Articles

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

Airbnb & Short-Term Rentals: How to Reduce Risks to Multi-Family Buildings and Residents

The sharing economy continues to grow, and this, in turn, is fueling the proliferation of home-sharing websites like Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway.  In our previous article on this growing trend, we discussed how the interest in short-term rentals is impacting multi-family buildings throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Now we’re back with a game plan to help your condo board or strata council protect its interests. 

Posted on Monday April 04, 2016 read more

Engaged Homeowners, Stronger Communities – Three Ways to Get Involved

When you purchase a home or unit within a deed-restricted community or building, your new residence comes complete with an added bonus – membership in your association.  Whether your association is an HOA, community association or condo association, it’s comprised of fellow homeowners and stakeholders who, like you, want to protect the community’s property values, enhance its quality of life and make it a desirable place to live, both now and in the future.But an association can’t achieve these goals without homeowner involvement – after all, how can you have a say in what happens in your community if you don’t participate?

Posted on Tuesday March 29, 2016 read more

Community Conflict Resolution: Mediation and Arbitration

While it’s always best that all parties in an HOA, community association, condo association or other deed-restricted community agree and cooperate, it’s a fact of life that conflicts or disputes may arise.  In many cases, the parties can settle their differences amicably and directly through frank and open discussion or negotiation. In other instances you may need mediation or arbitration to find a resolution.

Posted on Friday March 25, 2016 read more

Want to Start a Neighborhood Watch Program? Here are Some Important Considerations

Neighborhood Watch programs can provide significant benefits to communities – after all, they boost community awareness, communication and involvement, while reducing opportunities for neighborhood crimes to occur.  But if you’re interested in getting started, there are many important factors to consider.  Here’s an overview.

Posted on Monday March 21, 2016 read more

Top Qualities of an Effective HOA or Community Association Committee Member

Have you ever considered joining an HOA, condo, cooperative or community association committee?  If so, you may want to delve deeper into the possibilities – after all, being part of a committee can be a valuable experience in many ways.  You can share your expertise, learn about an issue affecting your building or community and gain governance experience – a boon if you’d like to become a community leader.  In addition, you can work collaboratively with a team, conduct research, meet with subject matter experts, get to know your neighbors and make a difference for your fellow homeowners.

Posted on Thursday March 17, 2016 read more

How the Consumer Price Index (CPI) Impacts HOA Assessments

Nobody likes to see prices go up for things they want or need, whether it’s a plane ticket, a quart of milk or even a college degree.  But as we all know, rising inflation often leads to rising costs – and that can impact the budget assessments set each year by homeowners associations (HOAs) or community associations. If your community is professionally managed, consult with your property management company for more information – a quality firm will be able to leverage its budgeting and financial experience to provide guidance.  But to get you started, we’ve compiled some information about the Consumer Price Index – what it is and what you need to consider before you get started.

Posted on Wednesday March 09, 2016 read more

Transitioning to a New Property Management Company – What Your Association Can Expect

So your association has decided to switch to a new property management company or managing agent – perhaps your relationship has gone south or you were seeking a company or team better suited to providing the service, value, products, and/or experience your building or community needs.  You may be wondering what happens when you transition from old to new management.  We want to help.  While each association and property management company has its own unique needs and operating procedures, here’s a basic overview of what you can expect.

Posted on Friday March 04, 2016 read more

Why Your Condo or High-Rise Needs a Great Front Desk Team

Your front desk staff is the “face” of your building – the first point of contact for homeowners and guests.  As a result, each members plays a crucial role in creating your building’s image, as well as shaping the perceptions and experiences of everyone who enters.  Consequently, when a resident or visitor walks through the front door – whether it’s their first time or hundredth – the reception and greeting they receive and the way they are treated can significantly impact their entire experience.

Posted on Thursday March 03, 2016 read more

Online Resources to Get to Know Your Community and Neighbors

The Internet is exploding with social networking sites and websites designed to educate and connect people, whether they’re across the street or across the globe. Strong networks create safer communities and more rewarding living experiences, but with our busy schedules and time constraints, it’s not always easy to become acclimated and involved. Fortunately, there are websites and online tools expressly designed for this purpose – facilitating everything from helping you obtain community information, discover local businesses, organizations and service providers, build connections and friendships with neighbors, become active in your local community and much more.  We’ve provided an overview to get you started.

Posted on Monday February 29, 2016 read more

Part 2: Electric Cars and Installing Charging Stations in Your Community

Is installing EV charging stations the right choice for your community?  If your association is considering it, consider this – you’ll not only satisfy the needs of current and future EV owners, but you’ll also enhance your property’s “green” image, which can increase property value and attract future residents. So how should your Board proceed?  Start by talking to other community Board members and local community leaders to see if this issue is being addressed locally.  Do your research, including consulting with a good property management company.  If your community is professionally managed, your property management team can provide you with information and guide you through the process.

