Articles

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

Five Tips for Managing a Parking Policy in Your HOA

Parking is one of the most common challenges for homeowners associations (HOAs). It seems, regardless of the type of community, the same parking situations happen to us all. To help keep misunderstandings and violations to a minimum, follow these five tips to manage your HOA’s parking policy.

Posted on Monday November 14, 2016 read more

HOA Elections: How To Make Your Vote Count In Your Community

According to Community Associations Institute, more than 68 million Americans live in 338,000 managed communities. In Canada, approximately one in eight people live in a condominium or strata corporation of some kind, totaling about 1.2 million owner-occupied dwellings as reported by Statistics Canada. Collectively, these homeowners spend tens of billions of dollars to maintain their communities. Each community is governed by an elected board of volunteer homeowners selected through an HOA elections process. Proactive involvement in your community begins with voting for board membership.

Posted on Wednesday November 02, 2016 read more

The Hottest Trends in High-Rise Amenities for 2017

It’s important to make sure that your high-rise building’s amenities are desirable and reflect the latest needs and wants of current residents, as well as potential buyers. Investing in amenities will have a twofold effect: it will enrich the lifestyles of your homeowners and residents, and it will make your high-rise more marketable and enhance property values. Updating your amenities doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Read on for some of the hottest trends in high-rise amenities and suggestions for staying current with any budget. 

Posted on Tuesday November 01, 2016 read more

What to Consider When Planning Your Community Landscaping

Beautiful landscaping is integral to any community. The right community landscaping can enhance your property values and make the area more enticing to prospective homebuyers and residents. Whether you’re investing for the first time or revamping your community landscaping, here are four considerations to keep in mind when choosing what to plant, when to plant and how to maintain what you’ve planted.

Posted on Wednesday October 26, 2016 read more

Raising a Family in a High-Rise – How Communities are Making it Easier

When a lot of people think about high-rise living, they don’t necessarily jump to the idea of families in high-rises. In many cities, high-rises are still considered the domain of the young and single, or couples without kids or active retirees. The New York Times even ran a piece, in 1987, decreeing that “A High-Rise Is Not a Home for Children.” But today, thanks to a Millennial generation that doesn’t want to commute from the ‘burbs, more and more high-rises are actively courting families as residents.

Posted on Tuesday October 25, 2016 read more

Tips for Eco-Friendly High-Rise Living: Living Sustainably in the City

Many multifamily properties and high-rises want to implement “green” living practices and create eco-friendly communities, but not everyone knows where nor how to get started. Here are some effective and easy tips to help you be proactive and successful in achieving your sustainability goals. Read on for a list of programs and services that can be put in place in your community at little to no cost.

Posted on Friday October 21, 2016 read more

How to Create Community Policy - Make Rules without Making Enemies

Good rules make good community members. The most important factors in association policy making, whether for a condo, co-op, townhome or master-planned community, are clarity and sensibility. The board must be clear – and united – on the policy being created and then must communicate that policy to all residents. Whether the policy is about overnight guest parking, designated smoking areas, amenity usage or approved flooring, the basic steps to creating good policy and enforcing it successfully are the same. It’s important that everyone involved, including board members, residents and the management team, understand who is responsible for the various roles that are part of policy creation, enforcement and compliance.

Posted on Tuesday October 18, 2016 read more

How to Prepare and Respond to a Flood in Your High-Rise Building

Flooding – it’s one of the most common natural disasters – and it can also be the most detrimental for high-rise buildings. The nature of these buildings makes them particularly vulnerable to flooding caused by severe storms. With that, let’s take a look at how your high-rise can minimize flood risk – and meet the challenges of flooding, should it occur.

Posted on Friday October 07, 2016 read more

Four Policies Your High-Rise Association Should Formalize Right Now

High-rise living often appeals to many people for the wealth of amenities, concierge-level services and unique culture. But with this lifestyle comes challenges. Close quarters and the need for residents to exercise mutual respect can sometimes lead to friction and conflict – this is when formal policies need to come into play. These policies, rather than being hindrances, are a tool for creating harmony among residents. The challenge is getting there – many of the major issues residents face are complex and require the help of a property management company. A great company not only has experience, but also a vast knowledge of the law and a sense for what works best for residents.

Posted on Wednesday October 05, 2016 read more

Six Essential Tips for New HOA Board Members

Congratulations are in order – you’ve just been elected to the board. So now the big question: What’s next? “The great thing about associations that are helmed by owners is that they have a vested interest in doing right by their community,” said Kirk Kowieski, CMCA, AMS, vice president of FirstService Residential. “But that also comes with challenges...many board members find themselves in this kind of position for the first time, so there’s a little bit of a learning curve.” Fortunately, FirstService Residential is here to help. Follow these new board member basics and you’ll soon be governing like a pro.

