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Sharper Management

952-224-4777

Property Walk-Throughs

Summer is a great time to do a walk-through of your properties—the weather is nice, and the green landscape allows you to clearly see what needs work or improvement. When doing a walk-through, pay attention to the following parts of the landscape: Shrubs—do they need trimming? Are they uniform? Grass—is there an irrigation system in place to keep it green? Plants—are they looking healthy or are they dying? Is there too much of them? Flowers—are there various bright colors around the property, or do you need more? Bed spaces—are there empty pockets around the property that can be filled? We suggest including your contractor on these property walks so they can create a plan to service your property and work with you on your budget. Property walk-throughs are also good for noting what is working well and what needs work. You may have a great system in place that just needs a bit of updating since your property is always going through changes. If you’re unsure of where to start, your landscaping contractor will have plenty of suggestions on how to get your property looking great. They’ll also know what species of plants can survive and bloom in the spring after a harsh Minnesota winter. Don’t put in the time and money for flowers and plants that won’t make it through the snowy season! Now is the time to schedule a walk-through with board members and your landscaping contractor before the cooler months come.

Loss Assessments

In the Midwest, we’re all too familiar with summer storms and the damage they can cause to houses and buildings. HOA reserve funds are available for unexpected damages or emergencies, but using them could cause the association to be short on funds for future projects and non-insurance related repairs. Understanding how your insurance policies work can make claims and repairs a much smoother process. With heavier storms, sometimes the master policy isn’t enough to cover damages. Unit owners may need to help pay for repairs for damages to shared buildings, such as shingles being torn off a condo roof. The master policy can only pay up to coverage limits, so it’s up to the homeowners to pay the rest. The amount owed is assessed by the association, and as an owner, it is your responsibility to pay your share. However, needing to pay for community damages doesn’t mean you’re paying out of pocket. It’s a good idea as a homeowner to get Loss Assessment Insurance under your HO6 policy, if not already required. In addition to property damage, this coverage helps to pay for injuries on the premises, liabilities, and deductibles under the master policy. Homeowners who have appropriate coverage under their HO6 policy can submit a claim to their insurer. As a member of the HOA board, consider making it a requirement for owners to have loss assessment coverage to avoid any collection problems, as these assessment costs can often exceed $10,000 per unit. Boards should also work with their HOA management company to make sure that they are navigating these issues correctly. Insurance claims and loss assessments can seem confusing, but Sharper Management is here to help guide you through those difficult times.

Welcome Clover Condominium Association to the Sharper Family

The Clover Condominium Association is the newest addition to the growing Sharper Management family of clientele. Built in 2009, these upscale, family-oriented condos are located near other associations under Sharper Management, including Copperridge Townhomes Association, Highland Shores Community Association, Mill Pond Condominium No. 1, 2 & Common, and Meadow Park Association. “We’ve been fortunate to earn the business of growing communities in the area and we look forward to working with the Clover Condominium Association Board,” states Dan Cunningham, Sharper’s CEO and Partner. Known for their reliable and committed approach to services for condominium and townhome associations in Minnesota, Sharper Management specializes in providing exceptional property management solutions. Offering a full-suite of premier services to the Minneapolis-St. Paul seven-county area, Sharper Management continues to expand their service area and look forward to building more new relationships throughout the Twin Cities.

Summer Construction: Protecting Your Investment

Living in Minnesota, we’re all too familiar with construction in the summertime. After a freezing Winter and rainy Spring, asphalt is ridden with cracks and potholes. Spring and Summer storms can result in serious roof and siding damage. Repaving or remodeling can seem like a real hassle; however, that construction is important to protecting your investment. We’ve gathered a few reasons as to why those pesky projects are beneficial in the long run. Appearance Your HOA board is in charge of maintaining your community, and one aspect of that responsibility is general maintenance. It’s important to keep your neighborhood looking attractive and welcoming for prospective buyers and tenants, and for the current residents. Home Value By not keeping up with essential construction or maintenance, your home value runs the chance of decreasing. Prospective buyers or tenants will be put off by poorly kept lots and pathways. Roof damage that isn’t visible won’t affect appearance but will certainly decrease your home’s value. Saving Money Taking care of these issues when they arise will actually save you more money later on. Over time, damages like cracks in the asphalt will only get worse and will become a bigger hassle. Your HOA board will want to save reserve funds for more unexpected expenses.

The Role of the HOA Management Company

We are often asked about what homeowners perceive to be the responsibility of the home management company. The truth is that contracts vary from one HOA to another, so there is no blanket answer. The duties will be outlined in the Management Agreement and often involve both site and administrative management, but not always. Depening on the needs of your association, you may have a financial only contract with your management company. Financial-Only Duties: Management of the reserve fund (savings account) Accounts payable Budget prep Tax prep Dues and collections management Resale disclosures Full-service duties: Property inspections (frequency determined by contractor) Contractor bidding and supervision Policy/rule enforcement Correspondence Dedicated community manager (on- or off-site as per HOA needs and contract) Meetings Handyman services 24/7 emergency services All financial services (as listen in financial-only duties) Each HOA is different and has different needs. If you want to know which type of management company your HOA chose, don’t feel afraid to ask.

