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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading
HOA & Condo Collections

The Needy, The Greedy, & the Seedy. HOA & Condo Collections

Not all HOA & Condo delinquencies are created equal and each one has it’s unique circumstances. However, in most cases the delinquent owners can all fall in to one of three categories: The Needy, The Greedy, and The Seedy. The only question remains is: How do we handle these HOA & Condo Collections? The Needy member of an association may have fallen into bad circumstances either due to unforeseen financial events, unfortunate circumstances, or even by circumstances that often happen at community associations. People lose their jobs and sources of income or have their investments go bad due to no fault of their own, their family economy suffers a loss… Read More

Continue Reading

Telling the Story of Community Association Insurance

Most condominium association residents are likely to have little or no understanding of the insurance that protects the association in which they reside. Let’s face it; there just isn’t a lot of glamour in discussing deductibles, coinsurance, liabilities and such that make up the community association insurance story. Telling the story of your community’s insurance coverage is going to be a challenge but if done properly, can yield a wealth of rewards. Start with the basics. Every resident needs to know that the community has insurance and that the insurance covers certain elements which the entire community owns in common. Every resident also needs to know that community association insurance… Read More

Continue Reading

Commit to Unit Owner Education. Reward Yourself with a Better Community!

For years, I have been writing about the importance of communication as it relates to community association living. I have stressed how important it is that you tell your story well and that you tell it often. Condominium newsletters, HOA newsletters, letters, websites and any other tools used to communicate need to educate readers about what is happening within their associations and why. There has never been a time when communication and education efforts between Board Members, Property Managers, and unit owners have been more important. Community Association Volunteer Leaders at many events that I attend often indicate that there seems to be a vacuum of education between Board Members… Read More

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

Board Expectations v. Managers’ Available Time Part I

This past month 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? As you can imagine, everyone had a lot to say (!); however, amazingly enough, the responses from both sides were variations on the same theme: Board expectations v. managers’ available time. This month we’ll take a look at legitimate concerns Board members… Read More

Continue Reading

Life Isn’t Fair – But Funding Plans In A Reserve Study Should Be…

Fairness is a concept a reserve analyst must consider when developing a financial strategy for a community. It’s one of the basic concepts outlined in National Reserve Study Standards which was published by the well-respected Community Associations Institute in 1998 and is an extremely important consideration when providing the most tailored options(s) available to a community.  1. What is fairness? Fairness refers to adequately dispersing the reserve allocation expenses to the membership over time in an equal and stable fashion. This can be challenging as expenses occur irregularly and often seem to come due all at once in “Peak Years”; when several of the larger expense common areas meet the… Read More

Continue Reading

Approval With FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac – The 10% Rule

In recent years lending institutions have become much more restrictive in approving and/or insuring loans for common interest communities. The FHA approval list has fallen by about 50% over the past 4-5 years. This has been due to a variety of reasons including new more restrictive reserve allocation requirements, owner occupancy standards and extensive documentation requirements. Impact on Market Appeal It has been our experience than many projects have seen declining marketability as financing options have dried up for Buyers. With rising real estate markets across the country this typically means the units in these community are seeing increases at a lower rate than units in communities which are approved… Read More

Continue Reading