It's busy season in the CAM industry, as everyone rushes to get taxes ready, 1099s and W-2s out, annual meetings completed, and the books on 2016 closed. To make it even more chaotic, about 50% of the communities out there are prepping for their biennial audits. Whew! Somehow, in the middle of that chaos, we managed to put out quite a bit of news this week too:
Technology figured in a lot of people's thoughts this week, with articles on Shadow IT, the Robot Takeover, and Green Technology. If that's all a little too sci-fi for you, no worries. We have some good news to put all the horror stories in perspective. Check it out, this week in community association management!
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!
It Ain't All Bad
“One of the most frustrating parts of Condo Association and HOA life is all of the terrible things that seem to be happening in the news. There are all sorts of horror stories that detail what can happen. Homes seized, embezzlement, sinking buildings – you name it. It can be very easy to assume that all Condo Associations are full of evil, incompetent idiots. While there are many bad Boards out there, it is important to keep bad Condo Association news in perspective.” Here are a couple things to keep in mind when all you hear is the bad.
Home-Based Businesses in HOA's
“With recent technological gains, more individuals are not only working from home but, in fact, more than half of all U.S. businesses are based out of an owner’s home. In addition, with technological advances, many tasks that required an individual to go to their place of employment or an office, can now be done at their residence without interference. However, if you are one of the growing number of individuals who see their future as running a home-based business or telecommuting, a few words of caution.” *Be aware that your mileage may vary based on the state you're in. Be sure to consult your attorney before drafting rules to be sure they are compliant with state laws!
The Benefits of Mediation
“No one wants strife in their life. We especially want peace where we live. Conflict may be inevitable (in the proximity of Community Association living), but combat is optional. Disputes in Community Associations are disagreements among people. Disagreements can arise among homeowners, between individual homeowners and their Community Associations, or between Associations and others. The way these conflicts are resolved can make all the difference to the success of the community. In the condominium arena, threatened lawsuits and racing to the courthouse are not always the answer. Mediation is an effective, successful way to keep condominium conflict out of court. It focuses on the fix, not the fight.”
Death of the Co-op?
“Reports of the death of the co-op movement may be exaggerated. It’s no secret that condo sales have soared in recent years, while co-op sales have sagged. A century after it was founded in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, is the non-profit housing cooperative movement ready for its obituary?” Let's take a deeper look.
Reset button... is that like Snooze?
Are you setting the right tone in your management office? “You can 'hit the reset button' to set the tone for the coming year. What will people sense when they enter the management office? Will they sense tension, anger, or stress? Perhaps they will sense confidence, warmth, and hospitality? As the leader, you will greatly determine the tone for the office, and by extension, the community.”
“Electricity is one of the biggest expenses for a Condo Association. As such, green technologies or other ways to promote electricity savings in a Condo Association is definitely something you’ll want to look into. Improvements to and investments in your Condo’s power consumption can make a big difference towards the bottom line and preserving the environment. But where do you start? There are a number of different options available that may or may not be right for you.”
The Shadow Knows
Every business bleeds time and money due to inefficient processes, and when you are talking important data, you can also inadvertantly bleed off data that should be secure. This lost income/time/data is collectively called Shadow IT, and it can put quite a dent on your bottom line if you're not careful!
On a recent trip to California, Mike Hardy was startled to see not one, but two driverless cars riding the streets near him. With cars driving themselves, it's natural for us all to start thinking of how robots might take over our jobs. But remember that robots were invented to help humans, not harm! This article explores three ways robots will contribute to the real estate industry in the coming years, and I think they are spot-on!