How to Choose the Perfect Management Company

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There are many choices when it comes to association management companies.  While finding the right company for your community may seem challenging, we’re here to make it easier. Here are the main aspects you should look at when considering a management company:

How long has the company been in business?

The management of your association can directly impact the property values in your community so it is important to engage a qualified and experienced management company. If a company has been in the business for a while, they will be able to provide more references, quality vendors, and a high level of confidence in their abilities.

What is the average tenure of the Community Association Managers?

Experienced managers that hold professional designations bring a higher level of professionalism to the position.  They have the knowledge, dedication, and commitment to their industry and will be both a benefit to community and a resource to the boards in which they serve.

Does the company participate in education for both employees and board members? 

Reputable management companies invest in and provide education and training for both their employees and the board members in which they serve.  It should be the management company’s priority to provide educated, professional and accurate training, advice and guidance on important issues relating to Association Management to their board members.

What services does the company offer? 

It is important that the management company offers the services needed for your community.  Understand what type of company, their mission and values and make sure you know what services are included prior to signing the contract.

Can you visit their office?

Being able to visit your community association management can be a relief. It provides a higher level of connection and allows you to gather insight about the company and how they are able to meet your community’s needs.  Your management company will effectively be part of your team and getting to know them and the culture of the company can make the difference between a decent experience and a great one.

How do they manage associations similar to yours?

Any management company should be able to provide names of HOA and condo associations they manage as well as specific references you can contact.  These communities should be well-run and similar in size and type as your community. If your community is unique in many ways, find out what they will be able to do specifically for the quirks in your community.

What is their communication style?

Clear communications between the board and the management company is the basis for a productive and successful relationship.  Ask about responsiveness, find out if they have any additional support teams, and how the management company typically communicates with the board to determine if this will meet your expectations. Make sure to get any necessary contact information to make it easy for your residents to know who to call.

Final Thoughts

Finding a good fit for your community can be a rewarding venture. Make sure to go into the meeting expressing the expectations and priorities of the board and any and all requirements you will have.  In your initial meeting, have these main aspects in mind and you will have an easier time determining the capabilities as well as the “personality” of the management company and identify if they would be a good choice for your community.

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Your Stress-Free Holiday Hosting Guide … With an HOA

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Planning a party for the holidays is stressful enough without the added concern of HOA guidelines and policies to add to the mix. Before you throw in the towel, here’s our tips to stress free hosting for the holidays.

Decorations

Does your HOA have guidelines on when you can put up holiday decorations and when you need to have them down by? Are there policies on lawn ornaments, inflatables, or lights? As a community member, keeping safety in mind and decorating to the enjoyment of all residents is part of the responsibility. Knowing these regulations will also prevent any Holiday mishaps from happening and prevent violations from the HOA.

For more HOA friendly tips, check out our article on Holiday decorating here.

Parking

When guests start arriving, cars will start adding up in front of your house. Is street parking an option in your community or is there a designated visitor lot for non-residents? Talk to your neighbors ahead of time so traffic doesn’t come as a surprise. Some communities make special exceptions for Holiday parking, make sure to ask your main office about any details.

Noise

Keep in mind that most communities have a noise ordinance one made by the HOA and another by the city. Nothing disrupts a party like someone knocking on your door with a noise complaint but luckily most HOA’s have a guideline on what types of noise and – how much – is acceptable.

Location

Does your community have a Clubhouse that would fit your guests more appropriately? It may be easier to coordinate, provide more room for guests and parking, and a buffer for noise between your party and your community. Each community will have their own set of Clubhouse policies so make sure you take a look at those in advance and keep an eye on how long you have the room booked for. Always book for a little longer than expected for adequate clean up time.

Pool & Outdoor Amenities

Not all Holiday parties have to be Winter Wonderland themed. If you’re planning on a tropical theme and it includes pool access, coordinate with your main office to let them know how many guests will be attending to make sure there won’t be any code violations. Each community has their own pool area max capacity and food and drink policies so make sure you’re well aware of those before planning. It’s always good to give your community a head’s up on any parties to ensure everything goes more smoothly.

