TOPS Corporate Trainer Diana Kral teaches a session on managing architectural controls in TOPS.
Architectural is not a change to a person, it is a change to a property, so details for Architecturals should stay with the property forever, regardless of approval or disapproval.
3 setup steps must be completed before you can begin using the architectural controls:
Set reminders for half the number of days before the item is automatically approved (e.g. if your rules state that requests are auto-approved after 30 days of no response, set reminders to 15 days so that hot pink door paint doesn't fall through the legal cracks.)
Because architectural requests tend to be unique to each individual project, there really isn't any need to have a lot of codes for architectural. One single code is fine, for example ARC. I recommend always starting architectural codes with the letter A so that they can stay with the property on a resale. If you choose to use this single code method, do not set defaults, since they will be different for every request you reveive, AND they will change as you go through the action steps on a single record.
Action table may only need between 2 and 4 steps for architectural requests. Don't be a babysitter for your homeowners
More Info Form Letter (Thank you for your application, but it is incomplete, please do xx to complete it)
Receipt (Your request has been received, and it will be reviewed by the committee within xx days)
Disapproval (What the problem is and why it was rejected)
Processing Architectural Requests
A request uses the terms 'Pending, Approved, Disapproved'. To change the record from a violation to an architectural request, change the value from 'Violation' to 'Pending'. If the request is complete, you can skip the first step in the action table and go right to step 2 to let them know that the request has been received, or to step 3 to let them know it has been approved. What's nice about this is that the system will allow you to skip the step(s) and it will store the date you marked it as skipped so you know that those steps were completed as of that date.
We highly recommend that you scan in and attach all files related to the request so that you have a complete record of the issue for legal purposes. Colors may not scan as an exact match, but this way you can carry on an informed conversation about the matter.
You can use the TOPS iMail to generate emails (for example, to the committee) and have that auto-attach to the record.
Owner must be opted in to Letters & Notices with a valid email address under Owner Maintain, View Email
Those emails can have any of three different reply to addresses - under Communication setup, you can set up one for the company, one for each community, and in Users and Passwords you can set up one for each individual user. When you are creating an email, simply select from the dropdown which of these three return addresses you wish to use.