SharperMgmtWebIcons-Newsletters

Outstanding Community Building by an Association Finalist – Bearpath

Outstanding Community Building by an Association Finalist – Bearpath

Eden Prairie, MN, (November 28, 2018) – Sharper Management’s client, Bearpath Homeowner Association, has been recognized by the Community Association Institute – Minnesota (CAI-MN) as a finalist for Outstanding Community-Building by an Association at the 2018 Vision Awards.

Set to be held December 6, 2018, CAI’s annual Vision Awards and Holiday Gala is an opportunity for community association managers, business partners, homeowner leaders and other various industry professional to come together and celebrate with one another for a very special night. With eight categories of prestigious awards, Bearpath was one of 51 total nominees and a finalist of three for the award category. Outstanding Community Building by an Association is awarded to an association that does an outstanding job at community resourcefulness, has a strong sense of commitment to enhancing the neighborhood and recognizes and uses the strengths of its individuals within the association.    

“We are so happy that Bearpath is being recognized for the wonderful, unique and truly special community that it is,” said Sharper owner, Dan Cunningham. “We have the pleasure of managing, and privilege to help in enhancing, the great efforts that the board and community gives in the pursuit of facilitating a sense of community among the large, gated neighborhood that is Bearpath. Community manager, Chris Gosse, our accounting and maintenance teams, and a number of other people work hard for Bearpath every day. But this is a community award – and the most deserving of the recognition of this nomination is the volunteer Bearpath Board of Directors.”

Founded in 2010, Sharper Management is a locally-owned, mid-sized property management company offering a full suite of premiere services to homeowner’s associations of all sizes. Sharper Management currently provides services to the Minneapolis-St. Paul seven-county area.

For more information on Sharper Management services and employment opportunities, call 952-224-4777 or email to info@sharpermanagement.com.

Financial Impact Award Finalist – Miguel Pariona

Financial Impact Award Finalist – Miguel Pariona

Eden Prairie, MN, (November 28, 2018) – Sharper Management community manager, Miguel Pariona, has been recognized by the Community Association Institute – Minnesota (CAI-MN) as a finalist for the Financial Impact award at the 2018 Vision Awards.

Set to be held December 6, 2018, CAI’s annual Vision Awards and Holiday Gala is an opportunity for community association managers, business partners, homeowner leaders and other various industry professional to come together and celebrate with one another for a very special night. With eight categories of prestigious awards, Pariona was one of 51 total nominees and a finalist of three for the award category. Financial Impact is awarded to an individual who has positively impacted a community in a significant manner from a financial standpoint. Budget management, capital improvement navigation and insurance claim management, being some of the examples.

“Miguel has shown fiscal management skills and abilities well ahead of his years of industry experience,” said supervisor and associate director of community management, Josh Reams. “From getting his boards to understand the importance of Reserve Studies, to helping associations in poor operating cash flow situations, to identifying and persuading communities of the need to special assess for a significant project, Miguel has made significant financial impact for a number of his associations. We are very proud his is being recognized for his financial management strengths”

Founded in 2010, Sharper Management is a locally-owned, mid-sized property management company offering a full suite of premiere services to homeowner’s associations of all sizes. Sharper Management currently provides services to the Minneapolis-St. Paul seven-county area.

For more information on Sharper Management services and employment opportunities, call 952-224-4777 or email to info@sharpermanagement.com.

Excellence in Service Finalist – Sam Nichols

Excellence in Service Finalist – Sam Nichols

Eden Prairie, MN, (November 28, 2018) – Sharper Management community manager, Sam Nichols, has been recognized by the Community Association Institute – Minnesota (CAI-MN) as a finalist for Excellence in Service at the 2018 Vision Awards.

Set to be held December 6, 2018, CAI’s annual Vision Awards and Holiday Gala is an opportunity for community association managers, business partners, homeowner leaders and other various industry professional to come together and celebrate with one another for a very special night. With eight categories of prestigious awards, Nichols was one of 51 total nominees and a finalist of three for the award category. Excellence in Service is awarded to an individual manager who displays integrity, reliability, commitment to the industry and the ability to interact well with board members, managers, service providers and other industry professionals. Promotion of ethics and competence are included as part of the qualifications for the award.    

“When reading the description of the award, Sam’s picture should simply be right next to it,” said supervisor and associated director of community management, Josh Reams. “In a very short period of time, Sam has developed into one of our top performing and most trusted managers. While examples are many, perhaps the pinnacle of Sam’s success to date is the completion of a $7-million dollar remediation project at a very prestigious community association. Navigating community politics, managing the multiple components and contractors of the project, keeping residents constantly informed and bringing the multi-year project to a successful completion certainly qualifies him for this award.”

