The Return of the Snowbirds

Mature-Travelers1With the return of the winter months also come the snowbirds. This influx of residents within the community can put a strain on community resources, especially common areas and amenities. Community Association Managers should be conscientious of the increase in demand and make adjustments were needed. Whether the clubhouse needs to add an extra class to their fitness schedule or simply ensure the pool is stocked with extra towels; making these changes for your snowbird residents will help ensure their satisfaction with the association.

Precautions should be taken to ensure the administrative side of their transition is smooth. Management companies should create a streamlined process to ensure mailing addresses are updated and important documents are not being sent to their northern homes.  Communities can also expect to see an increase in architectural review applications and attendance at monthly board meetings. Of course, keeping in communication throughout the year via newsletters and brochures also helps to reduce the amount of issues snowbirds may encounter in their transition back to Florida.

Many of our communities host “snowbird socials” for their returning residents. These events range from BBQ luncheons to throwback movie nights but all feature food, fun and Florida sunshine. Other communities simply send out a welcome letter containing dates for social events within the community and any updates they should be aware of.

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Meet The Team: Jen Miller

Jen Miller was born in Ft. Lauderdale, FL on March 15, 1979. When she was 10 years old,FullSizeRender she moved from Ft. Lauderdale to St. Augustine, FL where she went to middle school & high school. At age 19, she began college at the University of North Florida as a history major.

She has now lived in Jacksonville for 16 years and enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and two dachshunds, Peanut & Pumpkin. Jen likes being outdoors and loves animals. In her free time, she works out, travels, goes camping and spends lots of time at the beach. In the past year, she has traveled to Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, South Carolina and Pennsylvania. Her goal is to one day retire and live in the mountains in Pennsylvania. Jen has worked for Leland for seven years and we are happy to feature her in this week’s issue of our Meet the Team series.

CLOSED ENTRANCE GATES FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GUARD-GATENow that the front gates will remain closed throughout the entire day, 7 days a week, what does this mean?

This means that the gates will be programmed to stay closed all of the time, allowing only residents and authorized guests to enter our community. Please make sure you keep your private code with you at all times.

How do my guests enter the community? Guests will pull up to the keypad at the front gate and search the directory for your name. They will see a number (not your phone number) on the display and enter it on the keypad. The gate computer will dial the landline home number you have provided to Leland Management and connect you to the guest through a speaker phone at the gate. Press “9” on your touch tone phone to allow the guest to enter. If you do not wish to allow access, just hang up. If you don’t have your name set up and you have a local number, fill out the enclosed gate form to apply for one.

How can outside vendors get in if I’m not home to allow access? The vendors must enter the 4 digit vendor code 2897. Please note that the vendor code will be changed periodically but you will be notified well in advance before the change.

My house is up on the market for sale. What code should I give so that realtors can show the property? Please email Leland Management at gates@lelandmanagement.com for a code to provide to the realtor. Please note this code will be linked to your property so it is important that it is given only to reputable realtors who are active on your property.

What about delivery vendors such as Fed Ex, the US Postal Service, DHL, etc. They must use the vendor code 2897. Leland sends out notification letters but the information does not always get communicated internally to the drivers. It sometimes takes a few weeks to transition with all of the drivers of various vendors. If you are expecting a delivery, please help to communicate that you live in a gated community and provide the vendor code.

What about my lawn service?

If you have any private home services (i.e., lawn, pest control, pool service, water delivery, etc.) that will require entry to our community and you will not be home to give access, please provide them with the vendor code 2897.

What about the pizza delivery, etc. Vendors such as this should call you using the directory at the front entrance.

Can emergency vehicles get in?

Yes, they have been given special gate access codes to use. In addition, the gate will open when it senses their emergency lights or their yelping sirens directly in front of the reader (not just passing by).

Are there any times when the gates will stay open?

You may see the gates stay open during or shortly after a power failure. The gates have a small battery designed to open them and leave them open until power has been reliably restored. This is done to prevent you from being locked in or locked out during a power failure.

How do I enter my personal gate code?

Just press the 4 digits you chose into the keypad, nothing before or after and the gate will open automatically. Please note that the keypad has a slow processor and you need to push the buttons slowly. If you don’t have a personal code, fill out the enclosed gate form to apply for one.

What if there is a problem with the gate?

If there is an accident or injuries regarding the front gate, please first call 911 immediately. Otherwise, contact Leland Management’s gate department.

Have more unanswered questions about the gate? Contact gates@lelandmanagement.com or call (407)781-1169.

Please Keep For Your Reference

The Election is Over…Now What?

So now you’re on the board. What can you expect? While the process may differ by state and by mandates in your governing documents, here are the typical “next steps”.

Immediately following the adjournment of the annual meeting in which new board members were elected, the manager or past president/board member serving another term will open the organizational meeting. The board will now choose the officers of their association. Most commonly, there are only four officer positions: President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary. In some cases the governing documents allow for an Assistant Treasurer or Assistant Secretary to fill in the position if the officer is unavailable, or that the association may combine the secretary and treasurer positions. The assistants do not have voting power and will not count towards quorum of the board.

During the first week of the new board of directors, many items need to be reviewed such as existing contracts, delinquencies, financials and any immediate problems that the board needs to quickly address.

An introduction letter announcing the names of the board might be sent out either by the board president or the association manager. This letter may relate the goals of the new board and the future that the board envisions for the association.

The board should appoint/reappoint liaisons to standing association committees, and meet with their committees to discuss the future direction of the committee.

One of the most important aspects of serving on a board is the opportunity to COMMUNICATE. When a board communicates frequently and candidly, rumors and complaints are few. Newsletters, websites, owner education seminars, and small “get-togethers” are all ways to increase communication.

In summary, serving on a board of directors for an association is a volunteer position, a sometimes selfless task. You can either be treated as royalty or as an employee, but either way you have accepted a fiduciary responsibility to protect the association, ensure wise spending, and maintain the value of the property by regular maintenance and no “Band-Aid” repairs. Be prepared to make all types of decisions. You have an obligation to act in the best interest of all owners in your association. Complete agenda items and make decisions at your meetings; don’t let issues drag on for months. The owners in your association elected you to represent them, so show them you can. Be aware that owner expectations are high but their financial pockets are small, and it is your responsibility to be prudent with spending yet still maintain the quality of life in your association. It is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses in your community and to work within the parameters of the budget. Know your governing documents and be consistent in your actions and decisions. Board members are humans; you may make a mistake. Acknowledge it, fix it, and move on.

An ideal board member:

  • Has a strong interest in the community as a whole;
  • Is able to look at the big picture;
  • Can differentiate between “pet peeves” and major problems;
  • Is not interested in actually managing the community, but allows the manager and staff to do their jobs and works as part of a team with their fellow board members;
  • Never makes a decision based on his or her own likes or dislikes but rather on what is best for the community;
  • Must be willing to devote a reasonable amount of time to being a director;
  • Understands that majority rules and no one board member can make decisions alone.

The challenge for every board of directors would be to practice justice in governing, be prudent in business decisions and search for harmony in their community.