Pets and Living in an HOA

Sunshine and getting outside for a walk are things we are all doing more of these days and that includes our pets. Just a few friendly reminders to be sure to pick up after your pets during this season. As more people are out walking due to the closure of many local gyms, it’s more important than ever to be diligent about picking up pet waste. The rainy weather in April also make pet waste more of a hazard for all. We encourage you to also keep your pet on a leash to ensure the safety of all in our communities. If this spring is the time to adopt a new pet once the local shelters are up and running again, then make sure you review your association’s governing documents for restrictions on the types of pets, breed, or size you can have in your home. There might also be a limit on how many pets are allowed.

Sharper Management Supports Community Organization Open Arms

Giving back to our community is one of Sharper Management’s most important core values. Each year we choose local charitable organizations to support – it’s just the right thing to do. This year as part of the Sharper Open, an annual golf tournament held in July, we incorporated a charitable component. Recently, our Accounting Manager Todd Essig, delivered the proceeds from that event to Open Arms. Open Arms is a nonprofit that cooks and delivers free, nutritious meals to people living with life-threatening illnesses in the Twin Cities. Donations such as our helps Open Arms and their more than 7,600 volunteers deliver 624,000 meal to neighbors in need each year. “We’re so happy to be able to give back to our community in this way,” states Partner and Chief Operating Officer Matt Froelich. “The work of Open Arms is an important way we can help care for those in need in our own backyard.” 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, MN seven-county metro area. For more information on Sharper Management services and employment opportunities, call 952-224-4777 or send an email to info@sharpermanagement.com.

Need Help Renting and Managing a Townhome or Condo?

Think Advantage Home A sister company to Sharper Management, Advantage Home helps homeowners and investors manage their single-family residences. Since your Association is already affiliated with Sharper Management, renting your home through Advantage would have extra benefits you wouldn’t find in another property management company. Those benefits include: A thorough understanding of Associations Information sharing regarding governing documents, rules, and regulations is efficient between Sharper and Advantage Home – Advantage is literally right down the hall The Sharper Management maintenance staff is already familiar with your Association’s property Our emergency response team is fast and effective If you or someone you know is interested in renting their townhome or condominium, have them contact jeff@advantagehomemn.com. Learn more at advantagehomemn.com

Sharper Rolls Out Client Care Center

Earlier this month, Sharper Management rolled out a new department designed to streamline communication efforts and increase customer service, and thus increase client satisfaction. The Client Care Center is a “call center” like setup where every call from homeowners, vendors, realtors, insurance agents, etc will receive a live body in the Sharper office. Perhaps more importantly, those staff members answering calls and emails are equipped with the information and tools to satisfy even the most difficult of questions, and to help facilitate resolution on just about any matter. The reality is an overwhelming majority of the 75 calls received on average each day are very basic questions. Are pets allowed? What is garbage pickup day? How much are my monthly dues? Can you send me a certificate of insurance? All of these questions can be handled by the team of individuals making up Client Care. Such calls and emails need not be sent to a Community Manager or an Assistant Community Manager, interrupting their workflow, or worse, going to voicemail because they are unavailable to take the call or unable to respond to the email quickly. Even more difficult inquires such as maintenance requests (ex: a piece siding blows off) and even vendor service issues (ex: they missed my driveway when they plowed) can be facilitated directly by a Client Care team member. Finally, another focus and purpose of the Client Care Center is to more thoroughly document communications. Actionable items such as maintenance requests can be put into a Task and our Task system can be better utilized. Call logs can be generated for association reporting purposes – and for important historical documentation record keeping. Overall, better administrative tracking will result from the Client Care system. “At the end of the day, we recognize this is a customer service industry. We also realize that our overall goal is to help enhance property values for the clients that entrust us with management services for their association,” said Matt Froehlich, owner and chief operating officer. “Our goals with the Client Care Center is two-fold. First, it clearly provides an enhanced customer service experience for the nearly 13,000 homes we are responsible for assisting. Secondly, it frees up our Community Managers and Assistant Managers to be working on bigger picture things like building budgets, getting bids, contract negotiations, and enables them to spend more time “in the field” focusing on things such as vendor and project management, site inspections and rule enforcement efforts. The Client Care Center will be a win-win for everybody and we are extremely excited about it.” Client Care is staffed by Sam Crowther, previously having spent the past year as the receptionist at Sharper and comes with a vast background in customer service positions – and Grant Peterson, having spent over a year as an assistant community manager at Sharper and whom also has significant background in communications and customer service.

Sharper Management Expands Service in Jordan, MN

Sharper Management, a locally owned, mid-sized property management company located in Eden Prairie, MN has recently been brought to manage the Bridle Creek Townhome Association in Jordan, MN. Sharper Management’s vast experience in both association financial management and community development and expansion were all key factors in the decision to bring Sharper on board. Known for their professionalism and transparency, Sharper Management also manages Wexford Square in the Jordan area. “We’ve been fortunate to earn the business of growing communities in the area and we look forward to working with the Bridle Creek Board, states Dan Cunningham, Sharper’s CEO and Partner.” Known for their reliable and committed approach to services for condominium and townhome associations in Minnesota, Sharper Management specializes in providing exceptional property management solutions. Offering a full-suite of premier services to the Minneapolis-St. Paul seven-county area, Sharper Management continues to expand their service area and look forward to building more new relationships throughout the Twin Cities.