Posted on Wednesday February 24, 2016 read more

What to Know in the Unlikely Event of a Mass Shooting in Your Building

Public Mass shootings have unfortunately become common place in America and around the world. From schools and movie theaters, to businesses and homes, shootings have occurred in a mix of environments. But what should you do if you unexpectedly find yourself in the middle of this kind of emergency at your residential building?

Posted on Friday February 19, 2016 read more

Part 1: Electric Cars and Charging Stations – Is Your HOA Ready?

Over the past five years, nearly a half-million U.S. cars in this country have been able to zip right past gas stations – and it’s not because they’ve always had a full tank of gas. That’s how many plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) have been purchased in this country since December 2010, when the first mass-market PEVs – the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt – made their much-heralded debut. Learn more about PEV's in order to ready your HOA.

Posted on Friday February 19, 2016 read more

Effective Tips to Enhance Your Building’s Lobby

As a Board member, you want your building’s lobby to be aesthetically pleasing and inviting, but also safe and functional – after all, as the hub of your building, it provides essential services and can even become a social gathering place for residents and guests.  So if your building lobby isn’t as attractive or functional as it could be – and doesn’t portray the impression you’d like it to – we have some suggestions that can help.

Posted on Tuesday February 16, 2016 read more

Tips to Help Your Homeowners Association Organize a Community Recycling Program

Is your homeowners association considering starting a recycling program for your community? If so, bravo! Take a look at some of the benefits: conserving energy, saving water, preserving resources, reducing air pollution and saving landfill space. And did you know that in addition to helping the environment, recycling can also provide economic benefits as well? To get you started, here are some tips and considerations to help your association plan and implement a successful recycling program for your community.

Posted on Friday February 12, 2016 read more

Airbnb & Short-Term Rentals Part 1: How the Sharing Economy Can Impact Your Multi-Family Building

One of the most recent societal shifts has been a move towards a sharing economy – and if you’ve ever been driven home in an Uber car, or reserved a distinctive blue CitiBike for a few hours to pedal across town, you’ve experienced this practice first-hand.  In this article, we discuss how the quick growth of the sharing economy – particularly, home sharing – is impacting buildings in large cities, and we’ll follow up next week with valuable advice on how your Board or Strata council can address this mushrooming trend. 

Posted on Friday February 05, 2016 read more

Five Tips to Choose the Right Lifestyle Community to Meet Your Needs

There are many types, sizes and varieties of lifestyle communities to choose from, and as interest from homebuyers grows, developers and home builders are creating new ones to meet the demand.  If you’re a prospective buyer and don’t know where to begin, we can help.  We’ve compiled five important factors to consider to help you narrow down your choices and find the right lifestyle community to meet your needs.

Posted on Wednesday February 03, 2016 read more

Simple Energy Conservation Steps to Benefit Your Community This Winter

So what can condo boards or community associations do to mitigate or even reduce costs this winter? Let’s start with what you can do in the summer and fall, before winter actually begins. This includes cleaning, tuning and performing any necessary repairs to heating systems, furnaces and boilers to make sure they won’t be working longer, harder or less efficiently than they should. Other pre-winter tasks include cleaning gutters to remove leaves and debris to ensure water can flow freely. Otherwise, water can become trapped and freeze, which can not only damage your property’s gutters, but also cause ice dams and possible roof leaks.

Posted on Tuesday January 26, 2016 read more

Go Local or Mega for Condo Management Services?

Community associations traditionally contracted with locally owned and operated firms for management services. In recent years, however, large national and even international companies have entered the market. Rather than managing thousands of condominiums and townhomes, they manage millions. Should your association hire a hometown professional or a mega-manager? Find out more by reading this article originally published by the Chicago Tribune.

Posted on Thursday January 21, 2016 read more

Why Master and Sub-Associations Should be Managed by the Same Property Management Company

Master-planned communities are large developments that integrate a variety of neighborhoods, sub-divisions, recreational facilities and amenities under one community umbrella, with a focus on lifestyle, convenience and quality of life.  Most master-planned communities offer homebuyers a range of residential options suited to different life stages and price points, from single-family homes to townhomes to condominiums to apartments. These residences are often located in distinct neighborhoods within the community, and may be developed by multiple builders.

Posted on Wednesday January 20, 2016 read more

Radon 101: Helpful Tips to Keep Your Family Safe at Home

Quick, name a colorless, odorless, naturally-occurring gas that can be found in homes and buildings and pose a threat to our health and well-being.  If you said “carbon monoxide,” you’re right.  Now, can you name another?  If you had a bit of trouble coming up with “radon,” you’re not alone. Here is a basic overview of radon gas – what it is, where it’s found, its possible health effects and what you can do to protect your home and your family.

Posted on Thursday January 14, 2016 read more
Displaying results 81-100 (of 274)
 |<  <  1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10  >  >|