Hello and Happy New Year!
Now that we're getting settled into 2019, we wanted to share our thoughts on 2018 as well as some trends we are monitoring for 2019. One of my personal highlights from 2018 was helping a client reach quorum in just a mere few hours. As well, we helped a few clients amend their declarations and change their communities for the better.
Here are some stats and stories that we think you’ll find interesting.
GetQuorum’s 2018 Year in Review
41,000 electronic proxies & votes collected
50,000 agreements to receive notices electronically collected
790,000 notices distributed to owners electronically
6,000,000 sheets of paper saved
150 bylaws and amendments voted on by owners
Getting Quorum in 3 hours
One afternoon in November, a condo reached out for help - their AGM was a mere few hours away and they had no proxies on hand. Could we help them get quorum in under 3 hours? Challenge accepted! We got to work right away and were able to collect proxies from 40% of their owners. This was a new record for us, our previous fastest time to get quorum was 20 hours.
More condos are amending their declarations
We had a significant uptick in the number of condos using our services to amend their declarations. I recall during my time as a Board member laughing (and crying) as we discussed how difficult it would be to amend our declaration to ban short term rentals. Nowadays, we have clients that do just that - here’s a case study on how one client used GetQuorum to amended their declaration in order to ban short-term rentals.
Besides short-term rental type amendments, we’ve also seen some relating to shared facilities, smoking in units, and on revising the usage of superintendent suites. We believe this trend of condos attempting to amend their declarations to continue into 2019.
Would you be interested in attending a Breakfast and Learn on how the declaration amendment process works? Be sure to let me know.
The debate on the “Electronic Voting By-law”
The amendments to the Condo Act put in place the option for condos to pass a bylaw allowing owners to vote via “electronic or telephonic means”. There’s a heated debate going on in the industry right now as to the intended nature of this bylaw.
The prevailing opinion is that the intended nature of the “Electronic Voting Bylaw” is for voting during the meeting - in real-time, by phone, or via web conference. James Davidson expresses this opinion in his blog post. Audrey Loeb and Shibley Righton seem to also agree with this interpretation.
There are some in the industry that interpret it as condos can allow for advanced ballot voting ahead of the meeting in lieu of the prescribed proxy form. We summarize the key differences between proxies and ballots here.
Whatever the case may be, GetQuorum can handle both electronic proxies and advanced balloting. Our 'concern' in this debate is that the Condo Act itself has not set out rules for the “electronic voting bylaw” and the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) has not provided guidance on the intent of the legislation.
You’ll be sure that we will be monitoring this debate closely in 2019. Until we get more clarity from the government or a court, the interpretation of the “electronic voting bylaw” and it’s intended usage remains up to each individual corporation and their lawyers.
Ultimately advanced ballots and electronic proxies accomplish the same thing which is allowing your owners to participate in corporation matters prior to the meeting. Many of our clients are continuing to use electronic proxies simply due to the fact that no additional bylaws or leg work is required. At the end of the day, the board and the property manager of each individual corporation understands the personal dynamics and needs of their condo corporation better than anyone.
GetQuorum in the news: GetQuorum Co-Founder, Trevor Zeyl, is featured in Condominium Manager magazine discussing Electronic Voting & Proxies. Here's a link to the article.
GetQuorum at CAI Conference: GetQuorum will be hosting a booth at the CAI Conference on February 7th, 2019. As well, I will be speaking on a panel session on "Condo Corporation Voting: Evolving Trends & New Technology". It would be great to see you there!
That's all for now. Thank you for helping us make 2018 a memorable year for us. As always, we would love to hear from you. So feel free to drop me a line to share your thoughts and comments.
Ben @ GetQuorum
Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash