Articles

Here you will find some recent articles about FirstService Residential Texas and our impact in this market.

Four Ways to Get More From Your HOA Budget

Most Texans see the end of summer as a time when they return to work and school routines and can finally look forward to a reprieve from the stifling heat. But if you’re on the board of your homeowners association (HOA), there is something else you should begin to think about now as well: next year’s budget and finding ways to maximize savings for your association.   If you’re not sure where to begin looking for opportunities to save money and increase value for your community, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve identified four areas of your budget you may be able to significantly impact – if you plan ahead.

Posted on Friday August 11, 2017 read more

The Big Deal about Short-Term Rentals in Texas Communities

The 85th Texas legislative session wrapped up last spring with a notably small amount of new laws specific to homeowners associations (HOAs). This marks the first time in 34 years, or 16 sessions, that the Texas legislature has not passed laws requiring changes to Title 7 or Title 11 of the Texas Property Code. That doesn’t mean, however, that this session was lacking in political activity. In fact, there were several hot topics in play, including legislation that would support short-term rentals in HOA communities.

Posted on Friday July 28, 2017 read more

Weather a Texas-Sized Storm with the Right HOA Insurance

As we say in Texas, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait; it will change soon enough.” Yes, the weather can be fickle in our state, and we Texans do enjoy discussing its variable nature. For members of a homeowners association (HOA) near the Gulf Coast, the conversation this time of year probably turns to the likelihood of a major storm, hurricane or “gully-washer.” And if you are on your HOA’s board of directors, you may also be posing the question, “Is our community prepared to weather a big storm?” 

Posted on Thursday July 27, 2017 read more

Keep Your HOA Community Safe During Summer Vacations

Summertime: It’s the perfect season to hit the road, relax, spend time with family and friends or embark on a new adventure. Although you hope that residents in your community have fun on their summer vacations, you also want to make sure that their homes stay safe and that they continue to fulfill their responsibilities to the association. Whether yours is a condominium, master-planned or single-family community, follow these tips to help your residents prepare their homes in a way that protects it and the community while they are away.  

Posted on Friday June 30, 2017 read more

Hurricane Season in Texas: What to Expect in 2017

The 2017 hurricane season is here, and being prepared is critical to ensuring the safety and protection of your residents and community. Fortunately, your homeowners association management company can help. Together, you should develop a plan that addresses the unique nature of this year’s hurricane season and the specific needs of your Texas community.

Posted on Wednesday June 21, 2017 read more

Prioritizing and Managing Your Community's Maintenance and Improvement Needs

Handling day-to-day maintenance and making necessary improvements are critical responsibilities for any homeowners association (HOA). And when your serve on your association’s board of directors, they can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t have a good system in place to manage them. So how do you make sure that your maintenance staff is able to handle that long list of tasks that need to get done so that your community runs smoothly and retains its appeal?

Posted on Monday June 12, 2017 read more

Five Ways to Bring Home an Engaging HOA Lifestyle Program

Have you ever wondered what makes some homeowners association (HOA) communities such appealing places to live? It could be their location or maybe their amenities. Most likely, it’s also due to a thriving lifestyle program that connects residents and helps to foster lasting relationships within the community. “Even for the smallest of communities, there is tremendous value in developing lifestyle programming,” notes Terry Bascher, vice president of onsite management for FirstService Residential Texas. “Lifestyle programs bring people together while strengthening bonds that increase camaraderie.”

Posted on Monday May 15, 2017 read more

The Key to a Vital HOA: Attracting and Retaining Volunteers

Everything that your community accomplishes – from making policy changes to throwing a memorable holiday party – depends on the involvement of homeowners who are willing to step up and become volunteers. But enlisting volunteers to work on a community event, a committee or even the board of directors can be a struggle for many communities. Finding the perfect solution to attract and ultimately retain volunteers is often a bit of a mystery. So how do you crack the code?

Posted on Thursday April 27, 2017 read more

Tips to Manage an Exceptional HOA Event

No matter what the reason, bringing residents and owners together for an event in your Texas community can be a lot of fun. To help make the planning as fun as the function itself, we’ve put together a list of simple tips. Whether you live in a high-rise condo, or a master-planned community, applying these strategies will make your event a memorable occasion for all the right reasons.

Posted on Tuesday April 04, 2017 read more

Landscaping Maintenance Tips to Add More Green to Community Property Values

It’s often said that you should never judge a book by its cover. However, the front-line curb appeal of a community can make a difference in the value of every property in a neighborhood. This is one reason current and potential homeowners consider landscaping and common-area maintenance so important.

