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Increase Participation at Annual HOA Meetings

While members of the association should understand that it is in their own best interest to attend the annual meeting of the members, many do not realize how important these meetings are. Failure to attend annual meetings results in failure

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How to Avoid Becoming a Money Laundry

Boards have tools to keep unsavory buyers out of their buildings.  In response to an influx of Limited Liability Companies – also known as LLC’s, or shell companies – paying cash for pricey apartments in New York City, the U.S.

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In a community association, who’s actually in charge?

It takes a village to run a community association.  This village typically is composed of an elected board and its officers, unit owners, perhaps a few committees and a hired manager. Each one has roles to play and responsibilities to

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Five Common Emails from Condo Owners

A big part of leading a Condo Association is communicating with Owners. Unfortunately, as many veterans know, most interactions are not Owners telling you how awesome you are and what a great job you’re doing. Typically their engagement with the

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Taxes and Your HOA Community – To File or Not

If you live in a planned community, there is a good chance questions have come up about taxes and if your community needs to file them. We’ve heard many people admit that they didn’t realize their community needed to file

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What the HOA Board Should Know About Making Association Rules

When thinking of rules within a California Homeowners Association, what comes to mind are the few but chronic rule breakers that somehow find their way into some associations, and how nice it might be to have a spell to bring

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Ahh! Meetings!

Love them or hate them, meetings are a permanent feature of business. Getting things done in organizations frequently requires bringing together multiple minds, perspectives and experience sets. Complex problems cannot be solved nor innovative opportunities leveraged via emails, knowledge management

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HOA Managers: A Rare Breed

Homeowner association management is one of the most challenging forms of property management there is. In residential, commercial and industrial rental management, there is a revocable agreement that allows the property owner a fair amount of control over the tenant.

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Five proven steps to landing your first HOA client (Landscapers)

I was 14 years old working in my father’s landscape business over the summer when I saw them. I was impressed by the fully uniformed staff with the logoed trucks all working together. This company did everything in the fancy

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Building Bridges Through Better Communication

HOA communication is one of the biggest challenges of any community association. If you ask 20 HOA professionals where the biggest gap in communication exists, 19 of them will tell you that it’s between the Board of Directors and the

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5 marketing practices most landscaping contractors get wrong

In a hyper-competitive industry like landscaping, marketing your business is critical. Even if you think you have enough customers now, people move all the time — more than 35 million people move every year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

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Fostering Condo Association Professionalism

Condos are often accused – rightfully – of being cesspools of petty politics, micro tyrants, and generally miserable people. While much of these accusations may be misguided and ungrounded, on the other hand, there is a substantial part of Condo

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5 Ways To Deal With Board Members That Micro-Manage

It’s no secret that board members that micro-manage make life tough for property managers. The need for the board to control even the smallest aspect of a property manager’s job is not only considered a nuisance—it’s stressful. What if I

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Spring is Coming…Is Your Property Ready?

Winter, even the mild one we are experiencing, can wreak havoc on your property! Between the snow, ice, wind and cold, lots of repairs are made in the winter that need to be readdressed in the spring. Why are we

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Gardening In Your Association: The Basics

As the bleak cold of winter finally breaks and signs of spring begin to pop up all around, thoughts of vibrant flowers and lush vegetables are on gardeners’ minds. For those green thumbs living in tiny quarters, an impressive garden

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Why No One Wants To Talk About HOA Fees

The dreaded topic…HOA Fees….  Board members have to determine them, enforce and collect them, and decide when to raise them (the undoubtedly unpopular decision). And homeowners generally don’t like paying them. A recent article by Joe Ducey on abc15.com sites

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Poor Workmanship Tops List of Construction Defects in New Report From Community Associations Institute (CAI)

The majority of construction deficiencies occur in new condominium developments compared to townhomes and single family homes, according to a new study released today by Community Associations Institute (CAI), the leading authority in community association education, governance, and management.  The

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How to Create The Ultimate Operations Calendar for Your Community

The start of a new year is about more than just changing the calendar on the wall. It’s an opportunity to strategically plan your community association’s operations calendar for the next year to ensure you complete all necessary tasks and

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Dealing with Difficult Residents

At some point, every community will face conflict and difficult people. When this occurs, remember that patience and communication always prevail. By managing your reactions, listening and asking the right questions, your community and board will come to a resolution.

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When Should You Update Your HOA Governing Documents?

Many governing documents are established immediately after the community’s developer completes construction. Therefore, these documents follow a standard set of guidelines that are intended to protect the community–even though the houses are still empty. As the neighborhood or condo complex

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Things Community Management Companies Should Not Do in South Carolina

We often are asked by managers and Board members what duties are appropriate to delegate to a property manager.  First, a property manager is almost always going to be considered an agent of the homeowners association. As an agent, what

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The Unenforceable: When a Rule is Not a Rule

One Monday morning, I arrived at the office of one of our managed properties, and I was greeted by a visibly upset board president. Steeling myself for what was the source of her dissatisfaction, I asked “what is the matter?”

