By now, we all know the impact of going green. You hear it from your homeowners, from your boards, and especially from your vendors. Sometimes it feels like everyone has a hand out for some extra green to help you go green. So you want to go green in your community management, but you don’t want to shell out a lot of green to do it? Then read on my friend! This article is for you.
1. Store Reports Electronically => Save on Filing Space, Printing Costs and Paper!
Hundreds of reports are created in your office every month – maybe more! You need the key performance indicators to measure the success of your work, and share those results with others. However, that doesn’t mean you need them on paper. Your management software should have an option to export all of your reports into a PDF or spreadsheet format.
2. Summarize Board Financials => Save on Printing Costs, Paper and Meeting Times!
After sitting in a board meeting tonight, I was reminded of the sheer volume of paperwork that gets wasted for just an hour or two of discussion. Monthly Board Financial packages can run 100+ pages. You can send these packages via email to board officers or post them on the community’s website. Create a summary overview of the bottom line from each report, and refer to the detailed versions electronically (If you need to show them at the meeting, a laptop and a projector or even a tablet serves as a good way to explore the reports in more detail if necessary.)
3. Switch to Electronic Mailings => Save on Paper, Printing and Mailing Costs!
Take in for a moment the sheer volume of paper that goes out to homeowners – coupons, statements, letters, newsletters, announcements, and so much more. You can have your owners opt-in to receive emails for select communications instead of direct mail. Just a 35% adoption rate from a 1,000 home community for 3 mailings a month can save you over $150/month in postage alone, never mind the costs of paper, ink, printer wear and tear, envelope stuffing, and that critical last minute rush to the post office.
Your management solution should offer the option to send and store emails to owners. Even if it doesn’t, a number of email services exist to help you send email blasts, such as ConstantContact and MailChimp. Look into their pricing plans – you’ll likely see that the costs are far cheaper than the amount you are currently spending on ‘snail mail’.
4. Activate Online Payments => Save on coupon books, invoices and statements
Homeowners love the convenience of being able to pay online, and you’ll love the savings you receive when you no longer need to print coupon books, invoices and statements. Pair your online payments with a community website where owners can check their balances online, and you’ve got a one-two punch that everyone loves.
5. Start Scanning Payables => Save on paper, filing costs, and document retrieval
Scanning incoming invoices does a lot more than save on filing cabinets. Your entire team will gain access to view open invoices, without the need to go into the AP department. Take it to the next level by storing those scanned images in the cloud and now board members can view pending invoices and approve them for payment online.
From investing in hybrid cars to adding energy efficiency to your buildings, you hear about going green from every quarter. While these options are excellent for the long term, we still live in a reality that requires managing your communities and paying salaries and all the regular every-day expenses that crop up, requiring you to stick to business as usual… or does it?
Just as we tell our children that the small things that they can do will help the environment, so too can we implement small measures to make the world a better place. And if those practices help our bottom line too, so much the better!