Published June 2019
Editor’s Note: These entries are from a variety of companies who do business in the community association industry. They share brief but important tips to help your community run more efficiently.
To make sure your meeting goes as planned, there are a few steps the board should take when planning for a board meeting:
For more information on Campbell Property Management, call (954) 427-8770 or visit CampbellPropertyManagement.com.
Having been in the restoration industry in South Florida for the last 40 years, we at Carousel have learned a few things. One of the most important best practice tips we can offer you is the idea of routine building maintenance. It is so important to have a hands-on manager and maintenance team that regularly inspect the building to evaluate its overall “health.” Our suggestion is to start setting a goal to inspect the building biannually. Take note of any repair needs that are visible, and call your contractor or engineer to come out and take a look. Doing minor repairs on a yearly basis, before damage escalates, could save you big bucks down the road.
For more information on Carousel Development & Restoration, call (561) 272-3700, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.CDRI.net.
The signature cards on file at the bank must be updated to reflect the election of new directors at the annual meeting. If your manager is a signer on your bank accounts, make sure your signature cards have the correct information. Most associations remember to change the signers on the checking account but forget to update signers on the reserve accounts, certificates of deposit, and money market accounts. Updating these signature cards will prevent problems when the CDs mature, and you need a signer to redeem or reinvest the funds.
For more information on Centennial Bank, call (866) 227-0441 or visit my100bank.com/associations.
When hiring a contractor for condominium work, it is very important to get some references from other condominiums, if possible. Several condominiums have formed groups that meet monthly to share information and discuss happenings in the area. As a contractor, we have been invited to give a presentation to some of these groups, and I have found that our reputation and comments from condominiums where we have previously worked are the best source for future business.
For more information on Daniello Companies, call (888) 370-4333 or visit www.concreterepairing.net.
One of the most important functions of the board is to plan for large capital outlays. None of your owners are going to be happy with special assessments. Reserves must be established and updated on a regular basis. One of the things that we are often asked to do is provide a reserve study for roofing.
For more information on Ed Williams Registered Roof Consultant, call (772) 335-5832 or visit EdWilliamsRegisteredRoofConsultant.com.
It is important to remember that every community is different. From design, to budget, to security concerns—no community is exactly the same. There are a variety of options when it comes to choosing a security provider or system(s), and an association and property manager should explore those. Look for your community’s best match, and ask about tailoring a system to fit your association’s needs and wants. Don’t settle for the first choice without researching alternatives and educating yourself on the possibilities. From there, you will be able to select the option(s) that will set your community up for success.
For more information on Envera Systems, call (855) 380-1274 or visit www.EnveraSystems.com.
In order to commit fraud, all three components of the “Fraud Triangle” must be present at the same time. It is an important recommendation that associations reduce pressures on employees, minimize perceived opportunities, and dispel rationalizations for engaging in fraudulent activities. Our “HOA Fraud Prevention” course can help you mitigate risk in your community.
For more information on Executive National Bank, call (305) 662-4700 or visit executivebank.com.
Condominium associations are required by Florida law—Statute 718.111(11)a—to have replacement valuations completed every 36 months. This is to make sure that they are properly insured to protect the financial interests of the association members.
What about homeowner associations? Their boards have the same fiduciary responsibilities as the condominiums. It is important for these boards to be aware of what their governing documents say.
A client association recently had to do an evaluation of their insurance coverage after they saw what they were responsible for. In the governing documents, the board was not only responsible for the common assets (pool, pool house, fencing, and walls) as well as the structure exteriors but also for the internal components. This included floor coverings, wall coverings, electrical, plumbing, cabinetry, and more. When we completed the correct replacement valuation, they were underinsured by more than 40 percent.
Be sure that you review the association’s governing documents in order to know the association’s fiduciary responsibilities in regard to insurance coverage. Then, have a replacement valuation done to make sure everyone is properly protected.
For more information on Expert Inspectors, call (866) 480-8236 or visit www.flinsurancevaluations.com.
Because our Florida bats are all protected by state law, there are strict rules on how to implement a safe and humane exclusion. Notwithstanding the legal constraints, professional and dedicated bat colony exclusion experts should always adhere to a set of “best practices” to ensure an outcome that is safe, effective, and lasting.
For more information on Friends of Bats, email email@example.com, visit www.friendsofbats.com, or call (888) 758-BATS (2287).
