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  • 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.
  • Increasing HOA Volunteerism By Effectively Engaging Homeowners

    Regardless of the size of your community, or where it’s located, there is always one thing that every community association board and committee needs: resident volunteers. Unfortunately, however, volunteers are often a scarce resource.
  • Board Effectiveness: Is Your Board as Effective and Healthy as It Can Be?

    Whether you are a board member who wants to ensure your board is doing everything it can to succeed or a resident who wants to get involved in the governing of your community, we have identified the best practices that can help you get the answers you need.
  • Keeping Your Community on Track During the Holiday Season

    Holidays can be a lot of fun when you live in a planned community, condo or co-op. But when you are on your association’s board of directors, they can also be a lot of work. You have to make sure all the prep work is done, decorations are up, vacations are covered and parties are planned. Can a group of volunteers—as dedicated as you may be—possibly get it all done? And do you dare wish to do it with minimal stress, too?
  • Lifestyle Expert Previews Amenity Trends for 2016 and Beyond

    Location, location…amenities? As we told you in a previous article, the desirability of a community’s lifestyle amenities is becoming highly influential in driving the purchasing decision for many homebuyers. To rise to the challenge – and set themselves apart from the competition – many developers, builders and community associations are adding the next generation of amenities to their lifestyle communities, high-rises, condo buildings and other residential properties. And it’s working. By adding and/or updating their amenities to reflect evolving tastes, communities are effectively meeting the aspirations and demands – and enhancing the lifestyles – of potential and existing homeowners.
  • Managing Waste for a Greener Community

    With a growing focus on proper environmental stewardship, many associations are working toward implementing green initiatives. But getting there can be daunting. With so many programs and opportunities available for all of us to reduce, re-use and recycle, it’s hard to know where to begin.
  • Missouri Office Honored for Commitment to Kansas City Youth Center

    Missouri’s Curry Association Management, the newest member of the FirstService Residential family, was recently honored for its substantial efforts and ongoing commitment to the Police Athletic League (PAL) of Kansas City, which provides a safe and stable haven for the area’s underprivileged youth.
  • Municipal Duties Move to ‘Burbs as HOAs Must Step In

    John Friedrichsen, Senior Vice President & CFO of FirstService Residential parent company FirstService Corporation, is quoted in USA Today about how HOAs benefit from the value-added services provided by leading professional management companies.
  • Nine HOA Guidelines: How to manage an HOA

    If you volunteer your services to your homeowners association, you know there are many rewards – but also, quite a few challenges. There are residents with individual demands and concerns and Board members who may have difficulty agreeing. There is also the critical need to carefully develop – and adhere to – a strict budget. And that’s just the beginning.
  • Preventing Community Association Fraud: Part One – The Board’s Role

    As a homeowner who lives in an association, you put a lot of trust in the people designated to manage your association’s money. So it can come as quite a shock if you discover that one of those people has been stealing from your association’s funds. Fraud can leave you and your neighbors feeling betrayed and vulnerable.
  • Preventing Community Association Fraud: Part Two – Your Property Management Company’s Role

    Fraud can strike just about any association – even one that is professionally managed – regardless of how small or large your community may be. However, a good property management company will have checks and balances and other security measures in place to help reduce the risk.
  • Property Management & Community Association Board Members: Six Ways Together is Better

    Homeowner and condo association board members know that their collective actions yield lots of great results. Just take a look at the minutes from your last couple of meetings and you’ll see all the evidence you need.
  • Property management duties: How your management company can make staff changes easier

    Sooner or later, most community associations face some kind of management change. If your community has a great manager, you probably want them to stay forever. But how realistic is that?
  • Put an Energy Saving Program Together for a Multifamily Property

    Many HOAs and community associations would like to save energy and energy spending, but they think that putting an energy management plan into place for their multifamily property is difficult to accomplish. FS Energy's Chris Normandeau explains some basic, easy-to-do steps that can make a real impact on an association's energy usage and budget.
  • What makes a great board treasurer? 6 things you need to know

    Every association board is primarily responsible for preserving, protecting, and maintaining the association's assets. That requires careful financial management, which is where your board treasurer comes in.
  • Ways to Provide Reasonable Accommodation by Creating a Fair Living Space

    Are you familiar with the term “fair living space”? If you’re not, you should be – it can have a profound effect on your community, your association and your residents. A fair living space involves providing an environment in which people with disabilities enjoy the necessary accommodations in their homes and community amenities. It’s really all about access, and something the law calls “reasonable accommodation,” which means “a change, exception, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice or service.” While the law may require you to make some accommodations, there are other things your association may be able to do which can further enhance the lifestyle of those who reside in your homeowners association. While it will directly and positively impacts the quality of life for those residents with challenges and disabilities, it will also positively impact the overall image of your community.
  • Seven Trends for Amenities in 2015

    2014 was a year of change for a lot of associations. And in many ways, 2015 promises to be no different – especially when it comes to the types of amenities that will be offered by communities.
  • Seven Ways the ACA Can Impact Your Association

    Read about the Affordable Care Act (or ACA) and the ACA will have on the association and its vendors/service providers.
  • 5 strategies for energy conservation in community associations

    In this article, we delve into the significance of energy conservation within community associations, exploring its benefits and strategies for effective implementation.
  • 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.
  • What makes a community great: Six elements to a great HOA community

    Good community living looks easy. People are smiling. Residents are enjoying amenities. And the neighborhood or building looks amazing. But behind all this, there’s a lot of hard work. So who, exactly, is responsible for creating the kind of place people love to call home? And how does it all come together? Well, those answers are what we’re here for. Let’s take a look at the essential elements that need to come together to create a great community.
  • Six essential tips for what makes a good board member in an HOA

    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.
  • Six organization tips for HOA paperwork

    Let’s face it: nobody puts “organizing paperwork” at the top of his or her favorite-things-to-do list. But maintaining good records is essential to the critical functions of your homeowner association (HOA), and following a system of organization can streamline your operations by increasing efficiency, providing transparency and preserving a history of communication.
  • Six Stats That Should Make Homeowner Association Board Members Proud

    As a board member, you can measure your success in a lot of different ways. The projects you’ve completed, the financials you’ve strengthened, the long-term plans you’ve put in place – all of these are clear indicators that you’ve done your job, and you’ve done it well.
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