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FALL 2012

Why CondominiumFirstConnect?

ondominiumFirstConnect is a powerful software suite that improves communication within condominium communities. With CFConnect, association board members and owners have access to information 24 hours a day, every day, from anywhere in the world that has Internet access.

hours. Your call will always be answered by a customer care specialist; you will never have to leave a message. Ninety percent of the queries received are resolved on the first call. Those that are not are directed to the management team for action.

and events. Instant Communication The Resident Alert is a recorded phone message that can be sent simultaneously to some or all residents. This is important for unplanned events, such as an emergency water shutdown. An email communication tool will send reminders about planned events and deliver newsletters and notices electronically. This saves money on postage, envelopes, copies and is good for the environment. How will I know when I can access CondominiumFirstConnect? A letter will be sent to each homeowner when the community has been integrated with CFConnect. The letter will introduce the new contact phone number to reach our customer care specialists. It will also provide instructions on how to log into the free community website. We encourage you to take advantage of these new resources when they become available for your condominium. Your InfoCenter, community website and customer care center are convenient ways to answer your account and association questions.

I N T H E N E W S

For Residents A comprehensive InfoCenter database is the foundation of CFConnect. The answers to hundreds of propertyspecific questions for each complex are included. Every condominium corporation that Condominium First manages will have a unique database. All owners will have access to their system when it is convenient for them. You will find information on insurance, your account, policies, architectural controls and more. You will also be able to update your owner information, request maintenance and contact your community manager. In addition to the user-friendly, online CFConnect, we will still be just a phone call away. Your Customer Care Centre (CCC) will answer your questions during office

For Board Members With CFConnect board members have exclusive access to a wealth of information about their community. They can download and view reports in real-time. Reports include financial data, board projects, unit information such as calls, letters, renters, violations and work orders. Community Website CFConnect also includes a free community website for each property. This is another way for the board and manager to communicate with the residents about upcoming projects subscribers. Internet was restored later that evening, but Condominium First did not have phone service until the evening of July 12th. By monitoring Twitter we learned of both problems quickly and responded. Shaws troubles meant you could not call us. We posted notices on our website, CFConnect community websites, Facebook and Google+ to communicate the problem to you. We re-routed all incoming calls to the Customer Care Centre (CCC). The team explained the situation to callers and used CFConnect to log the information. We were then able to contact those callers. It was an unplanned test of the new communication tools and they responded wonderfully!

Blackouts and Fire Create Chaos

wo events in July 2012 disrupted Alberta and caused electrical, phone and email problems for our customers.

The first was a series of rolling blackouts on July 9th. The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) imposed the power restrictions across the province without warning. The blackouts trapped people in elevators, parkade doors wouldnt open, and fobs and intercoms did not work. Alarm monitoring services reported unresponsive fire alarm panels.

CONTACT US:
Calgary: (403) 299-1810 Bow Valley: (403) 678-9933 Edmonton: (780) 638-0988 Fort McMurray (780) 714-5838 www.condominiumfirst.com

Then, on July 11th, an explosion and fire at Shaw Communications in Calgary knocked out Internet and phone All systems were operating again by service to approximately 30,000 Shaw July 13th.

Disaster: prepare for the worst, hope for the best


ire is a destructive, disastrous and potentially deadly event. When a fire occurs in a condominium the result is a devastating experience for the residents. Unlike a single-family home, where one or sometimes a few families are tragically displaced, a condominium fire can affect hundreds of people. The fire itself is a terrifying and emotional experience. Everyone watches the disaster unfold in shock. Concern for people and pets trapped inside is forefront. Eventually the fire is put out, but that doesnt mean the problems are over for the victims. Luckily most residents survive a condo fire. But suddenly many of them are homeless; sometimes they have lost everything. Often they dont have insurance.

Even if your home did not burn, there is smoke and water damage. If the building is not structurally safe you may be barred for days, or weeks, from returning to retrieve your possessions. This is just the beginning of your unexpected journey. How you planned, or did not, for the unknown future will greatly affect what happens next.

know there will be many decisions to be made during this time that will involve the owners, the board, the management company, the corporations insurance, contractors and more. It is a complex time. Not being properly insured amplifies the chaos.

Of course, fire prevention is also important. Always dispose of smoking materials properly, not in plant pots or over the balcony. Do not use charcoal cooking Insurance is critical. Contents devices, leave candles or pots cooking on and liability insurance are the stove unattended, or store good, but both owners and tenants should flammable liquids near heat ask your brokers about policies that best sources or furnaces. More incover you. You may need to rent a place formation on fire safety is to live while you are still paying the mort- available at www.calgary.ca. gage, condo fees and property taxes on Search for fire safety tips. your damaged home. Or, if you are a In a perfect world there would be no fires, landlord, you may lose rental income. but the reality is that accidents do happen. It can take a year or more to rebuild after How they affect you is at least partly una fire. Condominium First has experience der your control. dealing with disaster. We

Fire Prevention Week is October 7th to 13th, 2012


Fire Prevention Week is recognized every October during the week Sunday through Saturdayin which October 7th falls. This years theme is Have Two Ways Out. Despite the fact that fewer fire losses are reported in Canada, on average, eight Canadians die from fire every week. Most of these fires are preventable and caused by careless behaviour. This is why it is critical to educate the public and incite them to act. During this week, fire departments across the nation will promote public awareness of the dangers of fire and the ways we can protect ourselves. For more information about fire safety and Fire Prevention Week visit Fire Prevention Canadas new website at www.fiprecan.ca or scan the code to the right.

CONDOMINIUM SALES AND LEASING


CERTIFIED CONDOMINIUM SPECIALISTS (CCS)

Condominium Sales: Condominium Leasing: Call for FREE CMA Full service management (Comparative Market Analysis) Tenant screening Rent collection Our CCS associates will Monthly financial statement provide the information you 24 hour emergency service need to make a sound In/out & mid-term inspections business decision. (403) 299-1800 | www.equitycapital.ab.ca
A FirstService Residential Management Company
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to solicit properties currently listed for sale or lease, or to individuals currently under a buyer brokerage agreement. We are pleased to work with our fellow industry members.

How much is that doggie in the window?

advance. Once your pet is approved and you bring it home, be a responsible owner. If your pet damages common property, you will be charged the cost to repair it. If your pet is a nuisance runs at large, barks the board may remove its approval for the animal and evict it. If you plan to live in a condo and have a pet, or want to get one, all the above applies.

live in a condo. I want to get a pet. I can just go get one, right? Wrong!

Before you bring a furry pal to your condo, read the bylaws and ask about policies that are in place.

Don't set yourself up for disappointment by finding out after you Some communities don't allow pets at all. Others allow cats, but have moved in that pets not dogs. Sometimes only one cat or dog is permitted. The size or are not allowed. breed may be restricted. Get written approval from the board in Condominium First Management Services Ltd.

Do you have a condominium-related question? email us at: condos@condominiumfirst.com