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Subject: Software to Manage Architectural Review Committee
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Author Messages
JoelL
(Georgia)

Posts:11


11/13/2007 9:06 AM  
Hello everyone, I have reviewed previous discussion topics here and see you all mentioning software to manage an entire association.

What I am specifically looking for is a software that our ARC can use to manage lots here in our association. the problem we have is that our ARC committee members change every few years and all records are currently hand written making it tough for ARC members to know prior history. We want to database all ARC history so its available via a web based software.

Can anyone suggest a software that will manage ARC actions and homeowner lot history?

thanks in advance.

Joel
AdrianC
(California)

Posts:35


11/13/2007 4:04 PM  

HI Joel,

We recently commisioned a "DIGITAL sITE PLAN" of our complex.

The vendor/ surveyor/supplier of our site plan was very helpful and it is proving most useful to us. (Local guy, name on request)

The plan is a vector based drawing program called "Autosketch" from the Autocad people. It costs about $80,oo and we own the program and the drawings prepared for us.
Our drawings are on various layers, similar to Photoshop and Illustrator. It is scalable to almost any degree and can go down to incredible detail. our hope is to eventually have all our data from our site on this site plan.
We currently have trees, security lights, units, streets, water heaters, fire hydrants, boundary walls (documenting damage by neighbour's trees & parking sp[aces). Each unit can have its own detail appended to it in its own table, ( replaced, drained, new supply line, etc etc in as much detail as you like)

You can start by creating an Excel spreadsheet of all your applications, records of changes, and scanned plans, and link this to your eventual site plan.

Do a Google search for reviews and comparisons, free /fee and they will also send you a 30 day free trial. Check which version you are getting as the new one need XP/Vista.

If you would like more info let me know.

AdrianC

PS. The vector based files are big, but not very big.
NancyD1
(Florida)

Posts:447


11/14/2007 3:43 AM  

Check your accounting software manufacturer. Our software has an add-on module that allows us to add all ARC information for each lot. The info is scanned from the plot plan forward with any changes through the years. The homeowner has the ability to view all this info on-line and submit applications for changes. It really simplifies the paper work for all involved.
PaulM
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:1347


11/14/2007 5:04 AM  
AdrianC: would you kindly clarify the cost clearly...."It costs about $80,oo and we own the program and the drawings prepared for us."
JosephW
(Michigan)

Posts:882


11/14/2007 6:19 AM  
CAMPRO has the software for the administrative side of management, which includes the ARC issues. Don't know anything specific about it, but here's the link to their site:

http://www.campro.us/product.html

and a number of the software companies listed in this directory have ARC modules, but I just don't know if they will stand alone:

http://www.communityassociations.net/national_directory.html

To be honest, you could probably find a local programmer to design a simple database to keep the information, the input forms, reports, and an interface with Word to send out letters.

Joe

Joseph West
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JoelL
(Georgia)

Posts:11


11/14/2007 8:04 AM  
thanks for your reply folks.

We are using Quickbooks .. anyone know if they have a module for ARC data?
GloriaM
(North Carolina)

Posts:829


11/14/2007 2:25 PM  
Joel:

Excel is great and you can create a spreadsheet to meet your needs. We use Excel for our Master ARC listing and it works well for our communities.
JoelL
(Georgia)

Posts:11


11/14/2007 2:43 PM  
hey Gloria will you send me a copy of your template? would love to see how you are doing it. thanks.
GloriaM
(North Carolina)

Posts:829


11/14/2007 2:52 PM  
Joel:

For the sake of spacing here it is in a smaller format, but Excel allows you to insert comments and you can create the spreadsheet to meet your communities needs. Project numbering assists you with tracking the ARC process. We stamp every ARC that comes in with the date received, date that it is scanned and emailed to the board and all of this information is placed into this database, so we can track the process at any given time.


