Tell Everyone How You Maintain, Protect, and Enhance!

Maintain – Protect – Enhance. This is the prime directive for Boards of Directors of Homeowner Associations across the country. By maintaining, protecting, and enhancing the assets of the association, the Board ensures that property values are maximized and owners’ interests are served. The majority of your association’s common fund will be spent on maintaining common elements of your association. The many details of this story are seldom told to homeowners yet they need to hear it. Take a look at your association’s budget for the current fiscal year. Where is your money being spent? I am willing to bet you have several line items for large ticket items that… Read More

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Does Your Business Specialize in Lending to Condominium Associations?

That’s a question we get a lot. Believe it or not, lending to Condominium Associations and other common interest communities is our ONLY business. In the United States alone, Condominium Associations and other commonly owned properties make up more than 20% of the value of all residential real estate. There is more than 40 billion dollars spent annually on operating revenue. And the numbers are actually increasing. We think that is a market worth selling and servicing to. The largest challenge facing this evolving industry is the lack of dedicated and specialized financial service professionals to service the growing demand for lending to Condominium Associations and other common interest communities.… Read More

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Fall is a Good Time of Year to Plan and Shop for New Management or Financial Reporting Services

  Summer is over, kids are settled in school and the board is at full strength to tackle the community’s issues.  One of those issues may be 1) finding a new management solution if you are dissatisfied with your current manager or 2) finding a resource to help the self-managed community board or Treasurer with all the monthly accounting tasks. Fall is a good time of year to plan and shop for management or financial reporting services. Construction Projects Winding Down Summer is usually the time when the main capital projects get done.  In many states the contractors plan to wrap up the projects well before winter.  Also for associations… Read More

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A Bright Future for Solar Energy in HOAs

According to the Institute for Energy Research, slightly less than 1% of U.S. electricity production comes from solar energy. However, as the industry gets more efficient at producing high quality, affordable solar panels, many HOAs are taking note at how this technology can save money, and in some cases, actually create an income stream. Not surprisingly, Florida (the Sunshine State) has enacted laws that allow for homeowners to install solar collectors. Even if the HOA has rules to the contrary, the state law trumps those rules and sets the stage for HOA members to jump on the solar band wagon. While the initial cost of installation can be high, solar… Read More

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Are Your Communications Secure?

Fences, security cameras, guards, and gates can go a long way towards bringing condominium owners peace of mind when it comes to their physical safety. But there is another type of security that should be pondered by community association leaders. Theft of data can be just as damaging to unsuspecting condo owners. Do you practice good security measures with your data? Would you know what to do if your email, website, or database of sensitive information were breached? In this age of technology-driven communications, digital identity crimes have increased dramatically. While the numbers vary widely, the Better Business Bureau reported an estimated 11.1 million people reported their identity stolen in… Read More

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The Future of HOA Lending

The advance of technology and social media have allowed technology-based entities such as Lending Tree, Prosper, Lending Club and other so-called “Fin-Tech” companies to all but destroy the traditional bank lending model. These high-tech bank alternatives often give borrowers more affordable, desirable, and easy to obtain methods to borrow money, pay off debt, and more. They further add the element of convenience by putting their resources at the fingertips of anyone with access to a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Meanwhile, condominium associations, cooperatives, timeshares, and other HOAs seeking loans have had to rely on the “old-fashioned” bank lending model to obtain HOA loans. It no longer makes sense to simply rely on the bank where you deposit… Read More

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Transparency Tools for Financial Management of Your Condo or HOA

As a community board member one of the most important duties you have is to make sure you don’t waste or lose funds entrusted to you by your neighbors.  There are transparency tools for financial management of your Condo or HOA that will help you safeguard monies and uphold your fiduciary duty. Fiduciary duty as defined by the Business Dictionary is: A legal obligation of one party to act in the best interests of another.  The obligated party is typically a fiduciary, that is, someone entrusted with the care of money or property. There are four main tools that help boards keep their accounting transparent: Online Tools for Board Business,… Read More

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Recommendations to Prevent Cyber Theft at your Community

An article titled “Real Threats” in the July/August Community Manager Magazine [Best Practices for Community Association Managers] highlighted the 2018 Survey of Cyber-security in Community Associations by the Foundation for Community Association Research.  To help your board we’ve summarized the main points from the 7 page report and the article in the following recommendations to prevent cyber theft at your community: The Foundation for Community Association Research Surveyed more than 60 community association managers, board members and professionals who support associations to identify the risks and liabilities associated with using technology to conduct association business. Wikipedia defines Cybersecurity as the protection of computer systems from theft of or damage to their hardware,… Read More

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Condo & HOA Collections For Condo & HOA Budget Time

By Mitchell Drimmer, CAM Once a year in every community association the most significant event occurs and that is the formulation of the association’s annual budget. It’s even more important than the annual election because this budget is the road map for how the association is to be run for the next year. The board can decide to on many issues including capital improvements, added amenities, reduced services, and everything in between. However, the one item that always leaves the board and management confused is the disposition of delinquent fees and questionable debt. What can be done to predict the unknown because the more accurate you’re are the more realistic… Read More

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Storm & Catastrophic Preparation – An Emergency Line of Credit

We are in an age of dramatically more devastating natural events: frequent and expansive wild fires, intense hurricanes, stronger tornadoes and historic rains/snowfall resulting in record flooding. As never before, establishing catastrophe planning strategies supported by adequate insurance coverage is a critical element to restoring the facilities impacted. There is a banking program specific to community associations that is particularly valuable for the environmental changes being experienced. The program has traditionally been referred to as a “Standby Line of Credit for Named Storm Damage”. The reason such a bank facility becomes valuable has largely to do with expediency and unforeseen dilemmas with insurance coverage. The general description of such a… Read More

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