Articles

Here are some recent examples of how FSR Virginia has been making news in our market.
 

Beyond the Manager: Discover the Value in Your Management Company

We all want to get the most for our money, and your community association is no different. When hiring a management company, it’s easy to focus on the bottom-line price and not understand the differences in real value among the proposals you see. The right community association management company will provide you with so much more than a good manager. 

Posted on Monday June 19, 2017 read more

The Best Service from Your Management Team Starts Before You Ask

You want your community association management company to respond when you need them. Shouldn’t a good management company be able to foresee some of your association’s needs and meet them before you ask? That’s the principle at the heart of proactive service, when emergencies are prevented rather than responded to. The best service is proactive, but its very nature – preventing problems before they arise – means that it can be hard to spot. So how do you know that your community association management company is being proactive on your behalf? Read on for some ways you can tell if your management company is behaving proactively.

Posted on Thursday June 15, 2017 read more

The Importance of Preventative Maintenance in Your High-Rise

Protecting your high-rise with a solid preventative maintenance program will also protect the lifestyle you love and your community association’s budget. Preventative maintenance programs have countless benefits, including extending the life of almost every component and system in your building. A well-executed plan can also help your community optimize its operating budget by predicting when repairs or replacements are most likely to be needed and allowing your community to set aside money for them. How can you get started on a preventative maintenance plan? Check out our advice to get your high-rise on the right track when it comes to preventative maintenance.

Posted on Wednesday June 14, 2017 read more

Is Your Association Covered If a Natural Disaster Strikes?

Mother Nature has quite the surprises to throw at us! Sometimes, there’s some notice and time to prepare. But often, there’s no warning at all. That’s why it is critical to the financial health of your community association that you have the correct insurance coverage in place. What can happen if your high-rise building or community association common areas aren’t properly covered? Unfortunately, nothing good. Association members can also sue the board for not having the correct insurance in place; it’s an important part of your financial responsibility. That's why it is important to make sure your Association is covered with insurance. 

Posted on Tuesday June 13, 2017 read more

Planning Your High-Rise Maintenance and Capital Improvements

Maybe this has happened to your high-rise association: An unexpected capital expense finds your condominium’s board of directors needing to impose a special assessment. Establishing a plan for your building’s maintenance and capital improvements is not only important for your budget. It can also prevent life-threatening catastrophes. So what does it take to put together a program that protects both the health of your association’s finances and the safety and lifestyle of your residents? Find out in our interview with Phil Pool, vice president at FirstService Residential.

Posted on Wednesday May 24, 2017 read more

Resale Packages and Certificates 101 for Community Association Boards in Virginia

For most people, buying a home is the largest investment they make. We all know there’s a lot of paperwork that comes with buying a home, and although it can seem overwhelming, that paperwork is vital for the protection of the buyer, the seller and the community in which the home is located. If you are buying or selling a home in managed community, a resale package is a critical part of that. What is a resale package and why is it important? How do you get one and when do you need it? We sat down with our Director of Resale to get the answers to these and other important questions.

Posted on Wednesday April 26, 2017 read more

Four Secrets to Great Communication in Your Association

There’s one challenge that plagues all board members, regardless of experience: communication. Part art and part science, communication is the key to building strong relationships and effectively meeting your obligations as a board member for your community association. Here are a few quick tips to ensure communication is flowing in your association.

Posted on Monday February 06, 2017 read more

How to Create a New Revenue Stream from Your Amenities

Savvy boards are always keeping an eye out for ways to maximize revenue. If you’re interested in ramping up your revenue streams, take a look around and imagine the possibilities. Read tips on how you can generate cash flow from your existing amenities. 

Posted on Wednesday February 01, 2017 read more

Getting to Great: Guide For HOA Board Communication

As a board member, one of your responsibilities is making sure that your community members have the information they need, when they need it. Consider these guidelines as a roadmap to great communication that will keep everyone on the same path.

Posted on Wednesday January 25, 2017 read more

A Guide to Implement Your Budget Successfully

You’ve done all the homework. Crunched the numbers. Your reserve study is complete, your vendor agreements have been checked and your budget is done! Now what? There’s an entire process to creating the budget, followed by implementing it, and clear communication to homeowners, through every step of the process, is the best way to avoid problems.

Posted on Monday January 23, 2017 read more

The Importance of Having a Partner to Manage and Activate Community Amenities

Having a swimming pool, a fitness area, or a clubhouse for residents are perks that can make any community stand out. A good management company has people with many years of experience operating and maintaining these types of features, and they can offer many helpful ways for you to get the most for your community. Here are some ways your community can benefit from the experience of a community association management company, and make your job as a board member a little easier.

