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The opportunity an HOA can capitalize on is negotiating a cell tower lease agreement that ensures consistent rent for years, often decades, to come.

The opportunity an HOA can capitalize on is negotiating a cell tower lease agreement that ensures consistent rent for years, often decades, to come.

  • Posted: Oct 04, 2017
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Companies like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint continue to explore options to meet their wireless customer demands, and part of this search includes the construction of new cell sites across the United States. Cell sites come many sizes, from a traditional tower that is big enough to climb, to an antenna that sits hidden on a rooftop, only seen by those flying over.

Cell phone usage has skyrocketed to the point of near saturation in the US. According to Pew Research Center, 95% of adults have a cell phone & a growing share of Americans now use smartphones as their primary means of online access at home. In 2016, wireless subscribers’ connections hit 377.9 million, with over $1.4 trillion (yep, trillion with a “t”) having been invested globally in the last 18 years. This is BIG business & there are opportunities for landowners to capitalize.

The opportunity an HOA can capitalize on is negotiating a cell tower lease agreement that ensures consistent rent for years, often decades, to come. There are certain pros and cons that an HOA or Condo Association must ponder if a cell tower company or wireless carrier approaches them about putting a tower on their property.
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I made new sales by going to Condo & HOA Board meetings!

I made new sales by going to Condo & HOA Board meetings!

With the numbers of service companies that are competing for work in the Property Management Industry I get these questions asked almost every day. How can my company increase sales?  How can I get in front of the decision makers? 

Both are great questions, So you want to get in front of the decision makers letting them know what your company does and how your services can help them. We feel strongly about joining with others in an Industry Organization or Association, one that is committed to the industry you are trying to get work from.

First Look at how much they charge. There are so many that charge from 400 up to over 700 per year to be listed on their directory. We ask you to understand that many of these organizations and associations charge service companies more than other members, why would that be. Well they know that you want to join and get noticed they charge you more because there are more service companies looking to do this. We think this is unfair taking money out of the pockets of hard working companies. The property managers, property owners, landlords, should be the ones paying more to find the Top Professionals that are listed and ready to help save them on the services they provide.

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BALANCING MONTHLY HOA FINANCIAL REPORTS

BALANCING MONTHLY HOA FINANCIAL REPORTS

BALANCING MONTHLY HOA FINANCIAL REPORTS 1. RECONCILE YOUR BANK ACCOUNTS It’s important to correspond your community association’s bank statements to your accounting ledgers. This includes incoming receivables and outgoing payables. Once you have confirmed that there is a match in your accounting system for each item on the bank’s statement, check for any oddities. If there are any discrepancies, make sure to attach a printout of your reconciliation report to your bank statement.   2. LIST DELINQUENT OWNERS AND OUTSTANDING PAYABLES When you’ve established your income for the month, you need to focus on what’s missing. This will usually come in the form of a delinquency report that will list homeowners who have not paid their dues for the month. You will also need a list of outstanding payables, or checks that have been written against the account but have not yet cleared.   3. PRODUCE A BALANCE SHEET AND PROFIT AND LOSS STATEMENT The balance sheet will list the community’s assets and liabilities. All you have to do is compare your owner balances and receipts against the bottom line of the receivable section on your balance sheet. You will also need to produce a Profit and Loss Statement (Income/Expense Statement). It must correspond with your balance sheet. WHAT SHOULD YOU BE CHECKING FOR? Confirm that the Balance Sheet is in balance. Examine any negative balances on the Balance Sheet and Income Statement. Ensure that the Year-to-Date Current Year Net Income/Loss on the Income Statement corresponds with the Balance Sheet’s Current Year Net Income/Loss. Ensure that the Balance Sheet Reserve Accounts listed under Liabilities & Equity Section corresponds with the Reserve Accounts listed under the Asset Section. Assess any big differences between budgeted and actual figures on the Income Statement. If everything corresponds as expected, you are ready to turn in your monthly HOA financial reports to the Board! HOA FINANCIAL REPORTS Monthly HOA financial reports are required by the Board every accounting cycle, whether it be quarterly or biannually. There is a ton of information out there for board members to help them understand how to state questions to ensure that HOA financial reports are correct. However, some members find it difficult to know which questions to ask in order to make sure everything is correct before giving it to the Board. Snap Collections is here to offer you advice and a checklist to ensure pristine HOA financial reports each month. Find: Great companies on our Members Directory.  …

