Articles

Here’s where you’ll find recent articles about FirstService Residential, as well as our impact on the areas we serve.

Search Articles

6 Tips To Manage Your Association’s Paperwork

Posted on Friday February 24, 2017

Is organizing paperwork on your list of favorite things to do? No? You’re not alone! Although it’s not something that most people enjoy, maintaining good records is critical to the most important functions of your community association. That’s true whether you live in a Brickell area high rise, an Orlando gated community or on the beach in Destin. Following a good organizational system – and following it consistently – can streamline your operations and will increase efficiency, preserve the history of your activities and provide transparency. 

The Surprising Way to Make Your Association’s Dollars Go the Distance

Posted on Wednesday February 22, 2017

If you’re on the Board of a condominium, high-rise or homeowners association, you know that keeping your association’s finances healthy is one of your chief responsibilities. Keeping high levels of service while trying to save money and get the best deals possible is a hard line to walk. While any amount of savings is a win, what if you could save a lot? Like one association that saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in landscaping costs? Or the one in Tampa that is saving tens of thousands each year on its electric bills? 

10 Tips for Managing Your Community Pool

Posted on Wednesday February 15, 2017

Many people want to live in a community that has a swimming pool, and if there’s one in yours, you know how popular an amenity it is. In Florida, we are lucky that most communities are able to offer swimming pools and that most of us can use them year round. Of course, that makes managing your pool properly even more important, simply because of the amount of use it gets. There are maintenance and safety issues and even compliance matters that go into correctly operating a community pool. 

Florida’s Service Animal Laws: A Nail without a Hammer

Posted on Tuesday February 14, 2017

When it comes to service dogs and assistance animals, people often confuse the Federal American with Disabilities Act (ADA) with the Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA). The ADA laws apply only to commercial (non-residential) settings. They apply to specifically trained service dogs (and the very occasional miniature horse). The ADA laws specifically exclude emotional support animals of any kind. On the other hand, the FHA laws apply to residential communities and apply to pretty much all domestic animals, including dogs, cats, pot belly pigs, etc. The FHA laws allow a person living in a residential community access to both specifically trained and untrained animals and, importantly, include the sub-category of the much beloved emotional support animal, especially when they might be otherwise prohibited by the community’s governing documents. While the ADA uses the term “disability” and the FHA uses the term “handicap,” these two terms are, for all intents and purposes, interchangeable.

A Guide to Keeping Your Pool a Comfortable Temperature Year-Round

Posted on Friday February 10, 2017

With so much sunshine and beautiful pools everywhere, spending an afternoon at the pool comes second only to spending it at the beach. Even in the sunny warmth of Florida, water in a swimming pool isn’t usually warm enough naturally for a lot of people to enjoy it. Solution? A pool heater. What kind of heater do you need? There are several options and each has its pros and cons, according to Chris Normandeau, director of FS Energy.
 

Landscape Basics: Why Mulching Matters

Posted on Tuesday February 07, 2017

As a Board member, you may not think about mulching very much, but you should. Although some people think it’s just a cosmetic enhancement for landscaping, mulching is important for several reasons.

Should You Go National or Local When Choosing a Property Management Company?

Posted on Monday January 09, 2017

For many condominium Boards, deciding to hire a property management firm is a move in the right direction. But there is a lot to consider when choosing a management company for your building, and oftentimes it is the size of the company that becomes the sticking point for many condo associations. Many worry that big companies will overlook their unique needs, while small companies might not be able to serve them adequately. There are pros and cons to both large, national firms and smaller, local companies. Read our article for four factors to consider when making your decision, and learn how the size of the company affects how it handles your condo association’s most critical needs. 

Six Simple Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Committees

Posted on Thursday December 22, 2016

If you ask community members why they join committees, they are likely to tell you that they truly want to make a difference in their community. But while their intentions may be great and their hearts may be in the right place, life often gets in the way. The good news is that there are a number of strategies you can implement to keep your committees engaged and get the most out of these valuable volunteers.

10 Tips to Help You Plan Successful Community Events

Posted on Monday December 19, 2016

If you’ve been tasked with planning an event for your community or condo association, have no fear. We’re here to help! While the task may seem daunting, it can also be fun. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to planning a successful event for your community.

How to Choose the Right Lifestyle Community for Your Needs

Posted on Friday December 16, 2016

Thinking about buying a new home in a lifestyle high-rise or lifestyle community? You’re far from alone! Lifestyle communities are becoming one of the fastest growing sectors in today’s housing market. If you’re interested in considering a lifestyle community but don’t know where to begin, you’re in luck. We’ve put together five of the most common considerations that go into choosing the right lifestyle community for you.

Get the Latest News and Resources

Receive valuable insights and informative resources for your community! Sign up below.