Articles

Here you will find some of the latest articles about FirstService Residential in the various markets we serve.
 

Six Ways to Maximize Committees

Community members join committees because they want to make a difference. That’s great, but sometimes, as they say, life gets in the way. Let’s not forget that committee members are all volunteers, which means it might take something a little extra to keep them motivated.

Posted on Wednesday July 30, 2014 read more

Four Ways to Increase Value by Decreasing Energy Use

Of all the expenses you encounter as a homeowner, community or condo association, energy ranks toward the top of the list.   Many of us see this as a given. We need lights. We need heating and cooling. We need to warm our water and prepare our food. And while the necessity of energy use will never change, how much we pay for it, and how much we need, can.

Posted on Tuesday July 29, 2014 read more

10 Quick Ways to Transform Difficult Board Members into Positive Forces

The great thing about community association boards is the variety of people who volunteer their time to serve the association. They bring with them different perspectives, divergent attitudes, and refreshing points of view. 

Posted on Tuesday July 22, 2014 read more

10 Things HOA Board Members Must Know to Manage a Community Pool

Many people want to live in a community that has a swimming pool, and if there’s one in yours, you know what kind of value it brings.   While it’s great to think of all those hot days when you and your neighbors can enjoy an afternoon in the water, with it comes many responsibilities community association board members must adhere to that go beyond staying cool or keeping in shape. 

Posted on Friday July 18, 2014 read more

Five Ways to Prevent a Remodeling Nightmare

You’ve heard the horror stories. The homeowner association (HOA) board hires a contractor to remodel the clubhouse, the fitness room, or one of the other amenities within the community. The contractor talks a good game, but when the actual work begins, it’s a whole other story.

Posted on Thursday July 17, 2014 read more

11 Things About Property Management Every Board Member Should Know

Let’s face it: being a board member of your homeowner association isn’t easy. Neither is self-managing your property. For many boards, hiring a professional property management company is the best decision they’ll make for their community. 

Posted on Friday July 11, 2014 read more

Four Telltale Signs of a Well-Trained Property Manager

When you think about the ideal community manager, typically a unique combination of personality traits springs to mind. They are professional and courteous with residents, yet firm with vendors. They know their way around a spreadsheet, but also have basic working knowledge of major systems like plumbing or heating and cooling. They know how to help the homeowner association (HOA) board stay focused on the big picture, but are also adept at taking you through the details of even the most complicated budget plan. 

Posted on Thursday July 10, 2014 read more

Five Qualities To Consider When Hiring a Property Management Company

Your homeowner association (HOA) board has decided to hire a property management company. That’s a big step, and one not to be taken lightly. You might think because your board made this decision your community’s future is in good hands. But has your board done its research?

Posted on Wednesday July 02, 2014 read more

Five Reasons to Love Your Community Management Company

It’s always great to have a reliable partner by your side. Whether it’s a family member, someone at work, or even a fellow member of a sports team on which you play, knowing that someone has your back can instill you with confidence and comfort.

Posted on Tuesday July 01, 2014 read more

Which of These Three Maintenance Styles Describes You?

Nothing bites into your budget like maintenance issues. Whether it’s the grounds keeping and upkeep that you pay for on a regular basis or those surprise projects (natural disasters, anyone?) that sneak up on you, maintenance can account for an average of 25% or more of your overall expenditures.  

Posted on Friday June 27, 2014 read more

Talking the Talk: Communication Between Communities and Property Management Companies

The relationship between a community and its property management company is like most relationships in your life: its success hinges on communication. 

Posted on Thursday June 26, 2014 read more

Is Your Board As Effective And Healthy As It Can Be?

How well is your community association board functioning? Do your meetings feel fluid and productive, or are you stuck in a rut? Do the residents in your community or building trust your board, or are people starting to raise questions about how operations are run?

Posted on Friday June 20, 2014 read more

Five Steps HOA Board Members Can Take To Identify and Resolve Conflict

You are serving on a homeowner association (HOA) or community association board and discussing hiring a new lawn care provider. Seems simple enough, right? Oh, except that there is a bitter divide between several members arguing about two competing companies.

Posted on Friday June 13, 2014 read more

The Essential Five People On Your Association Board

It takes a lot to build a great community. You need committed residents, a dedicated board of directors, and a clear understanding of everybody’s roles and responsibilities.   At its best, your community association board will offer a complete vision for proper stewardship of the community. But its responsibilities go beyond that. In a practical, hands-on sense, the board is tasked with protecting the interests of the association, maintaining the common areas of the community, and enhancing the living experience for all residents. 

Posted on Thursday June 12, 2014 read more

Five Reasons You Should Consider Living In An HOA Community

You just got home from a long day at work, and the trash bins are still there, full, in front of your house. They’re starting to reek, and any calls to your local government at this hour to find out why they weren’t picked up are going right to voicemail. You feel like no one is on your side, and it won’t be long until the raccoons are here to feast.

Posted on Monday June 02, 2014 read more

Important Terms All Association Board Members Should Know

You have just been appointed to your homeowner and community association board.  Now it’s time to brush up on your vocabulary with terms that are going to be a part of your new life as a board member.

Posted on Friday May 30, 2014 read more

Debunking the Eight Biggest Myths About Partnering with a Property Management Company

Here’s one of the great ironies of the property management industry: though it’s incredibly big, it’s still a big mystery to most people.   Let’s let the numbers do the talking. In the United States, 24% of homes are part of associations, with a total value of $4.65 trillion and $65 billion collected in assessments. In Canada, the industry generates about $6 billion in annual revenue with a healthy annual growth rate of 3.4%. 

Posted on Tuesday May 27, 2014 read more

Community Management 101: Top Tips For Board Members

Being a member of a homeowner association (HOA) or community association board is an important role and one that should not be taken lightly. After all, you hold responsibility for members of your community, not just in a business sense, but also as a neighbor and friend.

Posted on Friday May 23, 2014 read more

Six Easy Steps To Build Your Community’s Budget

The budget is the launchpad for all of the board’s initiatives. It is more than a series of numbers; it’s the framework for accomplishing your community’s objectives. That’s what makes it so important.

Posted on Thursday May 22, 2014 read more

Incentives Aim to Green Up New York, Reduce Operating Costs for Building Owners

A recent study found that 75% of greenhouse gasses in New York City are generated by buildings, primarily multifamily residential buildings. As part of a city-wide effort to incentivize buildings to develop programs to curb emissions, FirstService Residential held its Third Annual Green Expo & Symposium on May 15 in New York.  The event featured a panel of industry experts, including FirstService Residential President Dan Wurtzel, who described the benefits of participating in city programs, as well as the opportunities to save money, help the environment and enhance property values.  

Posted on Wednesday May 21, 2014 read more
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