Posted on Tuesday March 21, 2017 read more

First Impressions Matter: Simple Ways to Improve Your High-Rise Building’s Property Values

Finding ways to stand out among neighboring high-rise properties is probably challenging enough for your condominium association. But now with construction of new high-rise condos on the upswing in cities throughout Texas, it’s especially important to maintain an edge if you want homebuyers to give your building a second look. So what can your condominium association do to attract buyers and maintain property values? 

Posted on Tuesday March 21, 2017 read more

5 Tips to Improve Your Architectural Review Process

The art of community architectural review may not seem like a big deal on the surface, but there is more to it than meets the eye.  In fact, one of the main reasons community associations are formed is to protect property values and keep the community maintained, harmonious and beautiful.  Ensuring high architectural standards is an important part of that.

Posted on Monday March 06, 2017 read more

Collecting Community Association Dues: the Good, the Bad and the Proactive

As an elected board member, you have certain duties and obligations to the homeowners in your community. One of the most important of these is your commitment to protecting the financial health of the homeowners association (HOA). After all, the entire community depends on you to manage its money and keep its operations running smoothly.

Posted on Monday February 27, 2017 read more

Nine Ways You Can Make Your HOA a Success

Being a volunteer for your homeowners association (HOA) can be very rewarding, but it also has its challenges. For starters, board members do not always agree, residents each have different needs and concerns, and not to mention creating and sticking to a budget isn’t always easy. Here’s what you can do to help your association thrive.

Posted on Tuesday February 07, 2017 read more

Electric Cars in Your Community: Is it Fad or Future?

If you happen to be driving on any major interstate in Texas, you will likely find more big trucks and SUVs than in any other state.  So it may come as a surprise that Texas is one of the nation’s leaders in sales of zero emission vehicles (ZEV).  In fact, Texas has registered nearly 16,000 ZEVs over the past five years, making the state 6th in the nation in overall sales.   As the popularity of electric vehicles has increased, so has the response from the US and Texas Energy Commissions.  Efforts to build electric vehicle charging station sites throughout the state include a primary focus on the Dallas, Austin/San Antonio area and Houston triangle and other main transportation corridors. These efforts have resulted in 874 public electric vehicle charge points representing the 2nd largest state network in the nation behind California.

Posted on Friday January 27, 2017 read more

Keep Your Annual HOA Meeting On Track

Annual meetings are typically the most attended board meeting of the entire year. Likely it’s because this gathering gives homeowners the best bird’s eye view of community happenings – past, present and future. It’s also a time that the community elects new officers to the board and an opportunity for the association to discuss other not-so-good news, such as dues increases.   Whether your association is faced with presenting positive or potentially controversial announcements, you can probably expect a few homeowners to raise their questions and concerns during this forum, making it difficult to keep your meeting on track. To help, here are a few things you can do to limit distractions or interruptions and keep the meeting rolling full steam ahead.

Posted on Friday January 20, 2017 read more

High-Rise Living Trends: Must-Have Amenities for 2017

Today, high-rise living is attracting a broad range of residents, from millennials to empty nesters, all seeking convenience and luxury in an urban setting. Although they have a common drive to discover this newer metropolitan lifestyle, these very different households have a variety of needs and wants. This means that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for defining what desirable amenities look like. In fact, properties must continuously adapt and update their offerings to stay competitive in their community.

Posted on Friday January 13, 2017 read more

Getting Ahead of the Collections Curve

Collecting homeowners association (HOA) dues in a timely manner is a hot button for most communities. But it doesn’t have to be something you fear each year. Although there is no clear way to eliminate delinquencies altogether, we believe there are some simple steps you can take to minimize the impact on your association and get ahead of the collections curve.

Posted on Wednesday January 11, 2017 read more

Hosting an Annual Meeting That Homeowners Will Want to Attend

The number one reason associations fail to meet quorum is the lack of participation by their homeowners. Knowing this, we’ve put together a list of practical ideas to help increase homeowner participation and alleviate the worry about whether or not you will have enough attendance to hold your meeting.

Posted on Tuesday January 03, 2017 read more

Three Ways to Establish a Great Community

How would you describe what a great community looks like? Would you paint a picture of happy homeowners, smiling faces, exceptional amenities and a well-kept property with excellent curb appeal? Great community living may look easy to establish, but a lot of work goes into maintaining each aspect of that perfect community. Let’s take a look at three key elements that make a community great.

Posted on Tuesday December 20, 2016 read more
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