5 Things Your HOA Board Must Do When the Media Calls

From time to time your board may receive requests to speak to the media about things happening in or around your community. While we encourage boards to work with their professional management company and their qualified legal counsel during any media crisis, here are some best practices to help your community prepare for media inquiries. 1.  Develop a robust media plan. Don’t wait for that first call from a reporter to do your prep work. Boards should be proactive and develop a crisis communication plan before a situation occurs. Have a clear action plan that includes who needs to be contacted when a request occurs, and the steps your board… Read More

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Turning Over a New Leaf: Fixing Previous Board Mistakes

  A board’s role is to govern and set the policies, procedures, standards, budgets and programs for an association. Some decisions boards make are extremely beneficial, while some don’t have a substantial impact, and others fail miserably. Unfortunately, when a board makes a bad decision, it isn’t immediately obvious, and a future board of directors may be left to deal with the repercussions. Here are seven tips to keep in mind when fixing previous board mistakes. 1. Remember to uphold your fiduciary duty. As an elected official of the community, you’re required to uphold and fulfill your fiduciary duty. Your fellow community members have chosen you to act on their behalf… Read More

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Complying with State Regulations: Can Your Self-Managed Association Keep Up?

   As if the job of managing a condo, HOA, or other common interest community association wasn’t challenging enough, many self-managed associations are facing additional challenges from increased state regulations around the country. How can you keep up and make sure your self-managed association is complying with these constantly changing requirements? The first step is to make sure you are keeping current on regulations impacting your community association. State laws, both old and new, are readily available and largely online. One of the best resources comes from the Community Associations Institute (CAI). Their website has links to all of the various state laws online at https://www.caionline.org/Advocacy/StateAdvocacy/Laws/Pages/default.aspx. Follow the link to… Read More

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Hire a Condo or HOA Manager to Maintain your Community and Hire a Financial Manager for Accounting

  A trend in many industries over the last few decades has been to divide up work among narrowly focused specialists.  The medical profession is a great example –no longer do you see a heart doctor but one that specializes in valves or heart arrhythmia procedures.  So too community association management is getting more specialized with various manager specialties including high rise and large scale development managers, community loan specialists, community law specialists, community construction project managers and reserve specialists.  There is also room for dividing the financial tasks from the community manager role.  So why not hire a condo or HOA manager to maintain your community and hire a financial… Read More

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A Loan for Your Community Association – Some Real World Mechanics

As we head into budget season it is time to think about where all the money for all of the maintenance and capital improvements is going to come from. A primary activity of operating a community association is planning for the repair and maintenance of the property and budgeting for those large cost capital improvements that will be demanded. I am a major proponent of having a Reserve Study performed and updated at least every 3 years. I further believe that community associations should be required by regulation to properly fund themselves based on that Reserve Study. Of course, that is a utopian concept that rarely exists in the real… Read More

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HOA Loan Structures & Long Term Budget Shortfalls

HOALendingXchange.comhas made financing for community association capital maintenance needs easily accessible.  Financial institutions that are truly skilled in serving this unique industry can be particularly flexible to the differing needs of each community. Not only does each association have a unique culture but the projects all need to be approached in a tailor-made fashion to suit what they desire to have accomplished.  The financing available is typically low cost because the transactions are acknowledged to be of low risk and the associations often provide the institutions with deposits that allow for buying down the interest rate or loan fees. The one aspect that permeates the vast majority of all communities… Read More

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The Best 4 Financial Reports for HOAs and Condo Communities

I hear it all the time, the board gets a stack of paper reports but doesn’t look at them.  The reason why?  I suspect information overload and not knowing what to look for in each report.  It can be overwhelming for a community board member that isn’t used to looking at financial reports.  So how about if you only needed a handful of reports to look at – it would make it simpler and take less time to get a picture of your association’s financial health.  So the following is our top 4 financial reports for HOAs and condo communities. As a board member you have a fiduciary responsibility to… Read More

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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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