When ordering a reserve study for the first time and/or an update, it is important to start gathering past and recent invoices/contracts on asset replacements, such as for roofing, painting, and paving. This information will assist the reserve analyst in preparing a more accurate reserve report for your association.
For more information on J.R. Frazer, call (561) 488-3012, email JRFrazerENT@aol.com, or visit www.JRfrazer.com.
Sustainability may be the buzzword du jour, but for roads we’ve known for a long time, the true path to sustainability is preservation! There are pretenders that simply cover up distresses like cracking and oxidation. However, the best way to encourage sustainable roads is to extend the life of your asphalt by giving it back what’s been lost: maltenes. These are the light oils that give the pavement its flexibility. Stop waiting for the road to die and start Maltene Replacement Technology today: sunscreen for your roads. Longer lasting roads equal a sustainable infrastructure.
For more information on Pavement Technology Inc., visit www.pavetechinc.com.
Being accessible to offer guidance, address concerns, and set expectations on the forefront can foster a more productive working relationship between the community association and the management company. Be sure to communicate responses clearly and respond to residents’ requests within a reasonable timeframe to keep transparency throughout any processes.
For more information on Seacrest Services, call (561) 656-6354 or visit www.seacrestservices.com.
Educate, educate, educate. The more you teach managers and board members, the better you become as a vendor. You are seen as a partner as you are willing to share your knowledge and experience. You will be the first call when there is a need.
For more information on Southern Chute Inc., call (866) 475-9191 or visit www.SouthernChute.com.
With rainy season now upon us, are you confident that your roof will withstand the torrential downpours that are certain to arrive each afternoon? If you had your roof examined by a certified, professional inspector, rain and the potential for roof leaks wouldn’t be a concern.
Here’s what experienced inspectors look for: cracks or chips in tiles, displaced or buckled shingles, missing nails and screws, pooled water, drainage issues, mold or algae growth, damaged flashing, rust, and more. They’ll also inspect the building from the inside to check for signs of water intrusion, like damp spots, streaks, and mold. Our team also uses drone photography to document causes for concern, allowing property owners and managers to see problems for themselves.
If your roof hasn’t been inspected since hurricanes Michael, Irma, or Matthew, find a reliable, trustworthy inspector. The next thunderstorm could be the one that wreaks havoc on your building.
For more information on Target Roofing & Sheet Metal, call (239) 216-9206 or visit TargetRoofers.com.
Here is a tip that can help you fulfill your role on the board while avoiding being slapped with a lawsuit along the way: you want to be responsible for your decisions, but not legally responsible. Make sure that your board carries Directors and Officers Liability Insurance. This protects you from personal liability for the decisions you make on behalf of the board. If you can’t afford to be slapped with a discrimination lawsuit from an aggrieved homeowner who genuinely believes their outlandish request for a fuchsia fence was unfairly denied, you’ll want to be insured.
For more information on The Melrose Management Partnership, call (800) 647-0055, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.melrosemanagement.com.
Life as a community association manager can be challenging on a good day! We are problem solvers. Our days are filled with issues requiring immediate attention that come with high expectations from our clients. One of our major responsibilities is to organize, and often chair, the board meetings that are part of the management services for community associations, residential and commercial.
The key to conducting an effective board meeting is in the preparation. The better prepared the board members are, the better the results that will be achieved.
Create a clear and concise agenda that lists all the items that will be addressed, and get the agenda in the hands of the board members in advance of the meeting. A meeting packet should be included that provides back-up documentation for each item on the agenda that requires a decision. The packet should be in appropriate order, and each item should be tabbed to relate directly back to the agenda.
Provide a management report that details the accomplishments since their last meeting. Include back-up data, along with recommendations, for current agenda items that need their attention or a decision. In the event an item includes competitive bids, make sure to have a spreadsheet or overview comparing apples to apples for each bid so the board members can “at a glance” make an informed decision.
Board meetings should never exceed two hours unless there is a major/controversial issue to be addressed. Staying focused and having accurate and detailed material provided in advance is a must.
Keep it simple: use clear and concise communication, provide accurate documentation, start on time, and end on time. Makes their job easier, and you look like a hero!
For more information on Vesta Property Services, call (877) 988-3782 or visit www.VestaPropertyServices.com.