We are constantly developing exciting new features to address the growing needs of your business and the communities you manage. We will continue to spotlight these while taking time in a series of “Back to Basics” blog posts to shine the light back on some of the workhorse functions that address you core business needs.
Let’s be honest, violations are the least sexy part of the job. They are what stir up the most headlines, end up as the butt of jokes and complaints from homeowners, and represent a major time commitment from your managers and other staff. From driving a community, to notating infractions, tracking history on open violations, preserving records, and getting letters out, not to mention fielding phone calls and spending time on the topic in board meetings with homeowners who might be upset and less than cordial, the violations process can be messy. Here’s how eUnify helps you organize the mess with its easy-to-use Violations module:
Native Mobile App – The uManage app is available natively for Apple and Android devices. This means that the app is downloaded securely through the App Store or from Google Play. Apps you download and install outside of these stores have no security guarantees and could compromise your devices. Using a native app also means data can be stored locally on your device to help with speed and connection issues.
GPS – The uManage app takes advantage of GPS data from Google Maps so you can pinpoint your location, track your inspection route, easily cite the correct property, and perform your inspection in map view, with a map pin denoting each home in the community.
Offline – The uManage app enables you to work offline. Simply load the association while connected to the internet and then toggle to offline mode. The app even allows you to load multiple associations if you plan on inspecting more than one property while offline. As soon as you regain connection, the captured violations will sync with the server and your letters will be generated automatically.
Route Tracking – GPS data collected during an inspection is useful for making sure your inspectors/managers are on property when expected, and route histories could come in handy in certain potential legal challenges.
Mobile Capture with Photos – It only takes a few taps in a few seconds to capture a violation with one or more photos. This helps you get the job done faster on the front end, get out of there quickly before homeowner paranoia sets in when they see someone outside taking photos, and completely eliminates the need to match up field notes and photos with accounts later. Photos can be embedded in letters with or without a date/time stamp.
Send Letters – Letters are set to generate automatically as soon as a violation is captured and synced with the server. This means coming back to the office after an inspection with all the paperwork done. You can make edits to individual letters, if needed, and print them out as a single batch. Letter templates are in Word format and you can edit and reformat these as needed. Maybe the name of the company changes, branding guidelines change you need a different font, or statutes change and you have to update the language of the form letter; you have control over all of these.
Paperless Option – We proudly integrate with LetterStream to provide a paperless solution for violation letters and all other paper communications generated in uManage. This option allows you to outsource the mailroom. Homeowners still get their letter in the mail, but you don’t have to touch paper or a printer. Online tracking of certified letters is also conveniently available for outsourced mailings.
Email Notices – Set your violation actions to email homeowners a PDF copy of the letter automatically when the letter is finalized in the system. You might still need to send paper copies to comply with local laws, but sending an email copy in addition to paper usually gets a quicker resolution.
Portal Visibility – Violation history and PDF copies of letters are available to homeowners in the CommunityLink portal. This is a third way of notifying homeowners of cited issues and a valuable communication tool, as homeowners can respond in line with the violation from the portal to notify you of when an issue is resolved, if they have questions, or if they want to be heard by the Board.
Violations Tab – It’s important to preserve history of violations work. Enforcement of the CC&Rs is enforcement of a contract, which sometimes means legal challenges from homeowners. Your homeowner accounts in uManage contain all the information related to each account in a series of tabs to keep you organized. The tab marked “Violations” contains a history of all violations, open and closed, related to the account.
Sent Letters – All letters finalized in the system are stored on the account in the Violations tab indefinitely. You will always have access to historical letters sent to homeowners. Anything sent certified via LetterStream fulfillment will have online tracking from the USPS and uploaded signed delivery receipts, which you might need when proving your case if a legal challenge is raised.
Notes – Accounts have space for generalized notes and a dedicated space for notes unique to each violation. Use this space to document any phone calls or emails with homeowners and keep your coworkers in the know.
eUnify has violations down pat. Contact us to learn more and see how your company can benefit from organizing, standardizing, and outsourcing the work that goes into covenant enforcement.