REMOVING UNNECESSARY COMPLEXITY

Making Building Management
Less Complicated for Condo Boards

With smart record keeping, planning, and collaboration tools,
boards can save thousands of dollars per month.

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Our Purpose

and what we're doing to achieve it.

Reasonable Condo Maintenance Fees

Maintenance fees should be reasonable,  predictable, and commensurate to the amenities offered. Also, older buildings need not be more costly to maintain.

Condo Operations Should be Transparent

Condo boards should be able to find (fast) what work is being performed, at what cost, and what projects are on the horizon. Building staff always make better decisions  and are more efficient when using current,  complete, and relevant information.

Good Property Manager is Invaluable

A trained and attentive property manager can make the difference between a high-functioning board and one that is constantly putting out fires. Good software bridges this gap by helping boards and their staff stay organized and on top of things.

Volunteers Deserve
Quality Tools and Resources

While vendors and property management companies receive custom and well-thought-out software solutions, condo board member volunteers are ultimately responsible for the operation and maintenance of their building – they deserve the best technology we can offer.

Our Founder's Roots

Hi. I'm Salim.
profile picture of Salim Dharssi
My family and I have lived in condos for over 10 years. We started off as tenants in the Yonge/Bloor area. We fell in love with the no-maintenance and convenient lifestyle, so we decided to take the plunge and purchase our own condo after saving up for a down payment. We settled down in Toronto’s Harbourfront, which is where we still call home.
I joined the board of our condo in 2015. Until then, the only experience I had in condos was as a resident. I knew very little about what condo boards did or what went on behind the scenes. For the first few months, I mainly observed the more experienced board members and property managers go about their responsibilities. I quickly came to appreciate all the hard work they and other board volunteers had put into maintaining and improving our building over the years...
I joined the board of our condo in 2015. Until then, the only experience I had in condos was as a resident. I knew very little about what condo boards did or what went on behind the scenes. For the first few months, I mainly observed the more experienced board members and property managers go about their responsibilities. I quickly came to appreciate all the hard work they and other board volunteers had put into maintaining and improving our building over the years...

I rolled up my sleeves and tried to help in any way I could. Being a practicing lawyer, the board leaned on me to help with many of the more detailed oriented tasks, such as reviewing and paying close attention to contracts, engineering reports, quotes, and meeting minutes. I was appointed to be the secretary of the board and was one of the board members who would review and approve invoices.

We had a lot of help: a property manager from a reputable property management company, a superintendent, a cleaner, and front desk security staff who worked 24/7, in three daily shifts. Despite this, our jobs as condo board members were demanding.

One eye opening aspect of my experience was with how slowly things moved. At our monthly board meetings, we and our manager would have some materials prepared based on the prepared agenda, but if something new was raised during a new business or if specific information was needed in order to make an informed decision, that information was rarely available in  real-time. Instead we created action items for our manager to tackle after the meeting, and we had to wait for the information to arrive. It wasn’t unusual for us to receive it only at the next monthly meeting.  

For more urgent matters, between the monthly board meetings we would receive information from our manager and would “discuss” building issues together by email. My personal Gmail email inbox was often flooded with board emails.   

It still wasn’t easy to find the information we needed – where did I keep that reserve fund study from last year? I know it’s in my emails but I couldn’t find it. So I would email our property manager to send me another copy. Then wait a day or two, or more. Our property manager was busy, which is understandable. By my estimate, our property manager probably sent each document by email dozens of times to board members, plus more for newly elected board members after every annual general meeting.

I eventually persuaded our board to use an online document storage tool. We used Dropbox, and we had some success with it.I believe it’s still in use today. At least now we were able to find some of  our condo’s documents, that is if they were saved. But we still missed important planning and contextual information – like what the status of ongoing projects were, what our budget was for a specific piece of work, which was important for when reviewing and approving invoices. For this we still had to dig through emails or search through board meeting minutes.

We then started using spreadsheets to track work, such as project priorities, status and as an inventory of work done on units in the building. It helped a little, but was very messy, difficult to work with and was infrequently updated. When a new manager came along, they had their own spreadsheet format or weekly report, which suffered from similar issues.I found myself constantly scratching my head – why wasn’t the building’s history and operational information more easily accessible, in a central place? We spent way more time than necessary looking for or waiting for information that seemed to live in a black hole. Our property manager spent way too much time re-sharing information with us.  Our projects moved much too slowly. Projects and work could have been discussed and decided on in one or two meetings, but instead they took months to progress before they were actioned. 

