Welcome back to the CAM Mashup! This week the entire CAM blogosphere unified in a single purpose - getting you ready for budget season! Yep, that's right folks, it's your favorite time of the year, when you have to prepare a year's worth of financial prediction for every community in your portfolio (and still do your regular job) all before the AGMs begin. Take a few minutes now to catch up on all these useful tips to help you survive, cause after that, *whipcrack*!
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!
Is it time to raise assessments in a community you manage? Many boards have a hard time raising assessments - either because they don't want to make the unpopular decision, or they just don't know how much they need to charge. We give you the formula and a guide to survive budget season.
Creating a Plan for Your HOA
If you've read our budget season survival guide (above) then you know the very first step to creating a proper budget is to develop a strategic plan for your community. The plan is important to help you outline your community's goals and needs to anticipate and prepare for the future. Not sure what to include? Let’s break that down a little further.
“Landscape maintenance budgets can be a major component for homeowners associations and in some cases condominium budgets. What should your association be prepared for in your 2017 budgets? Unfortunately, there are several market forces that have resulted in increased costs for landscape maintenance companies over the past few years.”
Do you have to get competitive bids every time you need to hie a vendor for your community? Not necessarily, according to this Florida attorney. While this info is specific to Florida, it can be a good guideline for association in any state.
Once you've got your budget ready, you'll need to present it to the membership at the annual general meeting. New to this whole gig? Here's a great primer with everything you need to know about community association elections.
OK, so you're an old hat at this game and don't need the primer above? Let's get a little more advanced. What happens when the community's docs are not exactly clear about what constitutes a majority? "Suppose a planned community has 173 lots. The Bylaws require a quorum of 20% of the owners at the annual meeting. The quorum requirement, then, is 34.6. But does 34.6 mean that 34 or 35 owners must be present in person or proxy?" Get schooled on voting with fractions here!
People Over Process
Once again, Tanoa is sharing some wise words in her latest blog post. Words that we all should be living by, whether we are in the CAM industry or not. “Don’t forget that people matter too! Life is complicated. Unexpected loss, separation, divorce, and illness happens. Whenever possible, allow people a little latitude and compassion.” Preach!
Get a Dog, Meet Your Neighbors
About a month ago, my good girlfriend took a trip to India. As a favor, I offered to watch her new puppy (my godson) while she was away. Let me know tell you, if you are looking to meet new people in your city, having a dog is the way to do it (backed up by CAI's latest survey data). I was approached by so many people who would have otherwise walked right past me. I am now considering taking the leap into dog ownership.
*Image credit: Andreas Breitling via pixabay