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Its Budget time

Its Budget time

  • Posted: Feb 21, 2016
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Its Budget Time, and that means it is that time of year for boards of community associations everywhere to prepare next year’s association budgets. A good budget is reflective of good financial planning. In practice, it is anything but an exact science. When examining the community association budget process, there are a few subtle nuisances and a couple of glaring distinctions between those budget related laws set out within Chapter 720 that governs homeowner associations (HOAs) as compared to Chapter 718 that governs condominium associations (CAs). Let’s take a look.   Notice Requirements: • HOA board meeting notices must include a statement that assessments will be considered and, as per statute, “the nature” of the assessments. There is no definitive advance HOA board budget meeting notice requirement set out in Chapter 720, so be sure to check your HOA’s bylaws for any specific requirements. (As an aside, please do not confuse this with the special assessment procedures where it is required for any meeting at which special assessments will be considered that written notice mustbe mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted to the members and parcel owners and such notice must be posted conspicuously on the property or broadcasted on closed-circuit cable television not less than 14 days before the meeting. • At least 14 days before any CA board meeting at which a proposed annual budget of an association will be considered, the board must hand deliver to each unit owner, or mail to each unit owner at the address last furnished to the association by the unit owner, or electronically transmit to the location furnished by the unit owner for that purpose 1) a notice of such meeting and 2) a copy of the proposed annual budget…

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10 Real Estate things agents should know and do.

10 Real Estate things agents should know and do.

  • Posted: Jul 12, 2015
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1. Immediate Response: As a real estate agent you need to make your response time, when your prospective buyer calls or emails, as quick as possible. If the buyer doesn’t find you available then he may call somebody else. Buyers want instant response and will not wait for you to call them back or respond to mails only when you are in office.

 

2. A person he can trust: An agent needs to tell the buyer the truth even if it means losing the sales. While you speak volumes about the virtues of a home, you need to point out the possible defects as well so that the buyer can think twice and not be blinded by only the positive features. The buyer should feel that you are on his side and fluff and untruth will make him lose his confidence in you.

 

3. Keep learning on the job: A person is smart when he hires people smarter than he is (Henry Ford). A buyer wants to use your education and experience in order to feel that he has employed the right person to do the job. You should come across as an expert in the field. The best and only way it is done is through constant learning. This can be through trainings and also reading relevant stuff. You should have a ready knowledge about the property that you are highlighting.

 

4. Good communication skills: You need to be extremely good at handling your communications. There are all kinds of buyers and while some prefer an e-mail others may like you to call them. The best course is to ask them their preferred mode of communication. Always remember to promise less and deliver more.

 

5. Professional and friendly: Being friendly and at the same time maintaining professionalism is the best way, although a bit difficult. Friendliness is preferred by most buyers as you give out the vibe that you are on their side. At the same time they also want you to be assertive and professional. They want you to handle anything that may come up while they are probably viewing the house or saying €no’ to a particular seller.

 

6. Information about the neighborhood: When you are trying to sell a property in a particular neighborhood you should have good knowledge about it in terms of amenities and facilities. Your buyer may be interested in knowing about train stations or bus stops that are close by. The interest could even be a park for children. Make a search and find out all you can about areas where most of the properties that you deal in are located.

 

7. Price guide: You need to be the professional who has inside information about the price. The client may be interested in your opinion so prepare yourself well. You need to be careful that you do not quote a price that is too low or too high. You need to be ready with market trends and facts for the particular area and similar properties. Guide them to make an informed decision.

 

8. A good inventory: When a buyer visits you he wants to know about as many properties as he can. He expects a wide inventory and you need to be ready with one. Since you cannot predict the kind of home each buyer requires as buyers buy for their own reasons, you need to have all kinds of properties ready. The choice of properties should take care of a wide arena of needs and requirements.

 

9. Dedicated time: When a buyer comes to you he expects you to devote all your time to him until he leaves or makes a decision. Remember you may be selling 10 houses in a week but for him it is one single home that he may be buying in a lifetime. You need to show your enthusiasm and zeal and help him to decide on the perfect home. Try and focus on him and the transaction he is going to make and leave all work aside for the time being.

 

10. Time saving transactions: The modern real estate buyer is hard pressed for time. He wants the transaction to be fast and take up as little time as possible. And he would like you to handle things in such a way that the total time is cut down and he can proceed with other things. So do your homework and be prepared to save time, both his and yours.

