This week the state of Maryland came up with a clever way to make homeowners AND associations happy when it comes to short term rentals. If it works, it may be a model for other states dealing with the same issue. We also have an effective, if unintuitive way to sniff out fraudsters, tips on how to keep track of random community information, and we open up the curtain on how time is spent in AGMs, in defense of the process. All this and more is in this week's CAM Mashup - read on for the full scoop!
As an educated member of the Community Association Management industry, you already know how crucial it is to stay informed and up-to-date on the latest news, trends and happenings within the industry. Each week, we bring together our favorite reads of the week and share them with you! Enjoy the CAM Mash Up and please share it too!
Managing Meeting Time
Time Management is one of the biggest challenges facing our industry. And nothing can take up more time than meetings - particularly meetings in which the public is involved. In one case study, "60% of a meeting time was consumed by 01% of the community’s citizens." That's a problem, and one in which it is worthwhile to consider raising an objection 'in defense of the process'. Learn more in this guide to effective HOA time management.
Where Do You Put That?
Does your management company have an office historian? That one person that knows all the answers to obscure information about the communities you manage? What do you do when that person is not around? Custom fields in your management software allow you to track, report on, sort and filter by all of the special information that you need to be able to track for a community. Learn how to determine what fields to track, and how to plan the best way to set them up.
Maryland Cuts Out Investors
The legislature in the state of Maryland has been busy this session, with a number of new and revised laws that affect community associations. One in particular, is a hot topic for the entire industry - short term rentals (ala AirBnB and VRBO). The state's lawmakers have honed in to the heart of the matter, which often pits associations against homeowners. The homeowners want to be able to make some side money on their homes, while the association is trying to protect the whole community from being run by outside investors with a revolving door of new faces staying in the community. Maryland's new law allows short term rentals, but only if the owner or an authorized agent is living full time in the home. We'll see if this change serves both sides - letting homeowners do what they want with their property while also protecting the neighborly feeling of the community.
The Peter Principle
Fraud is an ugly word in our industry. No management professional or board member wants to consider the fact that one of their own might be taking advantage of their homeowners and their clients. Its hard to think that a person sitting next to you in a meeting, might be padding their pockets at the expense of the community association. But we all know it happens, and we know the warning signs. So if you suspect someone of committing fraud, what should you do? One option: Give the fraudster a promotion.
Community associations should be getting their reserve study updated at least every three years. Buy if you are new to the board, your first time seeing your community's reserve study can be daunting! Learn what it does and what your board needs to do with your reserve study here.
Do You Have Big News This Week?
If you've got big news that would be relevant to other CAM professionals, please share it with us in the comments below!