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    • mschris
    • By mschris 3rd Mar 18, 4:23 PM
    • 15Posts
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    mschris
    Flats - collective communication
    • #1
    • 3rd Mar 18, 4:23 PM
    Flats - collective communication 3rd Mar 18 at 4:23 PM
    Hey all,

    Hope this is the right forum for this - I live in an big new block of flats, we face issues that need solving etc.

    Whatís the recommended way / what do people usually do so that all the residents can communicate with each other. Not raise the same issues, come up with ideas this type of thing.

    I know a friendís flat they use a Facebook group, Iím thinking maybe Trello....

    But what does everyone recommend? How would you go about this? Should I just put up a poster or something? I donít particularly want to manage this alone..
Page 1
    • Hermia
    • By Hermia 3rd Mar 18, 5:16 PM
    • 4,138 Posts
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    Hermia
    • #2
    • 3rd Mar 18, 5:16 PM
    • #2
    • 3rd Mar 18, 5:16 PM
    We use a Facebook group where I live. It's so useful and is used everyday. You need to ask around to see what is best for your neighbours. We chose Facebook because everyone had it already. I think there would have been less enthusiasm if people had had to sign up for yet another site or app so bear that in mind.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 3rd Mar 18, 5:23 PM
    • 1,818 Posts
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    NeilCr
    • #3
    • 3rd Mar 18, 5:23 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Mar 18, 5:23 PM
    We have a web designer who lives here and he has set up an online forum for the estate. My friend has done the same for his road

    But, to be honest, the residents have to be interested to get involved. We have a lot of tenants and neither they, or the landlords, are that bothered.

    I'd start with a notice as you have suggested to get a sense of how others feel.

    Do you have an outside freeholder or do you own the freehold yourselves?
    • Hermia
    • By Hermia 3rd Mar 18, 5:36 PM
    • 4,138 Posts
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    Hermia
    • #4
    • 3rd Mar 18, 5:36 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Mar 18, 5:36 PM
    But, to be honest, the residents have to be interested to get involved. We have a lot of tenants and neither they, or the landlords, are that bothered.
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    One way to get more interest is to make it a more general purpose style group rather than just setting it up to deal with the issues the OP mentions. Our group is used for the serious stuff, but also used to track down parcels that have done astray or even for social stuff. That means the tenants are happy to get involved not just the owner-occupiers.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 3rd Mar 18, 5:43 PM
    • 1,818 Posts
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    NeilCr
    • #5
    • 3rd Mar 18, 5:43 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Mar 18, 5:43 PM
    One way to get more interest is to make it a more general purpose style group rather than just setting it up to deal with the issues the OP mentions. Our group is used for the serious stuff, but also used to track down parcels that have done astray or even for social stuff. That means the tenants are happy to get involved not just the owner-occupiers.
    Originally posted by Hermia
    Yep. That's really a good way of doing it. That's how my friend's group runs.

    Doesn't seem to work with us. Maybe because it's a mix of freeholders/leaseholders/houses/flats. Would have gone really well in my previous place which was a block of flats
    • mschris
    • By mschris 4th Mar 18, 10:34 AM
    • 15 Posts
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    mschris
    • #6
    • 4th Mar 18, 10:34 AM
    • #6
    • 4th Mar 18, 10:34 AM
    Great feedback guys the general purpose group makes a lot of sense, I think that would be nice, chatting about random stuff even social stuff as well as sorting issues.

    Would using Facebook as mentioned be the best platform you think?
    I could easily setup a forum but as mentioned, would people sign up, would it create a barrier?
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 4th Mar 18, 10:42 AM
    • 1,818 Posts
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    NeilCr
    • #7
    • 4th Mar 18, 10:42 AM
    • #7
    • 4th Mar 18, 10:42 AM
    Great feedback guys the general purpose group makes a lot of sense, I think that would be nice, chatting about random stuff even social stuff as well as sorting issues.

    Would using Facebook as mentioned be the best platform you think?
    I could easily setup a forum but as mentioned, would people sign up, would it create a barrier?
    Originally posted by mschris
    My friend has no trouble getting people to sign up but he is very, very proactive. As Hermia says I'd ask around to see how neighbours feel. Quite a few folks on my estate won't touch Facebook with a barge pole.