Name: Address: Project#: Description: Approv/denial: Comments:
Smith 123 AB St GC101 10x12 Shed Pending Revd 11-14-07
scan/email 11/14


If you email me privately at FaithManagerNC@aol.com I can send you the template. But that should give you the idea.
JohnM3
(Florida)

Posts:288


11/14/2007 3:57 PM  
Joel: Use TOPS its designed especially for HOA's and it is used by 90 percent of the HOAs in Florida that has a mountain of HOAs. Our previous MC used QUICKBOOKS its a train wreck of a program TOPS is foolproof and the best part is all the reports that are generated check each others reports without it I personally could not do my job as treas of a HOA for over 19 years 10 as treas 5 as Vice Pres.
You can also do property violations car violations, community web sites and I use the web site with modifications that I can look at our TOPS at our MC online from my home computer. Its the best and it costs you nothing the MC pays for it. Its free to the HOA.
We also use a data management co that we email them our accounts monthly they print the invoice to each member and they even mail it. We asked them to include other things like yearly meeting notices and they do it for $120 a month. Then they charge us an additional $80 bucks for a 2 sided community newspaper every 4 months. The name of the company is in North Carolina send me a email and or a telephone call at night and I will walk you threw a demo of it. Or you can go to TOPS Software's web site and they will run you thru it. I love it it allows me to be a p/t bod member and treas......Better than sliced bread.
AdrianC
(California)

Posts:35


11/16/2007 2:56 PM  

Hi Joel, Paul

Ok, here are the costs.

Quick Google search "Autosketch"
Amazon. com New and used from $ 47.00
Student version Studica $ 74.00
Amazon.com New full box version CDS and Manual $ 123.00
Autocad/Autosketch $ 149.00 Shipped box version
$ 122.00 Download version
Take your pick, depending on your computer expertise.

Our provider has his own program and draws site plans in Autosketch for his livlihood.
Our Agreement on signing the contract was that we, our HOA, owned the drawings and all rights to them. ie we own the copyright.
Then we bought the program and can view whatever we like, update files ourselves, add new items on each layer, create new layers for any class of entity. He will be glad to do the work for us and get paid for it.

We could not find original plans of our association (50 years, deaths,changes in BOD, Management Co, etc etc) Our provider came on site and measured our site, 650ft x 860ft - 136 units, checked against a county copy of the survey and registration, aligned the buildings and roadway/walkways and then entered each item we asked him to plot.
So we now have a tree inventory and location, security lights, water heaters, floor plans of units, irrigation controllers and sprinklers.

We want to add All underground services, sewers, plumbing, electrical etc, and all above ground maintenance items.
Each item is linked to an inventory table for those items, and all the record keeping details go in a box/file page for that specific item.
(eg electricity meter # xxx ,location, sevicing security gate, checked date, replaced date) Ditto water heaters with cost and contractor name ind invoice #.

LAYERS ARE IMPORTANT. Start with your plat survey, go down for underground services, up for above ground. separate entities.
eg Irrigation, valves, lines controllers sprinklers each on a separate layer. You can then view them together or work on only that type of entity. Much less confusion.

Together with an Excel spreadsheet you can then get a very comprehensive record of requests, approvals, violations actions and compliances.

Email me for a copy of our Excel spreadsheet. We requested our Man Co to give us 2 pages of spreadsheet instead of 3-50 letters at our meetings.

ALL, repeat All requests, complaints violations, work undertaken should go on your spreadsheet. You will soon build a valuable database for your HOA.

Your ARC committee can have their own spreadsheet and you add it to the master as reuired.

AdrianC
AdrianC
(California)

Posts:35


11/16/2007 3:01 PM  

Hi Joel,

I should add this, your ARC can scan the drawings of changes requested and approved and add these to the site plan.

Alternatively you can keep a file, and scan them to a PDF file for later reference.

anything you do to keep your records safe and availabe to you is very important.

AdrianC
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


11/16/2007 4:54 PM  
Its the best and it costs you nothing the MC pays for it. Its free to the HOA.



What if you don't have an MC?

RonaldW
(South Carolina)

Posts:901


11/16/2007 6:09 PM  
Even though I am a "techie" at heart and have used MS Access to create a database of owners, we keep ACC requests, approvals, and denials in notebooks sorted by address. It seems to work.

BTW: When the previous ACC chairman gave me the records, they included a bunch of bricks (yes, real bricks) that had been submitted for approval.

Ron
SC
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