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The Green Gene – Do You Have It?

By Sabine Liedel, CMCA & John J. Izasa, Esq.

These days all you hear in the media is, “Go Green.” It’s all over the news, in commercials, and peppered through political speeches. Many of the CAI Chapters have had seminars, events and committees built around Common Interest Developments and their stakeholders in the battle to save the environment and the reduction of waste. Is it all hype or is there some truth to this? Does it have to cost businesses a ton of money to go Green?

With the price of gas now topping $4 a gallon in most of the nation, it is no wonder that going Green is a huge trend but a necessity. We as a society have to look for ways to reduce our waste and minimize our negative impact on the planet. Many Community Associations & Community Management Companies have started providing Eco Friendly documents to their clients by providing them electronically.

Delivering resale and escrow packages digitally is not a new concept, but it is gaining more momentum each and every day. What do I mean by delivering electronic documents for resale? Just recall the days of yore when obtaining an escrow packet started off like this...

Your phone rings, it is a title officer advising you that a home in your community just opened escrow. The title officer requested the appropriate documents in order for them to fulfill their requirements during the escrow process.

Then you send them a letter to complete (costing staff time, materials and postage) giving consent on behalf of the owner to provide the documents to the requestor. Once completed the escrow officer returns the document to you (again costing postage). A member of your staff then finds the appropriate documents, makes copies, compiles the packet, prepares it for mailing and mails the disclosures in a huge envelope with almost a ream of paper (costing staff time, materials and postage, not to mention all of the auxiliary impacts on the environment such as mail truck emissions, fuel, etc).

Here is the way it might go if your operation includes an electronic method. Your client, which could be a REALTOR®, escrow officer, homeowner, appraiser or any other interested party simply goes to their computer (24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even when you are closed for business), types in a website (there are several different companies out there providing this service) and completes a request via the web (no paper, staff time wasted or postage necessary). The request is sent to the appropriate person via email and through the magic of your service provider’s electronic system the documents are bundled and prepared for email (still no paper or postage wasted).

Some companies allow the requestor to also choose additional delivery methods such as hard copies, CD’s and spiral binding (check with your service provider to see which services they offer).

A fraction of the time is spent processing the request through the electronic system. Unless requested, there is no paper involved in providing the disclosure documents; a huge savings to your organization.

Do you see where I’m going with this? Not only is going Green good for the environment, it is also good for the pocket book. Because of the amount of time that is saved in staff time, gathering information and preparing packets, management companies and self-managed associations can provide superior service at a reduction of the cost. Now that is what I call going $$GREEN$$

View pdf for a basic cost break down for electronic versus hard copy documents from both financial and environmental standpoint and an interesting conversation between Sabine Liedel and John J. Isaza.