    Might depend a bit on the age mix.
    • googler
    • By googler 4th Mar 18, 10:43 AM
    • 14,784 Posts
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    googler
    • #8
    • 4th Mar 18, 10:43 AM
    • #8
    • 4th Mar 18, 10:43 AM
    Noticeboard/pinboard next to/on the inside of the communal front door?

    Personally, I would run a mile from a Facebook group of neighbours. Whoever sets it up will become the unpaid IT consultant of the building ....
    Last edited by googler; 04-03-2018 at 10:46 AM.
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 4th Mar 18, 11:07 AM
    • 7,988 Posts
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    bowlhead99
    • #9
    • 4th Mar 18, 11:07 AM
    • #9
    • 4th Mar 18, 11:07 AM
    We have a facebook group and it works quite well. Best to make it a closed group (meaning you would need someone to 'run it' in terms of approving new requests to join), unless you're going to make it a complete free for all where anyone around the world could join the discussion without even living in your flats.

    Actually we have two facebook groups, one for owners and one more of a social group for residents (people who are owner occupiers would generally join both).

    The groups have slightly different issues, e.g. the owners (whether they live there or are just landlords) would interested in what the freeholder / management company are doing about [issue abc], or whether someone can recommend a plumber or decorator or electrician. The tenants would not care about that but still be interested in the fact that Deliveroo has started to deliver from McDonalds now or that the hairdressers over the road has a great deal on, or the police neighbourhood watch has reported [xyz] or there's a new parking sheriff in the development or there's a misdelivered package for Mr A Smith in block 2 or the bins are overflowing can't we all take a bit more pride in our surroundings etc Or that someone has an old wardrobe or set of pans free to a good home.

    Facebook works for us and the development is big enough to have posts on it pretty much daily. With a smaller block of flats there would not be as much to say or to see and it could fall into disuse as nobody could be bothered with it; instead, the residents association might just have a cheap website that allows comments, or an email distribution list.

    Kids don't use facebook these days its all instagram or snapchat and they think that facebook's for old people. But plently of people of property-owning / renting age do use FB; it's probably the social media place with the highest 'reach' in terms of people not needing to register a new account to join. Some enterprising soul could always print out the important stuff and stick it on a noticeboard.

    Or if you are tech savvy you could rent some web space and literally start your own forum using standard software; but if you don't want to manage it alone you may need to find fellow geeks to help and administer password resets and all that BS. Facebook does all the admin themselves so you can focus on content.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 4th Mar 18, 11:23 AM
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    Red-Squirrel
    What problems require communication between every single resident to get sorted?

    I would never have wanted to join any sort of group like that when I lived in flats, I just wanted to live there with whatever privacy was possible!

    If anybody ever wanted to pass a message to another resident or to everybody, they pinned a notice up in the entrance hall, what's wrong with that!
    • Hermia
    • By Hermia 4th Mar 18, 12:04 PM
    • 4,138 Posts
    • 11,254 Thanks
    Hermia
    Noticeboard/pinboard next to/on the inside of the communal front door?

    Personally, I would run a mile from a Facebook group of neighbours. Whoever sets it up will become the unpaid IT consultant of the building ....
    Originally posted by googler
    That hasn't happened with ours at all. I am not sure any of us have ever taken any notice of which neighbour actually set up the group.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 4th Mar 18, 12:17 PM
    • 1,818 Posts
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    NeilCr
    What problems require communication between every single resident to get sorted?

    I would never have wanted to join any sort of group like that when I lived in flats, I just wanted to live there with whatever privacy was possible!

    If anybody ever wanted to pass a message to another resident or to everybody, they pinned a notice up in the entrance hall, what's wrong with that!
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    Well OP said it was a large block of flats. And, in my experience, quite a lot of residents ignore, don't see, whatever notices in an entrance hall.

    The sort of things that can be discussed in a group off the top of my head.