 

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10 Tips for creating an HOA budget or Condo Budget

10 Tips for creating an HOA budget or Condo Budget

  • Posted: Jul 12, 2015
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10 Tips for creating an HOA budget or Condo Budget   Do a budget – I know this seems like a silly tip, but we have seen many associations fail to create a budget before proceeding to the next year. An HOA is just like any other business or organization. If you don’t have a financial plan, you will find yourself a in a mess about halfway through the year when you realize that you don’t have enough funds to make it through the entire year. Take the time to practice financial responsibility for your association. Review budget and Financial History – You always want to review the previous two years financials to fully understand were you currently are vs. where you want your association to be . Many people review previous year’s budgets to prepare future ones. One problem we see is that many people despite reviewing past numbers, fail to make the proper budget corrections when something is way over or under budget from the previous year. Make the proper adjustments to insure an accurate budget. Prioritize projects – We have worked with any HOA and condo associations that get overwhelmed during budget time because they have so many repairs and projects that they want to handle all at once. Any kind of future projects or repairs, need to be prioritized accordingly. This is where you must separate your associations needs vs. wants. Everyone wants the landscaping or condo exteriors to look immaculate, but no one gets excited repairing an unsafe stairwell repairing a leaking sprinkler system. You must eliminate any safety or potential liabilities before exploring any community beatification projects. Utility Increases – We can’t recall a time in which utility costs actually went down from the previous year in our 25 years plus experience. Water, gas, and electricity costs have been increasing steadily over the last decade, especially water costs over the last 2 years. We always research our local city and municipalities to see if they have a price rate schedule available. For example the City of Austin is scheduled to increase water costs 70% over the next five years. Because we are aware of this price hikes, we obviously budget for them accordingly. If no information is available, we suggest increasing the budget on most utilities between 5% to 7% each year.   HOA budget Vendor Contracts – You always want to insure the correct budgeting for all of your normal monthly service providers. Don’t be afraid to ask your landscaping company, pool contractor, and even management company, if they plan on changing their current rates. This is also a great opportunity to ask for their updated insurance information to make sure that is good standing as well. Also review current contacts to see if there are any CPI index clauses in their agreement. Nine times out of ten, if they are contractually able to increase their fees, most will do so.   Budget for reserves – All associations should budget for a percentage of all income to go to their reserve or savings accounts. The percentage of income will of course vary depending on your association. The more long term liabilities and obligations you have, the more you should be putting away. We have some condo associations that are putting away as much as 20% of their total income towards long term savings. Condos generally have much larger financial obligations including exterior repairs and upkeep and maintaining private streets and roads. Not budgeting for reserves can lead to be big problems and potentially big special assessments down the road.   Cover your Insurance deductibles – All condo associations need to pay special attention to this one. Make sure you are aware of the deductible levels for different elements of your complex. For example, if your roof replacement deductible is $500.00 per building and you have 20 buildings, then you need then or course you always need at least $10,000 in your reserves to cover that amount. If a disaster or violent storm strikes your area, you want to make sure your association is ready and that you are not hitting them up for a special assessment just to cover basic insurance claims.   Evaluate legal and collection costs – Legal and collections costs can escalate very quickly depending on the collection strategy that you use. Evaluate your current system and see if you can determine your return on investment. If you are on average spending $150 dollars to collect every $100, then something obviously isn’t working. We have experienced great success with providing homeowners that are behind with a payment plan with full payment schedule provided to them. When delinquent association members concentrate on affordable monthly payment and not the large amount that they owe, they tend to see the light at the end of tunnel.   Special Assessments are for special projects – We have heard many times suggested “Why can’t we have a special assessment instead of raising our monthly dues?” This philosophy doesn’t work in our book. If your association is having a problem meeting it expenses because of some tight cash flow, you need to raise your assessment amount or your assessment frequency. Special assessments are just that, special. They are not for paying your bills. They are intended for major improvements, or in a case of emergency repairs, not to pay the pool contractor.   Stay the course – It’s real easy to get distracted throughout the year with landscaping improvements, new and improved security systems, and other random projects throughout the year. Your association made a budget for a reason, so try your best to stick to it as best you can. If you do have to make an unexpected expenditure, take your time and make the best decision for your HOA or condo association.   Creating and maintaining an HOA budget is essential part of maintaining a fiscally responsible association. Even associations that are not as healthy financially as they need to be, with some small…

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