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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Building Components: Technological Advancements Make Upgrades Worthwhile

With technology advancements, replacing worn elements may be less effective than upgrading to new materials. For instance, wooden decks may look fantastic at a shore side condominium complex. It’s too bad they need to be replaced every 10 years. They just don’t hold up to the elements. Until recently, using wood to replace wood may have been the only option. Now, it is not uncommon for modern materials like plastics, amalgamations, and even recycled products like rubber from tires to be used to offer beautiful options with the benefit of longer life and lower cost of ownership. There was a time when most condominiums were referred to as “brick and… Read More

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Keeping It Legal – The Story of Your Community Association’s Attorney

Comedian Milton Berle is quoted as saying “Attorneys practice law because it gives them a grand and glorious feeling. You give them a grand and they feel glorious”. While attorneys may be on the receiving end of many jokes, the contribution they make to your community is no laughing matter. Depending on the size of your association and the challenges you are facing, chances are you have one or more attorneys performing crucial work on behalf of your association. Telling the story of the important work these professionals perform on behalf of your association is crucial to helping your community cope and thrive in the face of legal challenges. Attorneys… Read More

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Our Community Treasurer is Leaving… What Do We Do?

All the accounting tasks at your community are running smoothly.  The collections, bill payment and financial reporting is happening on time and with good accuracy and explanation.  You are a self-managed community and life is good – the important job of Treasurer is handled by an Ace volunteer.  Your board sort of takes this position and person for granted.  That is until you receive notice that your Treasurer is stepping down. They may not run for another term, they are “retiring” – burned out or worse a dealing with their own or a spouse’s health issue.  Alternatively the Treasurer may be selling their unit and moving away.  What do you… Read More

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HOAs & Condos…Beautiful Dreams or Horrific Nightmares

The property is beautiful, and the apartment or house is just what you have been dreaming about. This place is shouting “welcome to your new home” as loud as possible. It’s what you have always wanted but the question remains; is this a good place to buy? When you buy a house that is not part of an Association the relationships are between you, the house, and the neighbors. When you buy a property in a Condo or HOA another component is added – you are not just purchasing a house or apartment, but you are essentially entering into a business partnership with a bunch of people that you don’t… Read More

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How to Transition Your Condo or HOA Community Away from your Current Manager

Moving away from your current property manager is not as difficult as community boards think.  This article discusses the pathway forward to help you change from whatever you are suffering with now to a brighter future. Just like breaking up with someone you dated you can procrastinate and not do it because you don’t want to deal with it, sometimes it is comfortable staying with someone you know rather than finding someone new or you talk yourself into staying saying it’s not that bad – until you are disappointed again. But when you make the move you are usually rewarded and say for heaven’s sakes what took me so long?… Read More

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Governing Those Who Don’t Care

In May of 1966, comedian Jack Parr said on his television show, “I don’t vote for politicians. It only encourages them.” By 1976, the sentiment was so popular it was regularly seen on bumper stickers all across America. While undoubtedly humorous, that same sentiment can have dire consequences in your community association. Lack of involvement and indifference towards association leadership are not signs of a healthy community. In fact, I would suggest to you that the fewer association members that vote, either in person or by proxy, the more concerned you should be as a community leader. Voting rights are inherent to condominium ownership. When condominium owners decide not to… Read More

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Tips on keeping the board meetings in control…

We often receive questions from board members seeking advice on how to handle board meeting conflicts. We are here to help. Board member vs. board member Board Member to board member conflict will bring the association board meeting productivity to a halt. It is important that all board members work together to prevent conflicts, and, when they do arise, the members should work together to properly address the conflicts. Limit potential board member conflict by focusing on these points set forth below: Give all board members an opportunity to contribute with equal time; Consider enacting regulations, such as discussion time limits; Allow follow up discussion on a topic after all… Read More

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