Friday, September 11, 2009
Our next seminar, with Carpenter, Hazlewood, Delgado & Wood is scheduled for Thursday, September 24th at 6:00 p.m. at their offices in Tempe. Please call Jean-Marie Bellington at (480) 844-2224, Ext. 131 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seat.
On Wednesday, October 14th at 10:00 a.m. and again at 6:00 p.m., at our office in Mesa, we will have a third seminar on Collections. The focus of this seminar is on alternatives to traditional legal means, when to use a law firm, when and how to choose the account to work on next and help your board make a more informed decision on methods of collections to be more successful. Again, to reserve your seat, please call Jean-Marie.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
As we converse over our office lunches, and share our stories about our board meetings from the evening prior, we all learn from each other through our experiences and how we deal with them as your community managers…..
How do we run effective board meetings? How do we keep them in order? How does one community get everything they need done and resolved within an hour when another takes three hours and gets almost nothing accomplished?
The answers to all of the above questions lie directly in the team efforts of the board and the manager, working together to run your community like a business. Your manager works hard to compile a thorough, detailed management report that gives you the status of all of your association issues. This report is then sent to each of you one week in advance of your board meeting, to fully prepare you for the meeting before you even arrive!
Here are some helpful hints in running effective board meetings:
Planning: as indicated above, planning is key! Being well prepared plays an important role in how your meeting is run.
Establish a Homeowner Forum: set this time period at the beginning of a meeting and place time limits for the owners that wish to speak and adhere to those time limits. If you provide the owners with an agenda at the open forum and if the board follows the agenda items, you can close homeowner comments during the meeting, at the end of the open forum.
- legal advice from an attorney for the board or the association;
- pending or contemplated litigation;
- personal, health and financial information about an individual member of the association, an individual employee of the association or an individual employee of a contractor for the association; and/or matters relating to job performance of, compensation of, health records or specific complaints against an individual employee of the association or an individual employee of a contractor for the association who works under the direction of the association.
Proper Recording of Minutes: taking a proper set of minutes is very important! Oftentimes, there is too much information contained in minutes that is truly unnecessary. The minutes are the only official record of the actions or decisions of the board, committee or membership.
Tips on taking a proper set of minutes; they should reflect:
- Heading: note the type of meeting (regular, special, executive)
- Heading: association name
- Heading: date, time, and location
- Attendants Names (names of board members present, names of board members absent, the secretary or minute recorder, management representative, and any guest present).
- Call to Order
- Approval of prior Minutes (note whether they are approved as presented, or as amended, and note the date of the prior meeting minutes being approved).
- Officer and Committee Reports (reports made by management, committees, officers and board precede the regular business and are usually for informational purposes only – just stating the report was made is all that needs to be stated in the minutes, unless there are decisions being noted/ratified).
- Old/New Business (these items should follow the agenda).
- Secretary’s Signature (recording secretary must sign the minutes, whether it is a board member or management representative).
Tips on Minutes:
- It is not necessary to list the names of homeowners present within the minutes.
- Minutes reflect board decisions, not what people say.
- Be brief and concise!
- Minutes are not official until they are approved at the subsequent meeting.
- Changes to the minutes are reflected in the actual minutes of the meeting, so that the final version reflects the correction (not simply noted in the subsequent meeting minutes where they were corrected and voted on).
- Executive session minutes are kept separately from open meeting minutes and are not made available to homeowners for review.
Monday, September 07, 2009
We hope that you or a member of your Association Board will be able to attend one of the seminars we are offering in September. In October, we will also be holding an additional seminar at our office to discuss alternatives for Collections, aside from the use of attorneys, when it just doesn’t make sense to spend GOOD money after BAD.
It really wasn’t that long ago when we were shocked to have one or two delinquent members. We certainly miss those days and know that you too are struggling with the lack of response to collection efforts that are being made.
Arizona’s unemployment rate for July rose to 9.2%. Homes are worth less than their mortgage and the members can’t get their homes refinanced. Then you throw in the investors who wanted to capitalize on the housing boom that has now gone bust.
If you were faced with paying your mortgage, car payment, electricity or your assessments and you don’t have enough money to pay them all, what are your options? Typically, the mortgage, if you are trying to keep your home, has a high late payment and the impact on a late payment can be severe. You need your car to get to work or to look for employment and it too has a high late payment penalty. Of course, you don’t want to have your utilities shut off.
Wednesday, September 9th
Collections – Legal Options for Associations
Ekmark & Ekmark
6720 N Scottsdale Rd.
Thursday, September 24th
Collections – Legal Options for Associations
Carpenter, Hazelwood, Delgado & Wood
1400 E Southern Ave
Wednesday, October 14th
Alternatives to Help Save Legal Expenses
An Open Discussion
Tri-City Property Management Services
Tri-City Prop. Mgmt. Staff
760 S. Stapley Dr.
Space is Limited
RSVP to Jean-Marie Bellington
(480) 844-2224, Ext. 131 or by email at
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Friday, September 04, 2009
A buyer is going to be attracted to a community where a lower interest rate loan can be obtained. If your community can meet the stringent Fannie Mae and/or Freddie Mac criteria, then the buyers won’t have to resort to a conventional mortgage with higher interest rates. Conventional mortgages require a higher FICO score from the borrower, but a better qualified buyer is likely to balk at those higher rates and turn to another community in the area to buy into.
Many of the items listed in the prior handout are not difficult to obtain.
- Items such as higher fidelity bond coverage to match your documents or if they are silent, the general rule of thumb is 3 months assessments and your reserve balance. Verify your building coverage, if your association carries the individual units/lots in the Association’s controlled policy. You can lower your premiums by raising the deductible and maintaining adequate building coverage for those really big catastrophes, like a fire.
- Current Reserve Study AND funding your Reserves. This is actually a great recommendation and one that we include in our annual recommendations to all Associations.
- Owner occupancy vs. rental occupancy rates. We just provided you with several options on how to determine your disclosed number of renters. Using a government website is certainly a safe way to provide the number of renters.
- Writing down all personal debts of previous owners will help reduce the amount of reportable assessments due to the association. Technically those assessments have been written off to bad debts and are now a personal debt of a previous owner.
We hope that you had a chance to look at the handout and will take steps to meet these new requirements.
Brenda Campbell, Administrative Assistant, has been chosen as “Employee of the Quarter”…..AGAIN!!!
Brenda was awarded the Employee of the Quarter recognition in June 2008 and continues to excel time and time again. There is no challenge too great, nor is one ever tackled without a bright, rewarding smile. Along with that comes her attitude of enthusiasm and confidence. She deserves a tremendous “thank you” for all of her efforts.