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Habitat Magazine moves from free online technology to a more robust learning environment

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About Habitat Magazine

Founded May 1982 by Carol J. Ott, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Habitat Magazine is an indepen-dent publication with paid circulation targeting decision-makers at the 8,000+ residential co-ops, condos, and homeowner associations in the New York City greater metropolitan area. Habitat Magazine teaches B2C and B2B customers with vivid storytelling and service articles to cover issues of co-op living and condo living, and then management concerns from the perspectives of board directors and property managers.

Habitat Magazine has been covering the co-op and condo community in New York for nearly 35 years. During this time thousands of individuals have served on the boards of their buildings, often re-inventing the governance wheel when new mem-bers joined. 

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The Problem

Before researching online learning technology, Habitat Magazine experienced some evolution. “We have a legacy in print, but as digital took off in the ‘90s, we started putting our content on different platforms,” explains Ott. After spending years experimenting and testing different online and digital content delivery methods, the organization decided to take on eLearning. Ott says, “eLearning is very new, and completely different, way of approaching learning for us.” One major challenge for Ott was that—as an eLearning student—she knew what kind of unique learning experience she wanted, and struggled to find that in a free learning technology offering that hit the mark.

The Goal

Habitat Magazine created HabitatU to provide a place where both new and seasoned board directors can learn how to navigate the challenges of this leadership position and access the information required to govern. Courses are taught by the leading practitioners in the field.

Choosing Thought Industries

Ott explains that before selecting Thought Industries, Habitat Magazine used a free technology. “We thought we could take our content and put it into this free online learning platform and it would suffice,” explains Ott. To start, Habitat Magazine asked a contracted, expert writer to create 15 cours-es. The first iteration of these courses was all text. “It was boring and it wasn’t at the same profession-al level of our other content, and it was clear that we needed to hire someone who understood computer programming to make it look better.”

After this poor experience, Habitat Magazine decided to move to the Thought Industries’ Learning Business Platform™ because the platform was professional looking and designed for people without programming experience. “It was designed for people like us,” says Ott.

Course Examples

Habitat Magazine’s courses are available to their subscribers for free. Some of the organization’s featured courses include: 

  • Board Business Through a Legal Lens
  • Budgeting Basics for Co-ops and Condos
  • Navigating the Admissions Process
  • Sublets, Roommates, and Apartment Sharing
  • Financial Statement Basics for Co-ops and Condos
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“Thought Industries was designed for people like us.”

Carol J. Ott
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Habitat Magazine

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