Technology Changes the Industry

Technology Changes the Industry Advances Tackle Common Management Problems By Craig Huntington, President, Alliance Association Bank When I started my association management company in 1980, we kept the account history of our homeowners on ledger cards and wrote checks using a “One Write” system. We really were pushing the envelope when we decided to use a Polaroid camera to take pictures of violations. In 1981, we took the plunge, spending $4,000 for an Apple III with all the necessary components. Things certainly have changed. Today, my Treo PDA phone has more RAM, storage and computing power than that old Apple III. It’s also one-twentieth of the cost, counting inflation. In… Read More

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Are you utilizing the full functionality of your software? Do you know that by doing this you can save time and money?

What software infrastructure do you have?  What are you using? Auto Bank Account Reconciliation Automated Lockbox File Import Automated Bank Validation Export Files Strongroom A/P File Integration Interactive Web Portals Interactive Onsite Tools Outsourcing of coupons, invoices, newsletters, certified mail… At Alliance Association Bank (AAB), we pride ourselves on being the best business partners for our clients.  We bring the highest level of banking services, industry specific experience and the highest level of personalized customer service.  Many industry specific software programs have similar features; we work with you to ensure you know these opportunities exist.  Moreover, we have found that utilizing all of the bells and whistles of your software… Read More

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Are you utilizing your partnerships to help maximize your potential?

Maximizing your partnership Last week we asked you to evaluate your current software infrastructure and at the same time to notice what you don’t have or are not using. This week we want to help you take that next step by focusing on maximizing your partnerships to help you reach your potential.   Here is a recap of items you need to look for within your own company’s infrastructure: Auto Bank Account Reconciliation Automated Lockbox File Import Automated Bank Validation Export Files Accounts Payable File Integration Interactive Web Portals Interactive Onsite Tools Outsourcing of coupons, invoices, newsletters, certified mail… In our industry, the national trend is maximizing technology to be more… Read More

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Mapping It All Together

No time like the present, it’s time to bring it all together. Over the last two weeks we asked you to look at your infrastructure and partnerships, now it’s time to map everything together and move forward with an action plan.  One of our primary goals is to help you maximize your potential and help you grow.  We see the value in education and having the right team to help you succeed. In our first week segment, we asked you to ask yourself: Does your software have these capabilities?  Are you using them to the fullest functionality?   At Alliance Association Bank (AAB), we know how important efficiency is and we… Read More

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How To Repay and Association Loan

By Josh Ormiston, Vice President Alliance Association Bank HOW TO REPAY AN ASSOCIATION LOAN When an association decides to take a loan out to finance a capital improvement project, there are three main options in which the association can choose to generate funds for repayment of the loan. Allocate Funds from the Existing Budget Raise Regular Assessments Implement a Special Assessment Each option has its own benefits and pitfalls.  The option chosen may have an impact on the community support for the project and the general attitude towards the association’s board and/or manager. By choosing to finance a capital improvement rather than pay cash, the cost for the improvement is being… Read More

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Remote Banking and the Deposit Scanner

by TERRY BURKS, VP-CUSTOMER SERVICE MANAGER REMOTE BANKING AND THE DEPOSIT SCANNER There is no fountain of youth, or miracle cure for many diseases, but the banking business several years ago got all the regulatory agencies to let go and allow banks to distribute scanning devices to their clients.  Bank customers now have the ability to create deposits and submit them directly to their accounts via a small scanning device right from their desktop. What we would like to talk to you about this month is the devices themselves and the responsibilities surrounding those devices and the checks you deposit through them. The scanners are equipped with a great deal… Read More

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Deck / Lanai Refurbishment, Replacement, Maintenance – A Common Budgeting Mistake

  Decks / Lanais systems are typically one of the larger project expenses a community will face. Budgeting for their short and long term care is not always as straightforward as it appears to be as the degree of deterioration of this component is heavily reliant on historical maintenance trends in the community. I will touch on one of the more common budgeting mistakes we see on a regular basis. Maintenance and proper care will actually save a community a significant amount of money in the long run; deciding who (and how) this component is maintained can have a significant impact on the budgeting recommendations in the reserve study as… Read More

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Condo’s Underfunded Reserve Creates Many Problems

C.R. from outside of Connecticut writes: Dear Mister Condo, I live in a condo building with 58 units. There are zero adornments except for a very nice meeting room. We have two elevators which travel eleven floors up and down. I am currently serving on the board. Our Reserve fund is at 18K which in my eyes is very low. We will need a major elevator repair in a few years and increasing insurance as well as a rooftop service plan. We have decided to increase HOA dues 15% = $3000. more each month or 20% increase equaling an extra $4000. per month. We want to propose this to our… Read More

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What’s the difference between a bank loan and an HOA loan?

I was recently presented with the following question from one of my clients. I am publishing it here, along with my answer, in hopes of sharing the knowledge. It is a common question that all of us within the HOA lending field should be able to answer. Question: What are some differences between a construction loan or line of credit from a “normal” bank and an HOA loan or line of credit as a specialized lending option? I’m having trouble understanding the pros and cons between them. Answer: The differences are very stark. A construction loan handled by a traditional bank reflects that there is real estate involved. The financing provided might be to construct… Read More

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