Founded in 2010, Sharper Management is a locally-owned, mid-sized property management company offering a full suite of premiere services to homeowner’s associations of all sizes. Sharper Management currently provides services to the Minneapolis-St. Paul seven-county area.

For more information on Sharper Management services and employment opportunities, call 952-224-4777 or email to info@sharpermanagement.com.

Rookie of the Year Finalist – Matthew Vitek

Rookie of the Year Finalist – Matthew Vitek

Eden Prairie, MN, (November 28, 2018) – Sharper Management community manager, Matthew Vitek, has been recognized by the Community Association Institute – Minnesota (CAI-MN) as a finalist for Rookie of the Year at the 2018 Vision Awards.

Set to be held December 6, 2018, CAI’s annual Vision Awards and Holiday Gala is an opportunity for community association managers, business partners, homeowner leaders and other various industry professional to come together and celebrate with one another for a very special night. With eight categories of prestigious awards, Vitek was one of 51 total nominees and a finalist of three for the award category. Rookie of the Year is awarded to an individual with fewer than two-years of experience and who has displayed exceptional abilities in their field.    

“We could not be more proud of Matthew,” said supervisor and director of community management, Candy Lee. “Matthew came to us less than two years ago and was immediately entrusted with a large and complex portfolio. He stepped up big time and his rapid development as a professional community manager has exceed our expectations. We are so proud he is deservedly being recognized for this award.”

Founded in 2010, Sharper Management is a locally-owned, mid-sized property management company offering a full suite of premiere services to homeowner’s associations of all sizes. Sharper Management currently provides services to the Minneapolis-St. Paul seven-county area.

For more information on Sharper Management services and employment opportunities, call 952-224-4777 or email to info@sharpermanagement.com.

HOA Living and Hosting the Holidays

HOA Living and Hosting the Holidays

The holiday season is drawing near. If you’re planning and event at your home within in an HOA, there are a few items your may want to consider and alert your Board to.

 

  • Will extra cars be parked in common areas for more than a day?
  • Are you planning to use a community area to host your event? You will likely need to reserve the space in advance.
  • Please be considerate of your neighbors and keep noise levels to a minimum.
Snow Contracts and Expectations

Snow Contracts and Expectations

As winter approaches, we’d like to take a few minutes to talk about snow removal and how the terms of your Association’s contract may affect you this winter.

To being, please note every snow contract is unique. To better understand the terms of your contract, check with your Board or contact Sharper Management. We are happy to share this information with you.

Below we review some of the most common types of snow removal contracts and how things like snow fall amounts, time duration of a snow event, and “open ups” affect your snow removal service.

Things to know:

  • Trigger Depth – Most contracts will state an accumulation total that must be met before snow service will commence. This can be anywhere from a trace up to multiple inches. For most, it is somewhere between 1 – 2 inches. This can be one of the biggest variables in the pricing of your snow contract.
  • Accumulations – The definition of “trigger depth” is important. Does your contract state that service will happen when the trigger depth has been met for a single snow event/storm, or is it vague regarding at what point trigger depth is met? There is a significant difference between the definitions. For example, you could have a winter where less than 1 inch of snow accumulates per event, but there may be many events like this in a relatively short period of days thus creating heavily packed drives in your association. Most contracts are written “by event”.
  • Timing – The second most important component of your contract is the time in which snow service must be completed. For most contracts, “final cleanup” is somewhere between 6 – 12 hours after the snow has stopped falling. This timeline is also subject to snow accumulation totals. The more snow received, the more time allowed for cleanup.
  • Open-Ups – Most contracts provide for an open-up during snowfall events that exceed a particular total. For example, if 4 -6 inches of snow depth is met, but the event has not stopped, it is common for an open up to happen. Open-ups are simply done to allow vehicles to come in and out of the complex. They are not the same as a final clean up. Open-ups generally consist of a single pass through the roadways with the plow. One thing to define in your snow contract is whether open-ups include driveways, or just main roadways. Typical language states that an open-up will occur prior to __AM and/or after __PM.

Knowing a bit more about how your snow contract is written may alleviate some frustrations over the coming months. Stay safe this winter!