    Common problems with the freeholder, anyone having a problem with Sky, anyone got any idea whose car that is parked there, anyone seen a delivery that has gone missing, shall we have a barbecue etc

    From a director's POV it's a good way of updating people with what's going on - and trying to get them to do things properly - don't get me going about bins!

    I understand how you feel about privacy. I am much the same - particularly was in the smallish block of flats I used to live in. But it is also nice to be up to date about what is going on
    • Hermia
    • By Hermia 4th Mar 18, 12:19 PM
    • 4,138 Posts
    • 11,254 Thanks
    Hermia
    What problems require communication between every single resident to get sorted?

    I would never have wanted to join any sort of group like that when I lived in flats, I just wanted to live there with whatever privacy was possible!

    If anybody ever wanted to pass a message to another resident or to everybody, they pinned a notice up in the entrance hall, what's wrong with that!
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    Ours is used to discuss general issues and especially issues with the management company. The problem with pinning up a notice is that if the issue requires a discussion it's not an ideal method.

    With our group you can dip in and out when you want and no one will turn up on your doorstep so no one is having their privacy invaded. There are 35 flats in our block so maybe it would seem more invasive if there were just a few flats. I used to live in a block of four flats and a facebook group would have seemed like overkill in that situation!

    Others things our group is used for.

    - tracking down stray parcels without having to knock on everyone's door.

    - helping people out. It's been a real godsend with the snow. A neighbour who is a nurse needed help getting to work and ten minutes after posting on our Facebook she had help.

    - giving stuff away. A lot less hassle than using freecycle.

    - discussing issues in the local area. We are located in an area that is pretty much being rebuilt so being able to discuss these issues and have a voice as a group has been so useful.

    - just generally being able to share information and offer/request help.

    I love it because we have the best of being part of a community, but without anyone invading your space. Whether it works probably depends on what sort of people live in the block. We are all young-ish professionals so we all have the same issues and all want our privacy. I can imagine it would be more difficult if there was a neighbour who was a gossip with a lot of time on their hands!
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 4th Mar 18, 5:11 PM
    • 2,787 Posts
    • 7,443 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    Ours is used to discuss general issues and especially issues with the management company. The problem with pinning up a notice is that if the issue requires a discussion it's not an ideal method.

    With our group you can dip in and out when you want and no one will turn up on your doorstep so no one is having their privacy invaded. There are 35 flats in our block so maybe it would seem more invasive if there were just a few flats. I used to live in a block of four flats and a facebook group would have seemed like overkill in that situation!

    Others things our group is used for.

    - tracking down stray parcels without having to knock on everyone's door.

    - helping people out. It's been a real godsend with the snow. A neighbour who is a nurse needed help getting to work and ten minutes after posting on our Facebook she had help.

    - giving stuff away. A lot less hassle than using freecycle.

    - discussing issues in the local area. We are located in an area that is pretty much being rebuilt so being able to discuss these issues and have a voice as a group has been so useful.

    - just generally being able to share information and offer/request help.

    I love it because we have the best of being part of a community, but without anyone invading your space. Whether it works probably depends on what sort of people live in the block. We are all young-ish professionals so we all have the same issues and all want our privacy. I can imagine it would be more difficult if there was a neighbour who was a gossip with a lot of time on their hands!
    Originally posted by Hermia
    I don't know, I lived in a block of 55 and we managed all that with notices and notes! I found a key in the park across the road once that was heavily used by residents with dogs, put a note up saying 'if you've lost a key ring this number', key was reunited with owner about an hour later. Similar experiences with parcels, giving away bits of furniture etc.

    If there was a facebook group I wouldn't have joined, and I bet lots of others wouldn't either so if you really did want to reach everybody with something, you'd have to put a notice up/notes in mailboxes anyway.

    There's no harm in it for the ones who want it of course.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 4th Mar 18, 5:50 PM
    • 37,308 Posts
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    silvercar
    Depends on the age of the occupiers.

    For our holiday home overseas we have an email group, as quite a few owners would describe themselves as too old for Facebook. Someone has set it up so that an email to the group gmail address forwards to everyone in the group.
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