Dear HOA: There is No Fun in Dysfunction

Several years ago I authored an article, When Worlds Collide, which outlined how Board members are often out of touch when it comes to the compensation and replacement value of an onsite manager.  In short, Board members use what I call “The Association Metric” in determining remuneration, as opposed to the “Executive Replacement Metric,” which is what the market uses. The Association’s Metric is almost solely based on the Association’s current and past experiences with onsite managers; it is colloquial and subjective and usually is based on: a) What we now remunerate our manager; b) What ‘type’ of manager we currently have; c) Other factors that affect the thought processes… Read More

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Keep Calm and Manage On

You are sitting in another stupefying meeting. The Board is way off the agenda, wandering far and wide amidst the weeds.  You have tried, to no avail, to bring them back to the matters at hand, but they are cowboys out on their own trail ride, a whompin’ and a whompin‘, and all you can do is listen, take some notes and try not to scream. Then, it happens:  Someone utters what may the stupidest idea you have ever heard in your life, one so devoid of business acumen and common sense that you cannot help yourself from stating the obvious in no uncertain terms: NO, YOU CAN’T DO THAT, it… Read More

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The Top Traits of Great and Effective Boards of Directors

Over the years, I have worked with many, many Boards of Directors: As a manager, as a consultant, and as a member of the Board. And as we all – managers and Board members alike – know, some Boards are just better than others at administrating their community and effectively achieving their agenda with grace, dignity, professionalism and humor. These Boards are a pleasure with which to work or on which to serve. So, what differentiates a Great Board from just an okay Board? Great Boards develop, maintain and value their credibility and their integrity. And they continually display, individually and as a group, the following traits: Great Boards focus… Read More

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More Top Traits of Great Boards!

What’s the difference between a great Board and just an okay Board? Great Boards develop, maintain and value their credibility and integrity.  As a group and individually they continually display the following traits: Great Boards suffer no illusions.They know that if they receive three bids for a particular service and one of the three bids is substantially lower than the two, it is reasonable and logical to assume that there is something to question within that bid. Maybe the contractor read the RFP wrong. Or, maybe they simply low-balled the bid. Great Boards are seldom fooled by this tactic: They understand they can’t have a Mercedes for the price of… Read More

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The Care and Feeding of Managers

Community management isn’t like other businesses. It ain’t rocket science either, but it does take a certain skill-set not everyone possesses. Those skills are organization, communication, and people, and/ or relationship, skills. The first two are very important, but the latter skill is crucial, and that latter skill must be demonstrated to the client over long periods of time. We aren’t the “one and done” service providers, we’re the once-and-forever service providers: Maintaining relationships with the same clients over long periods of time, even years.  Our managers are, in essence, our front line sales force. Like any sales job, the management job takes not only serious relationship and people skills,… Read More

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This Stuff Works!

This Stuff Works! by Julie Adamen Long time readers of the NewsLine will know that lo these many years (18 to be exact) we have been writing reams of material and doing dozens upon dozens of presentations on community association best practices, and management theory and processes for management companies and Boards of Directors. We based those practices and theory on years of industry experience and observing and studying what works and importantly, what doesn’t work, from our various capacities. Though we have written a lot about what we’d like to see companies and associations do to “be better,” we are usually one removed from the direct process of affecting… Read More

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Interpersonal Skills and Emotional Intelligence

Good communication skills are paramount as a community manager; how we listen, read, write and speak, and how we communicate non-verbally through our body language has a major impact on our effectiveness in carrying out the job – from the mission of your management company to the agenda of your Board(s). But how good are your interpersonal communication skills? And what’s the difference? Interpersonal skills are often referred to as “soft skills.” These are the skills that allow you to navigate the people that populate your world in such a way that you become tuned to their motivations and needs, giving insight on how best to work with and around… Read More

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Board Expectations v. Managers’ Available Time Part II

Last January, I gave a presentation to CAI Channel Islands Chapter entitled Ready or Not, HEAR it Comes! It was based on the chapter’s anonymous survey of Board members and managers which consisted of only one question for each: For the Boards: What 3 things do you want to say to your manager? For the Manager: What 3 things do you want to say to your Board? Last month, we published what the Boards wanted to say to their managers (to review click here). This month: The 3 things managers want to say to their Boards, in descending order: #3 Managers say: Work as a group “Put your personal agenda… Read More

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