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Subject: HOA Email Password
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DawnR2
(Washington)

Posts:3


07/14/2018 8:09 AM  
I am the secretary of a 37 unit condo associaion. We currently have a treasurer, secretary, and two members at large on the board. Hopefully we will have a president and vice-president shortly. I've created a gmail account under the association's name with which to email newsletters and for members to send concerns, suggestions, and questions. My question is; which board members should have the password to the mail besides me, if any? Should it be the secretary, president, vice-president, and treasurer only? Should it be just the secretary and president? Should it be just the secretary?
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:441


07/14/2018 8:56 AM  
With such a small number of units, you might consider simply us8ng your personal email address ...if you or others reside from the board, the number of errant emails coming to you from the previous interactions would probably not be that large.

I’m assuming you know the others in your condo and are not concerned about privacy issues with email.

Another option is to spend the $30 a month to have a website and simplybc9mmnivate via that mechanism.
DawnR2
(Washington)

Posts:3


07/14/2018 9:54 AM  
Thank you George for your helpful suggestions.

As the board secretary I elected not to work from my personal email account when communicating with the membership to compartmentalize it away from my personal and professional life. I find that I am more efficient when I have one email for my personal life, one for my work life, and one for my HOA life. I realize this method doesn't work for everyone, but I find myself more organized and less stressed this way. My thinking is also that when I step down from being secretary, it would be easy to transfer all the electronic records via the archived "sent mail" section and the accompanying Google Drive "Docs" by giving the new secretary the password. The new secretary could then change the password so I no longer have access.

I figured the Gmail account was free and paid $60.00 for two years of Flashissue, my newsletter platform. $30.00 a month seems like a lot of money to me for the association to pay over the course of a year since I remember when stamps were 5 cents and a gallon of gas was 31 cents! My parents were born in the 30's and I'm still there frugal daughter,I guess.

Yes, I have a horror story about forwarded email. Let's just say I won't touch that hot stove twice!

I'm wondering if there are other associations who are electing to communicate the same way as I, and if their secretary shares the password with other board members? Do their board members want to see all the mail that the association receives? Do your President and Vice-President send out any mail to the membership from your HOA email address? What are your boundaries and expectations? Here are some of parameters I've gathered from other posting.

1. One person (secretary) directs the mail to appropriate party.
2. Email is only used for HOA business.
3. Purpose is to keep people informed. When dealing with problems talk face to face.
4. Disgruntled members will be directed to address Board during Open Forum portion of meeting or write a letter to the whole board.
5. Know anything written can be forwarded and printed for documentation.

Having typed all this I feel I have gotten some clarification of my own thinking. Secretaries of any other business or organization do not share their email passwords so why would I? Maybe it's because our association doesn't have a president or vice-president yet so we are all multi-tasking together. I truly feel we are a team as equals so why wouldn't I share it. Yet,....sorting, directing, and managing mail is part of what the secretary does. Conclusion...don't share the password with other board members.

Thoughts anyone? Have I got any blind-spots here?

George -- Thank you again for the time and energy to respond. You've given me some direction to sort this out!
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2902


07/14/2018 10:24 AM  
Set up a gmail account, [email protected] The password should only be shared with those willing to responsibly respond to homeowner concerns.
DawnR2
(Washington)

Posts:3


07/14/2018 12:37 PM  
Thank you Richard! That is a great way of wording it. It's the association's email address so other board members should have access to it, if they so desire. If they don't, I can forward the pertinent messages to them. To add to the parameters list I might include that the title of the board member goes underneath the message closing of each email sent with the associations address, and only the secretary deletes messages and communicates the messages organizational system such as labels to other board members.

Thanks again for your input Richard.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4151


07/14/2018 6:41 PM  
Posted By DawnR2 on 07/14/2018 8:09 AM
I am the secretary of a 37 unit condo associaion. We currently have a treasurer, secretary, and two members at large on the board. Hopefully we will have a president and vice-president shortly. I've created a gmail account under the association's name with which to email newsletters and for members to send concerns, suggestions, and questions. My question is; which board members should have the password to the mail besides me, if any? Should it be the secretary, president, vice-president, and treasurer only? Should it be just the secretary and president? Should it be just the secretary?


ALL

My HOA recently did this also. All BOD members should have access and potentially with each election and appointment of new members the Password can be changed to prevent prior BOD members utilizing with unauthorized use. Potentially the BOD is supposed to discuss what is to be sent out via the email at their BOD Meetings.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7635


07/14/2018 7:16 PM  
We have an Email address for owners to send Emails to. Early on we had problems with some BOD Members responding to each Email and creating some conflicts.

We changed how we do it. The BOD President has the password to our [email protected] account (we on the BOD know the password) and her obligation is to read each Email and forward copies of each Email to every BOD Member. We then decide how/who is to handle the Email. Some get forwarded to our MC, our landscaper, etc., some get addressed by a designated BOD Member. Some go down the toilet.

JaredC
(Texas)

Posts:98


07/31/2018 1:15 PM  
Here in Texas a separate email for HOA business is HIGHLY recommended due to the laws surrounding Open Records. Basically if you use your personal address for HOA business it could theoretically be subpoenaed. Glad to hear you've made the decision to go the dedicate route.

Second I have always believed an open and transparent board is the best thing. Give the password to all board members! However I'm also very jaded and cynical and know some people are terrible human beings. Who's to stop a bad board member from deleting homeowner emails or responding improperly? If you can control the integrity of the address that would be ideal. Perhaps make it to where the mailbox is shared but only the designated person can delete and/or respond to emails? Maybe have the address forward all emails to board member personal addresses? I'm just thinking out loud but hopefully you get the idea.

Third is organization and process control. If multiple board members are tasked with responding to emails then you'll need to figure out a way so that you guys don't step all over each other. I mean this more in the sense of keeping communication clear between homeowners and board members so no one double ups on emails and the process in general is less frustrating and more efficient for everyone involved.

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