Keep the Community Aware

Whatever party you are planning to have, regardless of theme, keep your community board in the know. This can make it easier for you to plan and can even help you organize your resources better. They may have specified parking areas you weren’t aware of or ways to reserve certain amenities to guarantee they will be available for your party.

Decorating with Flair… While Keeping it Fair

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Decorating is one of the most fun aspects of the holidays. It’s the time of the year when your lawn goes from the same everyday style to a winter wonderland. If you’re in a community with an HOA or are looking to keep everyone in your neighborhood happy, this one’s for you.

Keep it Tasteful

It’s very easy to get carried away with holiday decorations, Christmas and Halloween especially. Keep in mind, that while it’s on your own lawn, everyone in the neighborhood will be subjected to anything you place on display. If your Holiday lights create too much light pollution, you may need to keep them off during respectable hours so as to not wake any of your neighbors up. Lights that blink or are too bright can be subject to local ordinances as well. These rules vary by city or county and violations could result in ticketing and fining.

As tempting as going extreme Holiday decorating is, it’s not worth giving yourself a record.

Talk With Your Neighbors

If you’re new to the area or want to start decorating this year, try asking a community member about decorating policies for your community. Talking with the people who live around you creates a sense of Holiday cheer and helps you stay in good graces with people you could be living next to for a while. It’s not always possible to please everyone but stick with a good balance of your own tastes with your communities.

Community Policies

Does your community have an HOA? Does that HOA prohibit year round decorations, lights, or signage? Some communities are more lenient for the Holidays and are worth the quick chat with your association members to find out. Keep in mind that these rules and regulations are contractually enforceable in your neighborhood.

Keeping the Peace

There are a multitude of ways to celebrate this Holiday season. It may be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or maybe nothing at all. Many neighborhoods are multi-cultural, and part of being a good neighbor is to respect everyone’s right to celebrate how they choose.

This is the time of year to think about each other.

If you have a theme for your front yard, be polite and kind about your presentation and do your part to keep peace in your neighborhood for the Holiday season.

Bottom Line

The best way to keep your Holiday Decorating stress-free is to research, talk with your neighbors and community members, and to be thoughtful in your planning.

 

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

Hot or Not: Fire Prevention Tips

In the Community Association Management industry the safety of residents is at the pinnacle of importance. Community Managers go to great lengths to develop emergency preparedness and disaster relief fire-preventionstrategies that will prove effective in the event of a crisis. However, these strategies often prove difficult to implement if the residents are not educated about their necessity. One of the most common dangers in HOAs and Condominiums is a house fire. With more than 3,400 deaths and 17,500 injuries annually in the nation, knowing how to prevent a fire is a vital key in any emergency prevention strategy.  The easiest prevention method is maintenance. Check smoke alarms at least once a month, change its batteries once a year, keep it free of dust, and make sure there is one on every floor and in bedroom. Also make sure to plan your escape route for family and pets. Knowing and practicing this route twice a year will help ease panic in the case of a real fire. As always, hallways and stairs should be kept free from clutter to reduce the likelihood of tripping or falling. Lastly, keep all important documents such as insurance policies, pass ports, and social security cards in a fire safe box.

The most common causes of house fires are heaters, candles, and cigarettes that are left unattended. Use of cracked or fried electrical cords are a serious hazard and can also lead to a fire. Keeping children away from matches and lighters is also an important prevention tip for HOAs and Condos.

Giving Back at Home, Volunteer at your HOA

There are a lot of ways to be involved in your  home owners association. One of the most important is to serve on the Board. Serving on the Board will allow you to be involved with the decisions of the community as well as give you the chance to meet your fellow homeowners.   Being on the Board will allow you to hear and understand other people’s perspectives on topics affecting your neighborhood and will “broaden your horizons”, giving you exposure to many new concepts, ideas and challenges.  Another benefit of being on the Board of your HOA is that you have the ability to provide input first hand on how to keep your community beautiful and a great place to live.

Often communities are looking for people to help out, if you have any interest contact your current Board and ask them for more information.

Look for further installments in this series on the benefits of giving back to your community.