The Community Associations Institute Annual Conference occurred on May 4 through May 7 in beautiful Orlando, Florida and several of our Priestley Management team members were in attendance. Attending the conference allows Priestley Management Company to learn about topics that impact and influence the community association industry. Below are 3 takeaways that may impact your Association one way or another:
1. Virtual(electronic) meetings are here to stay-
When Covid-19 emerged in the United States in early 2020, it forced many community Associations to conduct its business via virtual or electronic means. At this year’s Annual CAI Conference, it was clear that virtual meetings are here to stay and will become a regular “tool” for community associations.
Prior to Covid-19, many state statues did now allow for voting at virtual membership meetings. In North Carolina specifically, voting at virtual membership meetings was not permitted until the passage of House Bill 320. However, It is apparent than ever that many communities will use virtual meetings as a tool for the near seeable future. When deciding if a virtual meeting is right for your community, one should consider the political and administrative aspects of a virtual meeting. Specifically, in some communities, electronic meetings may not be feasible as membership may prefer traditional in person meetings. However, we see in many communities that participation is higher in a virtual setting. This is especially true in our coastal communities where often the communities are largely used for vacation homes. Boards should weigh the pros and cons of having a virtual vs traditional membership meeting prior to scheduling. Finally, if a Board does indeed decide to go the virtual route, they should establish rules and tips for the virtual meetings that will assist in the meeting success.
To view HB 320 in its entirety, Click Here.
2. Safety within community associations-
The entire world was shocked when Champlain Towers South collapsed in 2021. It is often said that something good comes out of tragedy. In this case, it put safety back on the forefront of Community Associations. There are things that each community Association can do to prevent tragedy within their own communities. Reserve studies, regular inspections, and preventative and regular maintenance are some of the “pillars” that communities’ associations should establish to prevent tragedy within their community.
When it comes to maintenance, experts estimate between 2 and 6 percent of annual operating budget should be spent on preventive maintenance to effectively minimize a facilities rate of decay. However, for Associations that don’t properly complete preventative maintenance, it is estimated that it will cost them 30x more than if they had budgeted it on a yearly basis. Conducting a reserve study can help an Association establish what preventative maintenance is needed, when it is needed, and how much it will take to properly fund it. Properly funding an association will allow the community to complete the needed maintenance to prevent safety issues from occurring. However, it should be noted that in many cases, a reserve study is a budget/funding tool and not a structural inspection. This is why, in addition to a reserve study, it is recommended that communities conduct regular inspections by a industry professional (most likely an engineer) that helps identify apparent and future issues. Regular inspects will assist in proactively identifying safety issues within a community and help prevent tragedy. Depending on the age of the buildings and the first inspection will help one establish what is considered “regular inspections.” When in doubt, if one thinks there is a concern about safety or stability of a structure, one should get an inspection done immediately.
Finally, Associations should establish a regular maintenance calendar of maintenance items that should be completed weekly, monthly quarterly, and yearly. This will help Boards, maintenance, and management assure items are being taken care of to prevent potential issues. Essentially, it helps establish a checklist of items that need to be done within the community.
There are many resources provided through Community Associations institute. Below are some useful links on the above subjects:
3. The worker shortage is real-
There is a real shortage of labor within the United States. This is impacting community associations and management companies throughout the country. However, there are things that one can do combat the shortage and retain and attract top talent to their associations.. Below are some things that we have done at Priestley Management to attract and retain top talent which you could utilize with your onsite staff:
- Invest in career development- we encourage our teammates to constantly grow in their professional development. Specifically, our managers are continually learning through the Community Associations Institute professional development programs
- Established culture- Culture is huge in today’s world. In 2019, we set off to establish the “PMC Way,” which guides our team in the day-to-day operations of our company. To view the PMC Way, Click Here
- Provide support- teamwork is important within the community association management industry. When our community associations work with PMC, it’s a whole team of experts that partner with an Association. This helps us as a team work efficiently.
- Established benefit package-PMC offers a robust benefit package that includes company contributions to health insurance, 401k establishment, paid time off, etc. As our teammate’s tenure grows, so does their benefit package.
Finally, to end, we wanted to give a special congratulations to our own Wendy Parks for being recognized at the CAI Annual conference for earning her PCAM designation! Wendy was inducted into the 2022 PCAM class and we couldn’t be prouder of her! To earn the PCAM credential, managers must have five years of community association management experience and complete more than 100 hours of course work. In addition, credentialed PCAMs must fulfill continuing education and service requirements and adhere to a strict code of ethics.
If you have any questions about the community association industry do not hesitate to reach out to us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org