Posted on Monday January 23, 2017 read more

Four Communication Essentials of Good Community Management Companies

The foundation of any good relationship is communication. And that also holds true for HOAs and community management companies, regardless of whether we’re talking about a townhome community, high-rise or a master-planned community.

Posted on Thursday January 19, 2017 read more

Tis the Season… Make Sure Your Package Handling is Smooth and Efficient

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No doubt your high-rise building will be extra- busy with family and friends visiting residents, and with lots of packages being delivered! Online shopping is bigger than ever. Few things are easier than finding the perfect gift for a loved one while still in your pajamas and snuggled on the couch – no fighting mall traffic or bad weather, and deals abound. That said, holiday package delivery does have its own caveat: Will it arrive on time and safely?

Posted on Tuesday December 06, 2016 read more

Policies and Compliance 101: Guidelines for Making and Enforcing Rules

The most important factors in association policy making, whether for a condo, co-op, townhome or master-planned community, are clarity and sensibility. When making a new policy, the board must present a united front and clearly communicate the policy and related consequences to all residents. Whether you live in an Alexandria condo or a Fredericksburg gated community, whether the policy is about overnight guest parking or designated smoking areas, the basic principles for crafting good policy and successfully enforcing it are the same.

Posted on Tuesday October 25, 2016 read more

Seven Tips to Finding a Reserve Study Firm

Your Repair and Replacement reserve fund is what helps your association anticipate its future expense needs – and budget for it, too. This fund gives you the power to maintain the quality of your community by allowing for projects that are both necessary and expensive (like a future roofing or paving project, for instance). Needless to say, establishing this fund can get a little complex. The good news is that you don’t have to be a fortune teller to read the future of your association... you simply need a good reserve study firm to help. Here’s how you can find one.

Posted on Monday September 26, 2016 read more

Seven Steps To Preparing a Workable Budget

Preparing your association’s annual budget can be a source of stress, but it’s also a valuable opportunity to ensure the financial well-being of both your association and homeowners. Proper community association management hinges on this financial tool for both short-term and long-term planning, so it’s important to follow some guidelines.

Posted on Friday September 09, 2016 read more

4 Ways to Keep Parents Sane and Kids Happy During Back-to-School

Labor Day weekend is the last hurrah – school starts in Virginia at the beginning of September! As a parent, you know what back to school means. Sure, it’s a change in schedule, but it’s also a change in your whole world: rushing out the door, speeding through homework, running back home for forgotten lunch boxes, permission slips and backpacks. Back to school doesn’t have to mean back to insanity. A little organization can go a long way toward minimizing back to school stress – and make this time of year more fun for everyone. Check out these suggestions from California Closets, the leader in custom home storage solutions and an authority in design, for arranging your household to be more school-friendly, and your first day back will earn an A! 

Posted on Wednesday August 24, 2016 read more

Easy Tips to Help Community Members Plan for Vacation Travel

Summer is a great time to hit the road! Taking advantage of the warm weather and time off from school to relax on a beach, camp, board a cruise and more. This is a great time to hike the Blue Ridge Mountains, road trip to Virginia Beach or Williamsburg, or venture further for an exotic adventure. Whatever you plan to do, there is a lot to plan for to make sure this summer vacation is one to remember. Most schools start after Labor Day, so summer in Virginia can be a little longer than many places today. Whether you live in a high-rise condo or master-planned community, in Fairfax or Alexandria, it’s important to know how to prepare your home for an extended time away. No matter where you live, here are some simple tips to help ensure your home is safe and well maintained while you are off enjoying the summer sun.

Posted on Wednesday August 03, 2016 read more

11 Qualities to Seek in Your Community Association Management Company

Choosing the best community association management company can be a time-consuming task. It takes research, interviews, and a lot of input from your fellow stakeholders in the community.  So how can you streamline this process? Well, while it’s not good to take shortcuts, there are a few basic qualities you should seek in a company while you’re vetting your candidates, and that can simplify things. We’ve put together a short checklist of those qualities here.    

Posted on Wednesday July 20, 2016 read more

Michael Mendillo, Regional President of FirstService Residential, Mid-Atlantic, Inspires William Patterson University Students

Michael Mendillo, president of FirstService Residential's Mid-Atlantic region, returned to William Patterson University, his alma mater, to inspire students with real-life lessons about leadership and success.  

Posted on Thursday April 09, 2015 read more
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