FCAP Community—June 2024

FCAP Community

Published June 2024

     Florida Community Association Professionals’ (FCAP) training is offered on two levels. Level one consists of courses meeting Florida’s continuing education requirements for CAMs, and level two is the Florida Advanced CAM Studies (FACS) course. For further information about the more than 38 online continuing education classes available or to pursue the Certified Florida Community Association Manager (CFCAM) designation, please visit www.fcapgroup.com/membership/education-training/.   

Betsy Barbieux

Because You Asked
By Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM, CMCA

     I’m happy to share our board president has been watching your videos and may come with me this year for the Summit. The last couple of years have been at a breakneck pace for our building—high-traffic rentals and a 43-year-old building with all kinds of deferred maintenance, storm damage, concrete restoration, a new roof, flooded units, a new water system, a generator, etc.
     Needless to say, the owners are weary and unhappy, which has resulted in a lengthy records inspection request, including emails, regarding the concrete restoration project. Do I have to print out a year’s worth of emails?

     You’ve been busy! I can imagine how upset/angry the owners are. They don’t understand that a bunch of records requests slows down the progress. Be sure you have taken advantage of the statutory option of creating policies for owners’ requests and inquiries and use the Division of Condominiums sample request form.
     Yes, emails are considered “written records” and are available in a request for access. I don’t know how you provide access to emails in an access to records request. My thought is to use your email “search” for relevant subjects, move those emails into a new email folder, and download the folder to a thumb drive.
     In a request to access records, remember it is “access.” You are under no obligation to print out anything or email anything. The original intent was for the owner to come to where the records are located and make their own copies or pay for you to make copies.

     Thank you for your YouTube videos; they were so helpful in helping me pass the CAM license exam. We spoke a few weeks ago on the phone, and you were so encouraging. I passed the State exam on Friday and received my license yesterday.
     Today I have been on Indeed looking for job openings. However, almost every job requires experience. I have 30 years of self-employment business experience but zero CAM experience.
     Do you have any suggestions for how to get my first CAM job without experience? Where should I apply?

     You need to network. Join as many of the local, state, and national CAM organizations as you can; go to their meetings; and get involved.
     You’ll want to take advantage of all the trade shows this time of year. Each Florida CAI chapter will have one as well as other companies that sponsor shows all around the state.
     Also, you likely have relatable prior work skills that can be highlighted on a resume. Resumes in today’s world are tailored for each position you apply for. Gone are the days of putting on the resume every job you’ve ever had. Instead, list your skills.
     Check out the resume tips on www.condojobs.com. Also, read the advertisements and use some of the skills/qualities they are asking for and craft them into your resume.

     I’m not lazy, but I looked for the statute addressing voter rules if the owner owns more than one unit. Common sense would be a vote for each unit owned—two units equals two votes. Could you direct me to that statute?

     It should say in your declaration or bylaws that each UNIT gets one vote. Likely you won’t find anything in the statutes. Some documents spell out voting by square footage percentages.
     Have you subscribed to my YouTube channel, CAM Matters? Each show is full of useful information for you at www.youtube.com/c/cammatters.

     Do you also have the statute number that states nonprofits cannot have reserve funds?

     I’m assuming you’re asking this question because you think our community associations are nonprofit organizations. They are not. 
     We are governed under Chapter 617 and are Florida Not for Profit Corporations, which means we are a group of people with a common interest. We have nothing to do with the IRS 501(c)3 charitable organization, rules, and regulations. There is no financial reporting or restrictions or list of donors that must be provided to the IRS.
     All our communities are required to do is prepare and file an income tax return every year using Form 1120 or Form 1120 H.
     Our corporations are also governed under either Chapter 718, Chapter 719, or Chapter 720. All three of those statutes address the mandatory component of reserve savings and lay out the mandatory calculation formula for how much to save each year for replacement of the roofing, paving, painting, and anything that costs more than $10,000 to repair or replace.
     Our associations may earn as much money as they wish, and they can keep as much money as they wish other than as provided in their governing documents.
     Check out my YouTube channel, CAM Matters. You’ll find a show on corporations and another one on financial management that should offer a more thorough explanation. Be sure you and all your board members are subscribed so that you never miss a monthly show. 

