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Fighting Apathy: Identifying Great Condo Board Member Candidates

Condo Association Boards have an extremely challenging job when it comes to running their Associations. They have substantial control over finances and the direction a community goes. The fear of breaking bad – and resulting horror stories – is very

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HOAs: How to make community service fair

It is a basic truth that the risk in any venture should match the reward. High risk investments should bring high yields, while low returns may be acceptable for very secure investments.  The same principle should be applied to volunteer

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How to make sure volunteer work does not bring risk

It is a basic truth that the risk in any venture should match the reward. High risk investments should bring high yields, while low returns may be acceptable for very secure investments.  The same principle should be applied to volunteer

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Contending with Apathy Towards Board Member Service in Community Associations

Community association living has many advantages and desirable qualities. Residents share expenses in order to be able to enjoy relatively carefree maintenance of their property and the use of amenities such as pools, fitness centers, meeting rooms, and other appealing

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How an HOA Board Can Ask for Member’s Help as Inspectors of Election

It’s that time again in your homeowners association – time for the Annual Director Election. To be proactive and try to drum up participation from the membership, the HOA board may want to send out a notice to the members

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Fighting Apathy #5: Four Reasons Serving on Your Condo Association Board is Good for You

Serving on a Condo Association Board is a tough job – sometimes it’s hard to see why serving on your condo association board is good for you. You’ve got the responsibility to govern anywhere from a handful of units to

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The Power of HOA Participation: 10 tips for overcoming apathy in your community

Although I work with HOA boards primarily on financial and business matters, I’m still asked this question as board members look for creative ways to engage residents. I also faced resident apathy first-hand during my eight years on my neighborhood’s

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How Can Residents Be Active in Your Homeowner’s Association?

Every homeowner’s association community always seems to have a lot going on, and that can sometimes include, among other things, a range of upcoming social events in addition to several important ongoing projects.   Read the article………….

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6 Tips for Recruiting Future HOA Leaders

“The best way to get people involved is to do it right when they move in,” says Debra A. Warren, principal of Cinnabar Consulting in San Rafael, Calif., which provides training and employee development services to community association management firms

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Volunteer Labor in your HOA: Worth the Risk?

HOA Board members face a lot of decisions when it comes to finances. Usually those decisions involve trying to figure out how to be as responsible as possible to keep the HOA budgets in good shape. Sometimes, Boards will have

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Resolving Underlying Conflicts Among HOA Volunteers

Diversity is a source of strength for HOA Boards and committees. Different personalities, skills and experience translate to a variety of problem-solving approaches. Yet, this diversity can also create underlying conflicts. Here are some ways to resolve common issues in

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Preparing For an HOA Leadership Position

Have you recently taken a leadership position in your homeowner association (HOA)? Effective leadership requires knowledge, influence and good judgment. Because many HOAs struggle with filling leadership positions, there’s not always a succession plan. So, preparation is up to you.

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The Secret to Being the Best Board Member You Can Be? Think like a Hobbit!

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” This is the opening line to J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic tale, The Hobbit: There and Back Again.  It may seem that there aren’t many things a board member can

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The best board members are reluctant heroes with heart

Bilbo is an everyday hobbit with no intention of being great; yet along the way we find that it’s his simple, calm approach to unimaginable situations and his thoughtful demeanor that make the difference between the success and failure for

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6 Ways to Change the Attitude of Apathy in Your Community

This is the question I’m asked most by our boards and I think we can all agree, if you’re on a community association board apathy is an issue that can affect even the most well-functioning communities.   Read the article……………

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Hosting Volunteering Events

Neighborhood events are one of the great features of living in a community with an HOA. One unique way to come together and give back to the community is to hold a volunteering event.   Read the article………….

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Does Your Association Need a Few More Hands On Deck? Here are Some Suggestions for Recruiting Volunteers!

Provide social opportunities in the association where people get to know each other and have fun! People want to help people that they know personally. The best way to get volunteers is to ASK!      Read the article……….

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Heart of HOA Volunteerism

At the heart of every homeowner association is the principle of “volunteerism”. It is a noble calling which calls for personal sacrifice: giving up self interest for the greater good. Americans, arguably the most self-indulgent citizens of the world, have

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The Buck Stops Here: Four Steps to Lead Change in Your Community

We’ve all done it. We walk through our community and see something that we’d like to change: a rule regarding hours of trash collection or maintenance, or a change to the facilities in a common area like the addition of

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Should You Become a Board Member?

