net [at] cohousing.org] On
> > Behalf Of R Philip Dowds
> > Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2014 2:30 PM
> > To: Cohousing-L
> > Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Management Software?
> >
> >
> > The referenced site is interesting because it’s web-based, and its home
> page nicely itemizes the various tasks and challenges that confront the
> management of residential property.  But is it right for cohousing?  Most
> of us cohousing communities are 20 to 40 units max, and we just don’t have
> that many cars, packages, or “violations”.  Further, this looks like a
> program / service made for a third party professional manager who, apart
> from his/her contract or employment, has almost no real knowledge of the
> facility or its residents.  At Cornerstone, we get the job done (more or
> less) with Quickbooks and Excel spreadsheets maintained on a central
> server.  Plus, most of us have an excellent view of that which we’re trying
> to manage just by sitting in our home offices and looking out the window.
> If we wanted to get fancy, we could gin up something in Filemaker, but for
> the few number of balls we have to juggle, it doesn’t seem worth the bother.
> >
> > RPD
> >
> >> On Nov 6, 2014, at 5:02 PM, Norman Gauss <normangauss [at] charter.net>
> wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Are there any cohousing groups that utilize software to manage their
> >> affairs?  I learned of a software package available through the
> >> Davis-Stirling.com website:
> >> http://www.smarthoa.com/?utm_source=bronto&utm_medium=email&utm_term=
> >> I
> >> mage+-
> >> +http%3A%2F%2Fwww.smarthoa.com%2F&utm_content=normangauss%40charter.n
> >> +e
> >> +t&utm_
> >> campaign=Panty+Thief
> >>
> >>
> >> In addition, I have looked at several software packages specifically
> >> for property maintenance management.
> >>
> >> If any one is familiar with any such software, I would appreciate
> >> being pointed to any you found useful.
> >>
> >> Norm Gauss
> >> Oak Creek Commons Cohousing
> >> Paso Robles, CA
> >>
> >> _________________________________________________________________
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> >>
> >>
> >
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