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Breaking up is hard to do: PART I- How to Navigate Management Company Transitions

Hopefully, most of us enter into relationships with the expectation that they will last. However, for those of us past adolescence, we realize that even long-term relationships can end and, even when they were good for a long time, the

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When your homeowner association needs intensive care

Q. Long story short, the members have all been reluctant to get involved on our board for many years. They are all fine with someone else doing it. Our vice president resigned and then appointed herself “manager.” She paid herself

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How to Handle HOA/Condo Board Member Resignations (NC)

From time to time we receive questions regarding the resignation of directors, term expiration and what to do in the event of a mass resignation by the existing board. The North Carolina Planning Community Act, Condominium Act, and the Non-Profit

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Maximize Mediation: A Guide to Saving Association Legal Fees

Community Managers wear many hats in their business relationship with the Associations they manage. They act as a liaison, a resource, and a consultant to help the Association Boards they serve to make decisions. Community Managers have the tough job

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‘Tis the Season of the Annual Meeting

Reaching the end of the contentious and hotly contested national election was no doubt a relief for many of us. However, for our community association clients, there is no rest for the weary because late winter and spring is association

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How To Create an Effective Newsletter for your HOA

In today’s hectic world, very few find the time to seek out information concerning news and events in their community; this can sometimes lead to apathy among homeowners. One way to prevent this is to make it easy for homeowners

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The Accidental Employee

Many homeowner associations employ hired help to perform various functions for the association (e.g., management, maintenance, landscaping, bookkeeping, etc.). Associations may also need outside expertise when undertaking special projects or construction work. This help may take the form “contractors” or

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New Software Keeps Managers on a Shorter Leash

Maria Palumbo was getting an earful. The shareholders at Carmil Apartments, a 100-unit, two-building co-op in Kew Gardens, Queens, were unhappy with management, and they wanted Palumbo and her six fellow board members to do something about it.  “I was

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Condo Association Hearing Tips for Owners

The dreaded hearing. For whatever reason – maybe legitimate, maybe not – your Board has issued a hearing with your name on it. They want to meet with you over your behavior and they’ve got the power of the Bylaws

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How to deal with a weak homeowners association

Reader Question: Our homeowner’s association has bylaws. The HOA is not proactive in enforcing them and has allowed residents to violate, only addressing the violations if someone files a complaint. This refusal to proactively monitor property conditions puts the complaining

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Best practices for condo boards to plan for future building repairs

Q: We live in a condo building of 56 units. We have a reserve fund marked for separate items like the elevator, roof, parking lot, painting, etc. If we didn’t have enough money to replace the elevator, can we use

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Keep track of the money: Finance and Condos

Be sure to check out my post on governance policies for condo boards, and an earlier post on best practices for condo board communication. Financial policies are the topic of this post. I have divided into two parts. Part 1

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Change Management Tips To Overcome Resistance To Change In Your HOA Management Organization

Who likes change when everything seems to be working fine. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” as most would say. While this holds true in your own reality, the truth is, change is always happening around us – as

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3 Tips for Improved Revenue Growth

Your HOA is like any other business, and to succeed, you need to see revenue growth. However, it can be a little hard to figure out how exactly to increase your revenue. For help with more money in your HOA,

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Need a loan? Show lenders your association is a worthy investment

As spring weather approaches, big-ticket construction and repairs are coming up at many community associations. So is taking out a loan to pay for them. If associations qualify, that is.  Associations will be denied if their finances are in disarray.

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Three Reasons to Buy in an Established Condo Association

When you are Condo shopping, there’s a tendency to want to see the newest and best construction. New buildings will have the most modern building codes, may be Leeds certified and environmentally friendly, and feature dazzling amenities. All of these

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Tips to Voice your Concerns and Get Results in your Community

Disagreements among homeowners and fellow board members are bound to happen. However, that’s not always a bad thing. When they’re handled properly, disagreements can lead to unexpected solutions and common ground. Below are five tips to help you keep disagreements

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HOA Homefront: The board balancing act

The ancient Chinese concept of yin and yang deals with opposite and inseparable forces. Common interest developments, or homeowner associations, have their own “yin and yang” issues, in which four basic and inseparable priorities must be balanced to produce a

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Hiring An Owner’s Rep: Save Time, Money and Peace of Mind

When an Association’s Board of Directors begin exploring a new construction project, oftentimes the cost of the endeavor is at the forefront of their thought process. And rightly so; depending on the size and scope of the project, it could

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Ethics at the condo, Part II

Ethics is not just a matter of following the law. Slavery and apartheid were at one time legal, but most would agree there were and are unethical. The word “ethics” is derived from the Greek word ethos (character), and from

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The Impact of Legalization of Medical Marijuana on Your Florida Community Association

This past November, Amendment 2 legalizing the use of medical marijuana was approved by Florida voters. The rules governing medical marijuana have not yet been passed by the State Legislature and the Department of Health; however, it is likely to

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Four Ideas for Water and Energy Savings for Condo Owners

Electricity and water conservation should be a major priority for all Condo Associations. While things like solar panels and EV chargers are the provenance of Associations, there are many things that support water and energy savings for Condo Owners. These

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Plat Maps and Surveys

The plat for your community is an important governing document. The plat is an aerial depiction of the lot boundaries, roadways, common areas, and easements. The filing of the plat and declaration is what creates the community. The plat contains

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Essential Board Member Skills: Objectivity is Key

I believe the most important skill for a board member to possess is objectivity. You need to look at all positions and possibilities and then select the path that provides the greatest good for all members of the association. This

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Planning and Conducting a Successful Annual Meeting

Happy Birthday to your Association!! The annual meeting can be a chance for the current board to shine on the past year’s performance, promote the plans of the community, and answer the myriad of questions that come with being a

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Improve Your Condo and HOA Management Brand in 5 Easy Steps

Property management is a competitive business. To stand out from the crowd, your company needs a strong “brand presence” – an impression you give people about the benefits of choosing your firm over a competitor. But branding is more than

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Funding Reserves For the Common Good

Subdivisions, planned community, and condominium owners are different types of community and offer different types of amenities and surrounding. However, there is one common denominator that people living inside these communities are obliged to conform with to ensure the common

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Public Wi-Fi Regulations Your HOA Should Consider

Everyone loves being able to connect to Wi-Fi for free when they are out and about. For this reason, many associations offer free Wi-Fi in community areas, so residents can surf the web without using up any data. However, there

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