If you live in a community with an HOA, you may be considering joining the board to help improve the neighborhood. However, a lot of work goes into being a board member, and you don’t get paid for it. If

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The Thankless Job of an HOA Board Member

As hated as they are by some, homeowners associations—or HOAs as they’re known—actually do serve a purpose. They allow neighborhoods to have amenities such as small parks and common landscaping that they often wouldn’t have if those communities relied on

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Get involved with your HOA to protect your home’s value

We take so many things for granted as we go about our busy lives. One of them is the routine maintenance of our homes. Another is the effort required to manage our community associations and hold the property owners to

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Tips for community associations to get more residents involved

In order for a homeowner’s association to work to its full potential, it needs to have the help of the entire community. However, that can be very difficult for a large number of the HOAs out there to get residents

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4 Tips for Forming Positive Relationships with Volunteers

As a property manager or community association, you’ve probably had to form and manage relationships with volunteers- and this can either work really well or it can be a struggle. On one side, having volunteers brings extra hands to the

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6 Ideas for an HOA Board to Encourage Involvement in the New Year

Since a new year is about to begin, this may be a good time for you as an HOA Board to communicate with your members about several ways they can help make the community an even better place to live

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Empty seats on the Board? Try these volunteer recruiting methods that actually work

Regardless of the organization or the cause, volunteering is tough. And what’s even more tough is finding great volunteers. So how did I wind up on the board so quickly? Beyond a deplorable lack of willpower, it was because of

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Called to Serve: Volunteers for Board Service Often in Short Supply

Speak to any volunteer-run organization, whether it is a town board, the soccer association, a church’s childcare program or the school PTO, and the same complaint resounds: “We don’t have enough people stepping up to serve.” Condominium homeowners associations (HOAs)

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Called to Serve: Volunteers for Board Service Often in Short Supply

In a dense urban or sprawling suburban environment, people can still feel isolated. While high-rise residential buildings and suburban subdivisions put many people and families in very close proximity to one another, living side-by-side doesn’t automatically transform a group of

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How to Recruit a Homeowner to Become an HOA Board Member

Being a board member in a homeowners association is a difficult job. It takes a commitment of time and resources, but it can also be very rewarding. Sometimes you are asked to deal with tough issues that relate to your

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Raise a Glass to the Community Association Board

President Obama has declared it to be National Volunteer Week, a time when we acknowledge and recognize the efforts of those who give their time to help others. One group of volunteers certainly worthy of recognition that Community Association Management

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Do It Yourself: Can You Save Money with In-House Labor – And Is It Worth It?

A small-scale project is pending, and the management company is considering proposals or bids from several local contractors. The job could be as basic as trimming shrubs, staining decks or wiring some new lighting, so it’s no wonder that the

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6 Lessons from Habitat for Humanity: How to manage, motivate and inspire community volunteers

This week, TOPS employees have joined efforts to help build a house with Habitat for Humanity, a charity that helps provide affordable housing for deserving families (That’s my group above – Crew Two, taking a break from work to immortalize

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How To Get Involved With Your Community Association

The biggest way to have an impact on your community association is to obtain a seat on the board of directors (the “Board”). However, if your association is still under developer control (and the developer appoints the directors) this might not

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How to Know if You Are a Lousy Volunteer

Volunteering your time as a board member on an HOA or any other type of nonprofit organization might seem like a helpful way to selflessly spend your time, but are your contributions really beneficial? If some of these traits look

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Growing HOA Volunteers

A common homeowner association board question is: “How do we get better participation from our members with board and committee work?” Many HOAs experience a large degree of apathy from the membership when it comes to volunteering. On the one

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Do You Know What Your Community Association Volunteers Are Doing? Do They Carry Guns? Maybe You Need To Better Supervise

After the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida last year, I posted a blog article highlighting the need for community associations to supervise their volunteers. Follow this link for that March 2012 blog article. If you have been following the George

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HOA Delegation Celebration

As a board or committee member, have you ever caught yourself resenting the work you do for the homeowner association? Why not consider delegating some of it and spreading the joy around? Or are you a victim of your own

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When Homeowners Attack

I spoke at a “board member boot camp” Tuesday night to give legal tips to new homeowners association board members, and briefly touched on security and safety issues for board members. Luckily, I said, homeowner violence against HOA board members

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Volunteers make the community

In many areas across the United States, community associations are very prominent. However, they cannot be successful without the benefit of volunteers. The members of the board of directors are elected volunteers, committee members are appointed volunteers. It is the

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The Painful Death of Volunteerism

Many communities, if not most communities, suffer from a shortage of volunteers. People are busier than ever, and their time is precious. After a full day’s work, it seems like a real waste of that precious time to spend it

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Hail to the Chief (Cook and Bottle Washer)!

To paraphrase Shakespeare, some men are born great and some have greatness thrust upon them. In my case, it wasn’t greatness, but an HOA presidency that was thrust upon me. Back in 2001, I was a naïve young apartment-dweller who

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HOA Board Member Wanted: Should You Run?

The day-to-day planning and financial stability of a Homeowners Association is generally attributed to the diligence and competence of its HOA Board. If you’re thinking about running, there are a number of things to take into consideration, such as the

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Five Steps to Community Involvement

As more and more people are moving into community associations, it should be a priority for board members and community association managers to develop a sense of belonging and ownership for each new member. Educating them from the start in

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How to Attract HOA Volunteers

Perfume has been used for thousands of years to attract the object of its desire. Oh, that it were so easy to attract volunteers to a homeowner association’s board or committees. Just spritz some Eau de Volunteer in the air

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Involved & Invested: Volunteers are Still the Backbone of Community Associations

It’s a problem as old as community associations themselves: How do managers increase interest in the possibility of board service? “You know, it’s very common,” says Lynne Kelly, president of Kelly Property Management in Burlington, Massachusetts. “People who move into

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