Sentry News

Sentry’s COVID-19 Response

Sentrye's Covid-19 Response

Sentry Management is honored to manage your association, and we will continue to support the operations of your community through this challenging time.  As COVID-19 continues to spread, our thoughts go out to anyone who has been infected or impacted. I hope that you, your family, friends, and neighbors are safe and well and are taking the necessary precautions to keep it that way.

At Sentry, our highest priority is the safety of our employees and our communities.  We also have the goal of ensuring the work of the community continues during these difficult days so that your neighborhood continues to be a great place to live.  In short, we are working to make sure it is “business as usual,” although we know the work cannot be done in the usual manner.

Below are some updates to how we will be conducting our work, as well as technical solutions that are available for your Board to consider.  I recognize that this communication will not answer every question, nor cover every scenario, and suggest you contact your Community Manager if you have additional questions about the ongoing work we will be performing for your community.

Community Managers will work remotely:

In a mobile world, we have worked hard to equip our managers with solutions that allow them to remotely perform the work of communities.  Community Managers are equipped with laptops and secure access to your association’s records online. They can work remotely to handle operational details.  This technology will certainly be important as we all do our part to stop the spread of the Novel Coronavirus.  Managers will be asked to perform their functions remotely.  Below are some of the technology and policies our managers will by utilizing:

 

  • Electronic vendor invoice approval: All vendor invoices are scanned upon receipt.  Managers will be reviewing and approving invoices online for payment.  Further, they will be submitting any additional information needed to continue the process of monthly financial report completion.
  • Office telephones forwarded: All of our Managers can forward calls from their office phone to their cell phones.  We have asked them to make this switch during business hours.
  • Voicemail to e-mail: This is not new technology, but any voicemail left for a Manager on the phone system will send a copy of the voicemail to the Manager in their e-mail inbox.
  • Community visits/drive-throughs: It is safe for our Managers to complete community visits and drive-throughs just as they have done in the past.  These are generally done in their vehicle, or in an open-air environment and pose little risk to health when completed with the proper precautions.
  • Vendor meetings: Most vendor communication can be done through e-mail and telephone calls.  In the event that an in-person meeting is needed, we ask that our Managers meet with the vendor in your community outside and have a discussion at a reasonable distance apart.

Limited Sentry office access:

The doors to the office will be locked with employees working inside on their day-to-day responsibilities.  With Managers working remotely, each office will be limited to essential personal during traditional business hours.  We do this to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  We appreciate your patience as we limit the exposure to those employees that need to be in the office.

  • Board members: Please feel free to call your Community Managers directly for any conversations that should take place. As appropriate, Managers can meet onsite in your communities to have discussions.  As the weather turns warmer across the country, our hope is those conversations can take place outside.
  • Vendors: There is little need for Managers to meet with vendors at the office.  As noted above, Managers primarily communicate with vendors through email and telephone already.  As needed, Managers can meet with vendors onsite in your community.  We do have some vendors that like to pick up checks at the office.  We understand why, and can still deliver them at the office, but ask that vendors allow us to mail all checks.
  • Homeowners: We do have homeowners that come to the office to make payments and submit information for items such as architectural review materials.

1.     Architectural review: We ask that these items be mailed or emailed, if possible.  Typically, send this information to the Community Managers. If not, deliver the information to the office and call when you arrive so that a staff member knows to accept the materials.

2.    Payments: We are asking that all homeowners make payments through US Mail or electronic payment.  While we love to see and meet our homeowners, we hope folks will appreciate the desire to limit office traffic.  Sentry Management has worked with our electronic payment processor to suspend any one-time fee they typically charge for ACH and telephone assistance.  As always, should homeowners decide to sign up for our Autopay solution, there are no ACH fees.  (Note, should someone want to pay with a credit card, there will still be transaction fees)

3.    Contact us: Should homeowners have questions, we encourage them to contact their respective Community Manager or contact Sentry Management through our website, or our Customer Service department at 1.800.932.6636 (Ext. 32000).

Board meetings: Boards will need to make decisions in the next weeks, and possibly months as to whether an in-person meeting is actually necessary.  We recognize that some statutes and community governing documents require meetings to be held in person.  If Boards are concerned about such legal requirements, it is suggested that the Board consult with your Association’s attorney.  Below are some solutions that Sentry Management has in place for Boards.

Teleconference meetings: Sentry will provide Boards the ability to conduct association meetings of up to 250 participants online, instead of in-person meetings, through GoToMeeting. GoToMeeting is a service that Sentry Management uses for computer and smart device meetings, and all of our Community Managers have access to use this online service. A meeting using GoToMeeting can be as simple as a teleconference or as hi-tech as participants sharing their screen with the attendees. This service is offered to our communities at no charge to the community.

Community Manager attendance: When a Board decides that an in-person meeting is necessary for Board members, we are asking you to be willing to allow Managers to call into the meeting for the next couple of months.  Our advice to Community Managers is that they attend such meetings via telephone, but can make a personal decision to attend in person if they feel safe and comfortable doing so.

CommunityPro: CommunityPro, Sentry’s software and administrative system is a secure, cloud-based application that is designed to work on laptops and mobile devices. It provides the flexibility for our employees and Boards we support to work from anywhere. Many of our Board members take advantage of the capabilities of CommunityPro. If you do not currently utilize CommunityPro, I would like to share a few of the items available to you 24 hours a day.

  • Real-time financial information: Sentry’s secure administrative platform makes all your community’s live financial and detailed operation information available to you 24/7.
  • Financial package: Our financial package includes nine standard reports and meets the requirements of governing documents. All can be opened, downloaded and emailed.
  • Additional information: Documents, Architectural Review Board guidelines, meeting minutes and other official records are housed in CommunityPro.

We are committed to helping the communities we manage to function as normally as possible during the next few months. I pledge we will communicate often with you as we all adapt to social distancing.

Stay safe, and as always, we appreciate your confidence in Sentry Management to be there for your community.

 


Office Access Changes

Due to COVID-19, most Sentry Management employees are working remotely, away from our offices, to support every Association.

 

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Implementing Online Board Meetings

To provide safeguards for Board and community members, we would like to suggest conducting meetings online for the immediate future.

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Sentrye's Covid-19 Response

Sentry’s COVID-19 Response

At Sentry, our highest priority is the safety of our employees and our communities.

Read More »


CommunityPro Portal

CommunityPro® is an easy way to make payments, access association documents, view account history, stay informed and more.

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The Community Builder

The Community Builder is a bi-monthly newsletter to all Sentry Management Board Members. Sign up to Receive the “best of edition” every quarter.

In this issue: Sentry Management is encouraging Boards to be proactive in matters regarding COVID-19. We encourage you to follow closely the national, state and local government recommendations as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).