Category Archives: Professional

Top 10 Qualities to Have as a Community Manager

Being a community manager is a difficult job, and you have to wear many hats. To be successful, a good community manager must have many different skills. These are the top 10 qualities all community managers should have.

Communicationqualities to have as a community manager

A community manager communicates with a lot of people: residents, vendors and the board. As a result, you need to have great communication skills, which allow you to articulate your thoughts and feelings clearly and without causing confusion. Continue reading

The Challenge With Some Community Members

TipsRunning an HOA is challenging, especially when community members are difficult. The best way to overcome these challenges is through good communication between the board and residents. When there is good communication, residents understand the rules and reasons, and they are more inclined to come speak when they have a comment or suggestion. Continue reading

Do You Have Bulk HOA Expenses?

Piggy-bankLiving in an HOA really is a community effort. Bulk expenses, such as keeping the common areas looking great come out of the dues paid by the residents, making it everyone’s responsibility. However, in many cases, different residents pay different amounts. Can these expenses be divided equally amongst homeowners? Continue reading

Due Diligence – Is it Used By Your Board?

“Due diligence” is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, and most people at least have a vague understanding of what it means. But many times, an HOA doesn’t actually follow through with all of the steps that make up proper due diligence. Sometimes this is out of ignorance, sometimes it’s just out of convenience, but not following through on taking all the necessary precautions before entering a contract or making a hire can have disastrous consequences.

What is Due Diligence

Due diligence is, of course, the proper investigation of a person or business before entering into a contract or partnership with them. It’s an important part of successful business operations, especially those of an HOA. Because an association’s business is managing a community where people live, making poor decisions thanks to not doing the proper amount of research can have serious effects on people’s homes and lives.

Steps for Due Diligence for HOA 

So what steps should an HOA take to make sure that it is performing its proper due diligence? The following steps are some of the basic requirements:

  • Don’t just hire a contractor based on a recommendation. Even if the recommendation comes from someone you believe to be trustworthy, their word is not enough ensure that a contractor is fit for the job. It is a good starting point, but it’s not the end of the process. Look into consumer reports, check that the contractor has the proper permits, and also make sure that they have experience in the job for which you are hiring them.
  • If you need to hire a lawyer, find one who specializes in the area of law for the specific issue with which they will be dealing. There are a lot of areas of law, and specializing in the specific areas that a case involves will give the lawyer you hire a much greater chance of getting you a successful outcome.
  • Get references from other associations or homeowners. The best way to know whether or not a lawyer, contractor, accountant, or other person your HOA is getting ready to partner with is a good match is to talk with the people they’ve worked with before. If their previous clients have nothing but horror stories or found them hard to work with, it’s best to find someone else. Remember, you don’t have to settle for the first person you find.

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The Budget Busters of 2015

Piggy-bankA new year is coming, which means it is time for planning out new budgets. Careful budget planning is incredibly important for a community association, as it determines how much money they will have to collect from residents and what projects and services it will be able to complete. Continue reading

Is a Lawyer Needed for Rule Changes?

shutterstock_209402977Sometimes an HOA feels the need to change some of its rules. These can be simple changes, like altering noise bans or facility usage hours, or they can be more severe changes that alter fundamental rules in a community’s charter. When a community finds itself in this situation, one of the most common questions is: do we need a lawyer? Continue reading

Prepping Your Home for Winter

Now that fall is here, it’s time to start thinking about prepping homes for winter. At first, it may seem like it’s too early, but then you realize that winter isn’t really that far away. The weather is already starting to cool, the leaves are changing color, and the harsh weather will be arriving soon. In order not to get caught off guard (and to avoid expensive repair bills), it’s time to start taking steps to prepare for the winter season.

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Fannie Mae To Pay Condo Association

shutterstock_31852775In May of this year, the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) was ordered on appeal to pay a Florida community association nearly $100,000 plus costs and attorney’s fees. The ruling stems from a suit involving a foreclosed condo, past due association fees, and how the mortgage giant came into possession of the property. Continue reading

Hold Your Board Meeting Where Everyone Can Attend

shutterstock_141258646States across the nation are adopting new regulations that require HOAs to hold their board meetings in places that are accessible by the disabled. Florida has current legislation pending that would require all meetings to be held in handicap accessible buildings, and other states already have or are considering similar legislation. Whether your state is considering making these regulations a formal law or not, now is the time for HOAs to take the opportunity to make sure that its meetings can be attended by all members of the community.  Continue reading