Social media impacts just about everyone…few escape its presence in personal life or the business world. Whereas Facebook was once a leading platform for millennials, the portal has increasing appeal to the aging demographic, especially in lieu of Twitter and Instagram. Regardless of the chosen medium, social media has redefined 21st century communication, doubtlessly.
CeBIT’s Social Business Trends for 2014 found that by 2016, 50 percent of large organizations will have internal Facebook-like social networks, and 30 percent of these organizations will consider social media as essential as email and phones are today. For many co-op and condominium communities, however, the preferred method of communication remains association websites and emails.
“We’ve noticed that having a website depends on the community type and demographics of residents as well as location,” says Associa New York President and CEO Fred Rodriquez. “However, we’ve also noticed that some communities do have websites, but they are rarely used or have little functionality.”
In most cases, the majority of boards and managing agents are using some form of social media, but calculating just how many are virtually communicating about topical issues is a moving target, says Nicole Ramos Beauchamp, a real estate agent at Engel & Volkers in New York City. “A very rough, educated guesstimate is that more than half of boards use some form of technology—be it websites or social media—to communicate with residents,” says Beauchamp, who has worked with boards on social media issues. “The most common system I encounter is BuildingLink.”
Beauchamp references BuildingLink.com, a web-based platform used in over 2,100 properties in the U.S. and worldwide. According to its website, the program offers efficient management, communication, and enhanced living advice for residents and managing agents. BuildingLink, however, isn’t the only game in town. “Some buildings use BuildingLink system for work orders such as package/delivery, logging information and announcements,” said Georgia Barton of Barton Management. “Others use sites such as BigTent to communicate amongst themselves.”