Sharper to Host Board Training Session – January 15th

Sharper to Host Board Training Session – January 15th

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, January 15, 2019 for Sharper Management’s presentation “Board Basics: An Orientation for Board Members,” to be held at 6 p.m. in Bloomington. This free seminar, led by Sharper’s two directors of community Management, Candy Lee and Josh Reams, will cover topics such as:

* Defining What an Association Actual Is
* Roles & Responsibilities of the Board
* Financial Fundamentals
* An Overview to Governing Documents & State Statutes
* How to Run Effective Board Meetings
* Insurance Basics
* Property Management Practices

Look for more information as the event get closer. If you are interested in reserving your spot, please email info@sharpermanagement.com

Sharper Leadership Helps to Shape Industry

Sharper Leadership Helps to Shape Industry

Sharper’s two directors of community management, Candy Lee and Josh Reams, have become heavily involved in the Community Association Institute (CAI) – Minnesota Chapter. CAI is the largest and most established organization in the community association industry. It is the resource center, education and certification group, and overall governing industry body to community managers, management companies, association board members and association related vendors.

Last fall Reams was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for CAI-MN. “CAI is responsible for many industry related things. My overall goal was to help revitalize the education offerings for community managers and volunteer board members,” said Reams, who was also previously on the Education Committee of CAI. “As an organization, there had been a number of changes in the administration of CAI. I was, and continue to be, excited about the opportunity to help shape the future of this valuable resource body.” One of Reams’ first initiatives was to reinstitute the Education Committee, appointing colleague and industry veteran Candy Lee to chair it. Lee has spent 2018 working with directors from nearly a dozen management companies to plan and convene multiple education seminars for community managers and volunteer board members from all over Minnesota. The last lunch & learn session, “I Wrote This; But They Read That: Effectively Communicating to the Masses” was held earlier this month and attended by 70 industry professional. Reams and Linda Grubish, Sharper Management’s Marketing Advisor led the session.

Reams and Lee have an exciting year ahead with nearly a dozen education and industry events through their efforts with CAI. “We are excited that a core part of our leadership group here at Sharper Management is so actively involved in the leadership body of our industry,” said Dan Cunningham, owner of Sharper Management.

Sharper Gives Back – Hearts & Hammers

Sharper Gives Back – Hearts & Hammers

As is becoming a tradition in the annual Sharper Scramble Golf Tournament, each year Sharper selects an organization to support by raising money and awareness. This year Sharper generated enough of a donation to sponsor the rehabilitation of a house through the Hearts & Hammers program. The mission of Hearts & Hammers is to “provide exterior home improvement assistance for senior citizens, disabled adults and veterans of the United States Armed Forces, or their surviving spouse, so that they may continue living independently.” On September 22nd, over a dozen Sharper staff and owners came together to do yard and landscaping jobs, painting, carpentry work and other various repair needs to begin restoring a home in Shakopee.

“A core value of Sharper is to ‘be your Minnesota neighbor,'” said Matt Froehlich, owner and head of operations. “This was a wonderful opportunity for the Sharper family to come together for a greater good. While we hope our time, energy and labor provided a valuable service to a homeowner in need and to a wonderful organization like Hearts & Hammers, it was equally special for us to share this experience together as a company.”

You can read more about Hearts & Hammers at www.heartsandhammers.org.
Fiduciary Duty

Fiduciary Duty

As many Associations enter budget season, it’s a good time to reflect on a phrase that is thrown around, but seldom understood and all too often not taken seriously enough  –  Fiduciary Duty.  Be it the approval of a budget, the granting of a homeowner request or the selection of a contractor, as an elected Board member and representative of your community association, it is your legal obligation.  So, what does it mean?

According to Webster Dictionary, Fiduciary Duty is “the legal duty of a fiduciary to act in the best interest of the beneficiary.”  Yeah, OK. That’s well enough. In the context of your role as a Board member, however, we can dig a little deeper.

As a governing body, the Board of Directors has three primary functions:

  1. A policy making body (creating Rules)
  2. An approval body (approving a budget, managing architectural controls or contracting services)
  3. An oversight body (reviewing financials or evaluating vendor services)
According to our industry resource, Community Association Institute, as an individual Board member you work to fulfill these functions and meet your all-important fiduciary obligations under two doctrines.
  • Duty of Care – making reasonable and informed decisions; regularly attending and participating in Board meetings; exercising independent judgement; relying on experts, but still exercising good business judgement; and acting in the best interest of the Association as a whole.
  • Duty of Loyalty – putting aside all personal interests; eliminating conflicts of interests; and exercising power in good faith to benefit the best interests of the community.
In summary, to ensure you are fulfilling your Fiduciary Duty – remember your primary functions as a collective Board and individual Board member, and ensure you are guided by the principles outlined in Duty of Care and Duty of Loyalty. To be even more succinct – work smart and don’t be selfish!