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DCM Blog

A look back at 2020
December 12, 2020

We hope you’re staying safe and well.

Since March 18, 2020, we’ve all been in a different world. Some foresaw a larger issue than others were willing to admit. I must admit, we were in the optimist camp on the matter until mid-March. We’ve been riding through this new world together, through the complete shutdown to now and it’s been a difficult ride.

From complete shuttering of all non-essential businesses to modified environments for us in essential fields, businesses have been hit hard. Families have been hit hard. Condo owners have been hit hard.

Staff and Communication

Dickenson Condo Management’s staff has seen a two-fold increase in their workloads as more people were home and were communicating, many for the first time, their concerns over their fitness centres being closed, their grass not begin cut or the kids next door making too much noise. The Ontario government allowed us to start communicating with owners via email, as long as we had their email addresses, whether or not they had provided e-consent. The government also allowed us to start having meetings digitally, in hopes of decreasing transmission. To help condo owners filter through the news in these first couple of months, we posted videos on our Facebook page and attended weekly webinars to stay on top of changes.  In the beginning months, there were a few email blasts, reaching out to owners, letting them know resources to educate themselves and to contact us if they were struggling with their condo fees.

Modernization

This has been a year of tragedy, but a year that has also pushed for modernization to help improve our efficiency and your safety.

We’ve implemented, with your help, some wonderful new processes!

Owner’s portal use is now at 33% across all of our Corporation, decreasing email loads

– Virtual Board meetings have decreased Board meeting lengths and allowed us to meet more safely and more often during the day

– Most Corporations have converted to electronic payments of bills (EFT) and many more are in transition to use that method (Board members are now approving invoices via email)

– Dickenson Condo Management has expanded our staff to one more admin and one more bookkeeper, to try to keep up with the workload, helping Board members run their Corporations better

– Approximately 95% of Corporations passed Electronic Meeting and Voting by-laws at their AGMs this year, allowing us to have another tool in our belt, to try to get quorum in years to come.

We could not modernize without you.

The Pandemic Has Affected Everyone

You’ve seen the effect, indirectly, of the pandemic in your Corporation, even if it didn’t affect you directly. Contractors were either barred from working, limited what they could do, left the business or were stuck in another country (trying to get home), during the spring and some of the summer. Many maintenance items budgeted for this year have now been deferred to next year. Unfortunately, this lack of response from contractors often left us all in a lurch, with owners asking why work was not being completed. I can assure you; this was felt by every Corporation.

A New Condo Manager 

Going forward, Dickenson Condo Management is hiring another staff member, so one of our Admins, Heather Dickenson, can move into the condominium manager roll. Heather has been with DCM since 2017 and has achieved her General License (CMRAO-certified) as well as her RCM (ACMO-certified).

Having Heather as a condominium manager will allow all Corporations to get more attention from their manager, as we realize we haven’t had enough time this year to give your Corporation the attention it deserves.

Heather Dickenson

Let’s Move Into the Future, Together

We are constantly working to make our service to your Corporation a little better each year and we thank you for giving us the opportunity to experiment (and succeed) with new technologies.
We look forward to seeing how the world turns, in the new year, hoping for a vaccine and a lowering of illness rates. We also look forward to continuing to work with you to implement techniques and technologies that help us help your Corporation in the most efficient way possible.

Jennifer Dickenson
Jennifer Dickenson -Author of this piece