Marcy L. Kravit

Level Up Your Community: How AI Is Becoming a Superhero for CAMs

By Marcy Kravit, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, CFCAM, CSM
Director of Community Association Relations, Hotwire Communications
FCAP Education Program Coordinator

     Imagine yourself as a local legend, the hero of your domain—the community association manager (CAM). You’re the one residents turn to for everything, from deciphering arcane HOA bylaws to mediating the occasional noise complaint. You’re the glue that holds the community together, the tireless champion ensuring everyone feels safe, happy, and at home.

     But even superheroes need a sidekick, and that’s where artificial intelligence (AI) swoops in. Forget capes and tights—AI brings a utility belt packed with cutting-edge tools designed to make your life (and your residents’ lives) a whole lot easier.  Here at Gemini (Google’s AI chatbot), we’re passionate about empowering CAMs with the latest AI advancements, so let’s explore how AI can become your ultimate partner in building a thriving community.

From Resident BFF to Financial Whiz: AI’s Got Your Back

     Remember those days spent drowning in a sea of resident inquiries and paperwork? AI-powered chatbots can now be your friendly neighborhood virtual assistants, handling frequently asked questions (FAQs) and fielding basic requests 24/7. Picture this—a resident has a question about trash pickup schedules, and bam!  The AI chatbot handles it with ease, freeing you up to tackle more complex issues or strategize ways to improve the community.

     For instance, there are so many tools like ManyChat or Salesforce Bots. These AI-powered chatbots can be seamlessly integrated with your existing communication platforms, allowing residents to submit maintenance requests (like reporting a flickering light bulb), schedule amenity usage (like reserving the clubhouse for a party), or even pay dues—all through a convenient chat

     Speaking of tackling complexity, AI can also become your financial whiz kid. Say goodbye to spreadsheets that resemble hieroglyphics and hello to smart AI-powered tools such as Buildium or Yardi Voyager. These tools can analyze vast amounts of data on resident payments, utility costs, and maintenance expenses. They can sniff out financial trends, and even predict future expenses with uncanny accuracy. Now you can create a budget that would make Scrooge McDuck proud and impress everyone with your financial foresight (thanks, AI!).

     Imagine using a tool like Gemini, a large language model from Google AI, to analyze past financial data and resident trends.  Gemini can help you forecast, allowing you to adjust budgets for utilities and maintenance staff accordingly and create announcements, emails, and newsletters. This proactive approach ensures you have the resources you need to keep your community running smoothly.

Maintenance Magic and Security Shields: Keeping Your Community Safe and Sound

     Ever wished you could predict a broken sprinkler before it turned the dog park into a mud bath? AI-powered predictive maintenance can do just that! By analyzing data patterns in equipment usage (like water pressure and flow rates) and environmental factors (like temperature and humidity), AI can identify when equipment needs a tune-up and prevent problems before they arise. Think of it as a crystal ball for your maintenance crew—less downtime, more preventive measures, and a whole lot less explaining to a grumpy resident whose prize-winning roses are now underwater.

     Tools can be implemented to monitor equipment health and building automation. Sensors placed on pool equipment can detect abnormal vibrations, and the AI system can send an alert to the maintenance crew for a potential pump issue before it leads to a costly breakdown.

     Speaking of safety, AI can also be your security shield. Imagine surveillance cameras that not only record but also analyze footage in real time, alerting you to suspicious activity. These AI-powered systems can even recognize patterns and anomalies, differentiating between a harmless squirrel and a potential intruder. Plus, AI-powered access control systems keep unwanted visitors at bay, ensuring your community remains a haven of peace.

     AI-powered security systems can be integrated into your community.  These systems can utilize facial recognition to identify known trespassers and alert security personnel, ensuring the safety and security of your residents.

Data Detectives and Personalized Pampering: The Future of Community Management

     AI isn’t just about automation; it’s about unlocking a plethora of data about your residents and the community as a whole. By analyzing resident interactions with the community website, surveys, and emails, AI can help you understand your community on a deeper level. Imagine having a resident whisperer on your team—you’ll be able to tailor services and communications to each resident’s needs and preferences, making them feel truly valued.

AI: Your Partner in Building a Thriving Community

     The world of property management is constantly evolving, and AI is here to help you stay ahead of the curve. By embracing AI, you’ll not only streamline operations but also create a more vibrant and enjoyable experience for your residents.

     So, ditch the cape—AI is here to be your partner in building a thriving community. With AI as your sidekick, you can unlock a world of possibilities, create a more efficient future, and keep your residents smiling. Remember, it’s not about replacing your superpowers, it’s about amplifying them and making you an even more awesome CAM!