Posted on Wednesday September 28, 2016 read more

Four Ways To Set Decoration Policies Without Ruining the Holiday Party

People decorate for everything these days – from Valentine’s Day to the patriotic celebrations of summer and on to the fall festivities and winter wonderlands. Many people derive a sense of community and comfort from seeing familiar decorations at the same time each year.

Posted on Tuesday September 27, 2016 read more

High-Rise Insurance: Seven Tips to Cover Your Property

Life in a high-rise property has its rewards. With great amenities, good security, and even concierge services, there are many advantages that are specific to just this kind of lifestyle. Similarly, there are specific requirements when it comes to insuring it, too. High-rises often have multiple residences, each with their own policies, plus shared common spaces, which also require coverage. Here are a few areas to help you determine if you and your high-rise community is adequately covered.

Posted on Monday September 26, 2016 read more

A Preventative Maintenance Plan for Your High-Rise Community

Creating and executing a comprehensive preventative maintenance plan for your high-rise community should be a top priority for your board, residents and property management company alike. The benefits of preventative maintenance are countless, from preventing the premature breakdown of mechanical systems, to prolonging the useful life of virtually every system in your community, to predicting when potential repairs or replacements may be in order.

Posted on Friday September 23, 2016 read more

Tips for Establishing Pet Policy in Your Association

Does your community allow pets? What types? How many? Are there limits on size?  If you live in a pet-friendly community, it’s important that your association board set boundaries to keep order within your community. Many of the issues that become problems in pet-friendly communities have very little to do with the pets–after all, they can’t clean up after themselves. Your neighbor’s dog could be your best friend too, as long as your neighbor makes sure his pet is on its best behavior.    Follow our list of ways you can create and implement pet policy that will help resolve any pet-related issues and ensure all residents are respectful of the community. Keep in mind, when crafting policy about any issue, it’s important to clearly communicate that policy, and the consequences for violating it, to all community residents and association members.

Posted on Tuesday September 20, 2016 read more

What You Need to Know About Service Animals in Your Community

Service dogs can help individuals with a variety of disabilities enjoy a greater quality of life and assist in performing daily tasks. What happens when your association’s policies and the need for a service animal conflict? The short answer is, if a service animal is needed and used as outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the community cannot prohibit it.

Posted on Thursday September 15, 2016 read more

How to Keep Pokémon Go from Overrunning Your Community

The Pokémon Go app has reached a level of popularity that is rarely seen. On the one hand, it has encouraged people to socialize and discover historical facts about their local area. On the other hand, it has presented issues for some homeowners. Here’s what your community needs to know about minimizing any negative impact from this game.

Posted on Tuesday September 06, 2016 read more

Why Partner With a National Property Management Company

Hiring a professional property management company for your homeowners’ association is the best way to increase property values and enhance the lifestyles of residents within your community. However, finding the management company that best fits your association’s needs can be a challenge. Should you be looking to partner with a company that has extensive resources drawing from a national presence? Or should you work with a smaller company?

Posted on Wednesday August 24, 2016 read more

How to Secure the Best Insurance Coverage for Your Community

As a community association board member, the countless hours you volunteer go toward assisting with a very important objective – creating a safe and vibrant community. In many cases, this means assessing your association’s insurance policies to guarantee that your community is fully covered, appropriately insured and receiving the best value for the cost.

Posted on Monday August 22, 2016 read more

Three Tips to Get Your HOA’s Drone Rules Off the Ground

 Look up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane…no, it’s a drone! And it could cause a potential conflict in your homeowner’s association (HOA). While some HOAs and property management companies use the drones as a tool to conduct property inspections, these unmanned, remote-piloted flying vehicles raise important questions on safety and privacy, especially for those devices equipped with cameras and imaging technology. So what’s the role of your community association management company when it comes to drones? Let’s take a look.   

Posted on Wednesday August 17, 2016 read more

Four Factors That Will Shape Community Association Living in the Next Two Decades

What does the future hold for your community association? If you’re a board member, you might already have a pretty good idea – most likely because you’ve developed a plan for it. But what about issues outside of your control? How will they influence the strategies you develop to ensure your community is a great place to live for years to come? Let’s see where the coming decades will take us.

Posted on Thursday July 28, 2016 read more
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