Want to Self-Manage Your HOA or Condo but Will Volunteers Do the Work?

  I’ve talked to many community board members that are interested in self-management but have doubts it will work for them.  There are clear benefits but who will do all the work?  A major theme we hear is the desire to self-manage your HOA or Condo but will volunteers do the work? The primary benefit is the association will save money versus using a management company.  The savings means you don’t have to increase common charges or you can put the savings towards a necessary project.  Next is increased control.  If the board is handling a majority of the operational issues they don’t have a manager making decisions for them,… Read More

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Buried in Email Part II

Last February I wrote an article about staff being buried in email and WOW! I haven’t hit that big a nerve with the readers in some time! You all ARE buried in email! But here’s an interesting aside: In the two months since I wrote that article, I have noticed that… more companies have started using auto-response for everyday email. I know this as when our publication goes out, the auto-responses come directly back to my inbox. Another bit of intel: I’d say that well over 50% indicate they will return email in 48 hours or more. For those managers or companies that aren’t yet using auto-response to help manage… Read More

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Community Association Emergency Preparedness

We all hope that our home, community, coworkers, and friends never need to implement an emergency action plan. However, it makes more sense to be completely prepared for the possibility rather than try to figure out what to do in the middle of confusion and fear. Unfortunately, most communities do not have any plan in place for its residents. We invite every community association to take the time to plan and create a unique emergency management plan to help keep their communities and residents safe when disaster strikes. What Is an emergency? First, let’s define an emergency. It can be something relatively common such as household fire, flooding, or even… Read More

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Earth Day 2019: 7 Ways Your Community Can Go Green

At Associa, we are committed to helping communities become more sustainable and decrease their environmental impact. We work hard every day to understand the needs of our partners, then look for environmentally-friendly solutions to accomplish their goals. We even started a special program, Associa Green, to help promote practical solutions that have a positive impact on the people and places we serve. Every year, Associa Green recognizes communities that go above and beyond with their green initiatives. We have gathered the best ideas from these Associa Green awards, and from our service partners, to give you the top 7 ways your community can go green this earth day. 1. Upgrade… Read More

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Condo and HOA Debit, Credit Card and Petty Cash Best Practices

   Your community needs to make small purchases for minor day to day operations.  What is the best way to accomplish this without a Board member spending his or her own money, or possibly risking fraud from improper controls around petty cash, debit, or credit card usage? First, some local supply stores may offer a purchase account where they will invoice you for purchases, but there is generally a need for a personal guaranty for payment from a Board member.  You will need a good purchase order system to safeguard from charges from an authorized board member or maintenance person. You or your bookkeeper can track the purchases on the… Read More

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Top 5 Memes for New Managers…. In no particular order…

For the creation and development of our online classes for entry level community managers (and others), Community Association Management 101, I’ve been afforded a wonderful opportunity to discuss line manager issues with people new to the industry and the executives who hire and manage them. It’s been a lot of fun getting back to the basics of managing communities, and for me a hop in the Way Back Machine to become reacquainted with all those things I learned in the beginning days, weeks and months as a new manager – you know, back when we had to ride horses to work(!). While dusting off my cowgirl boots I got to… Read More

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Buried in Email

From a management executive: “Hi Julie! … I’m wondering if you have come across any companies that are having the same problem we are: Too many emails, and not enough time to answer them! Our managers are literally buried in emails! This is a big problem as our contract states emails will be answered in 24 business hours – which we strive to do but honestly there just aren’t enough hours in the day! What are other companies doing about this? Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated…” (Name withheld to protect the innocent) Sound familiar? Of course it does. Let’s say a manager receives 60 emails per… Read More

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Fight Night or Fight Nice?

To state the obvious: There is a lot of incivility and conflict in community associations. Why? Long ago, I recall a senior manager/exec telling me something like this: “Condo meetings almost always lend themselves to arguments because, just like a marriage, money is involved.” Ha! Well, that’s true, but a lot of conflict between Board members and owners has to do with a lack of policy on association communications. Add to that inadequate advocacy skills, no repercussions for bad behavior, the social media environment, ego, frustration and certain psychological disorders and you have all the ingredients for the average unpleasant association meeting. Amiright or amiright?! Let’s look at what can… Read More

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The Emotional Cost of Foreclosure

Have you ever had to foreclose on a neighbor? The word “foreclosure” strikes a note of fear and panic in most people. Typically, foreclosure is only considered when all other possibilities have been considered and no other solution can be found. It is the final remedy an association has to fix a problem that could otherwise financially cripple a financially sound community. If you’ve ever seen the classic film, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, then you can easily picture the antagonist, Mr. Henry Potter (portrayed as the perfect villain by Lionel Barrymore). Mr. Potter was an evil banker, ready to foreclose with joy on any home owner who has fallen behind… Read More

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Will Our Community Association or Timeshare Qualify for a Loan?

Many traditional banks are ill-equipped to even accept a loan application from a community association, timeshare, homeowner’s association, or any other commonly owned interest group. While there are a variety of reasons that this is true, the reality is that lending to a well-qualified community association, timeshare, homeowner’s association, or any other commonly owned interest group is a sound business practice that led to the creation of HOALendingXchange. Qualifying for a community association, timeshare, homeowner’s association, or any other commonly owned interest group loan is really not so different from the way in which a business qualifies for a business loan. The community association, timeshare, homeowner’s association, or any other commonly… Read More

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