All of this inefficiency was compounded by the fact that property managers and condo board members change. In my time on the board, we had at least four different property managers from two different companies. Each year, some board members left and some new owners joined the board. There was little, if anything, to provide to them as a primer on the building, or to help with the transition.

These inefficiencies also impacted our condo fees. Which was the most frustrating effect. It can be expensive to live in condos given the monthly condo fees. Why did condo fees have to approach $1 per sq ft or more? Why couldn’t fees go down?  If we were more organized, this would surely have been possible. Were we able to capitalize on all of the warranties provided by vendors? Probably not – sometimes we couldn’t even find out who installed the equipment that failed. Or when was it last serviced – shouldn’t that vendor have cleaned the filter, or changed that tube? We wanted to check work orders, but they weren’t readily available, so sometimes we had to just let it go and trust our vendors. We likely left money on the table. We likely hired a few same sub-par contractors that our board probably dealt with several years prior, but didn’t know because there were no records available.

Despite the hard work, I would have liked to stay on our board. I feared for what would happen if there were no detail oriented board members looking over the operations of the condo. But our life situation changed pretty quickly. When I joined our board, it was just my wife and I. By the time my three-year term was up, we had two kids under two, which was a handful!

My experience on the board stuck with me. I stayed in touch with our condo board and would chat with new board members. I also joined a committee, to stay involved and continue contributing to our community.

Every time I met other condo owners, whether colleagues at work, clients, or friends in the neighborhood. I would ask them about their experience as residents or on the off chance they were on their condo board. I was surprised many had a similar experience to mine. Surely not all condo boards felt overwhelmed or unorganized, but there were enough that made me think that what I experienced was a systemic issue.

My background is in computer engineering and I’ve been a practicing intellectual property and technology lawyer for over 10 years. I have used several industry specific project and records management tools, whether they were tailored to the legal, medical, finance or technology   industry. Using software to get organized and be efficient is commonplace, but it isn’t as common in the condominium industry as one would think.

Why couldn’t condo boards have insight into and control over their expenses? Shouldn’t it be easier to plan and track projects, review invoices, check expenditures, and hold vendors to be responsible for their work?

In the meantime, our condo fees went up, and up, and up. I heard similar things from other condo owners. Did condo living have to be so expensive?  Who was in control, the vendors, or the condo boards?  

My family and I need more living space, but with the typical condo fee, we can’t afford it. Did condo fees for a 2000 sq ft condo have to be $2000 per month or more?
This confluence of factors and experience, and my desire to make condo living more affordable (so that my family and I could continue to live in a condo, and potentially move to a larger one) led me to start managemate. Condo board members are volunteers and they deserve     sophisticated and easy to use tools to help them get organized so that they     can get more insight into and control over their expenses.They should have to spend less time on maintenance, and should be able to spend more time planning improvements.

With the right record keeping, planning and collaboration tools, boards can save thousands of dollars per month by reducing service calls, freeing up their property manager’s time from fielding information requests by email, and by leveraging their warranty coverage.


I decided to go back to my roots as a computer engineer and entrepreneur.

Continue reading Salim's Story

See Less

Our Founder's Roots

Hi. I'm Salim.
Salim Dharssi's Profile Picture
My family and I have lived in condos for over 10 years. We started off as tenants in the Yonge/Bloor area. We fell in love with the no-maintenance and convenient lifestyle, so we decided to take the plunge and purchase our own condo after saving up for a down payment. We settled down in Toronto’s Harbourfront, which is where we still call home.
I joined the board of our condo in 2015. Until then, the only experience I had in condos was as a resident. I knew very little about what condo boards did or what went on behind the scenes. For the first few months, I mainly observed the more experienced board members and property managers go about their responsibilities. I quickly came to appreciate all the hard work they and other board volunteers had put into maintaining and improving our building over the years...

Continue reading Salim's Story

See Less

We Choose to Care

We're big believers in the power of listening.

Software should be Simple and Straightforward

We guide most of our decisions around this idea:
"Where we fail to design, we design for failure."
It was inspired by Bruce Mau's idea.

Condo Board Driven Features

All of our product design and development strategy is aimed at creating smart software that condo boards find helpful and easy to use. We don’t chase fads and trends, we keep focused on features that are important for condo boards.

Good is not Good enough

The current amount of wastage in condo fees should be drastically reduced.  We are working on implementing software that promotes transparency and facilitates review and audit.

Industry Best Practices

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