Directory of Credentialed Professionals

CAMICB is proud to announce the new and improved Directory of Credential Professionals at: https://www.camicb.org/find-a-cmca.  CMCAs are automatically listed in the Directory of Credentialed Professionals when they achieve certification.

The new Directory lists your CMCA recertification and billing dates as well as your contact information.  You can use the Directory to see if your CMCA certification is current or up for renewal.  Homeowners and management companies will also use the Directory to find CMCAs in their area.

The Directory is searchable by many fields: last name, first name, organization and location.  Results can then be sorted by column and further filtered by the state selection on the right.

CAMICB has also included your CAI designations in the search for your convenience.

If you’d like to be removed from the Directory of Credentialed Professionals or your information needs updating, please email us at info@camicb.org.

Be Intentional About Leadership

By Mary Jo Asmus

Many leaders put as much effort into defining how they want to “show up” as they would in buying a new refrigerator. In fact, some may give their leadership skills even less thought. These mindless leaders react to whatever captures their attention and desire in the moment, but don’t stop to think about their impact or how they want others to remember them when they are no longer around.

Being intentional about how you lead is hard work, but in a way it’s no different than learning to play the piano or getting better at your golf swing. It requires you to look to a future goal (“I want to be a concert pianist”; “I want to be able to compete at golf”; “I want to increase my level of influence”). You have to be diligent and work hard at practicing with deliberate action steps that are focused on the nuances of your strengths and gaps.

It takes courage, fortitude, and resolve to be intentional in your work as a leader. It requires risk, failure and the ability to pick yourself back up and go at it again.

The hard work is worth your efforts. The gifts that come back to you when you’re intentional are results and a legacy that others remember. You’ll create a world that is better than when you entered it.

To start you on your journey of intentionality:
Be visionary. This is what Stephen Covey called “begin with the end in mind.” Consider the following questions: What will it look like when you’re at your best as a leader? How will others describe you and the impact you made on them? What will they remember you for? No matter what you do and how you do it, you’ll leave a legacy. Why not make it one that you’ve crafted and been intentional about? Write it down. Revise it. Ask others what they think about it. But do have a personal leadership vision.

Be driven by your values. What values do you stand for? Knowing what principles and beliefs are important to you provides an anchor when it comes time to make tough decisions or take difficult action. Spend some time thinking about what’s important to you and what things you won’t compromise on. You can work with a mentor or coach on this, or you might already have an idea of what’s most important to you. Write down your top three to five values. Carry them with you or memorize them. They will be an important tool to help you become and stay a great leader.

Be courageous. It takes courage to follow a vision and to stand true to your values. Are you ready for the conflict it may cause? How will you react when you’re criticized for decisions you make based on your values? How will you respond to those who disagree? A personal vision and values sometimes requires you to follow the road less traveled, which isn’t always considered an asset in the business world. Make sure that your resolve is strong as it will only make you a better, more confident leader.

Be reflective on your progress at becoming more intentional. Refer to your personal vision and values regularly as you consider if you are on the path or straying from them. What steps are you taking to assure that your vision and values become incorporated into your daily routine? What happens when your daily routine blows up and you are under stress (do you revert to reacting rather than being intentional?). Who can help you stay true to what matters to you?

Being intentional about your leadership is a best practice for making incremental improvements in the way you lead. Start with vision, values, courage and reflection, and you are on your way toward becoming the best.

Mary Jo Asmus is an executive coach and a recovering corporate executive who has spent the past 12 years as president of Aspire Collaborative Services, an executive-coaching firm that manages Fortune 500 corporate-coaching initiatives and coaches leaders to prepare them for bigger and better things.

CMCA Recertification

CAMICB sent reminder notices this week to individuals who need to recertify and/or pay their annual service fee by October 1, 2014. Here are a few helpful links:

A few things to note:

1. It is the responsibility of each CMCA to provide documentation of their 16 hours of continuing education at the time of recertification. CAMICB does not track your CEs. If you took a class with CAI, please log into their website (caionline.org) to print out a certificate of completion.

2. Only courses completed between October 1, 2012 and October 1, 2014 present will count as continuing education.

3. If you have held an active AMS, PCAM, FL CAM, NV CAM or NAHC-RCM for at least a year, this will satisfy your CMCA continuing education requirement.

4. Credit hours may be earned only for education that meets either of the following criteria: It pertains to community association operations or management and/or it contributes to the professional development of the CMCA.

5. The CMCA Annual Service Fee is $105.00. Oftentimes this fee is confused with CAI’s individual manager membership. Recently, CAI increased the rate of the individual manager membership from $130.00 to $134.00. While CAMICB maintains an affiliate relationship with CAI, we are an independent credentialing body: separately incorporated, governed by an independent Board of Trustees, and guided in the administration of our program by the standards of our accrediting body, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. We are not a membership organization; we do not collect membership dues. We assess our credential holders an annual maintenance fee which is used to support the development and delivery of our core exam and the operation of our program in accordance with best practices in professional credentialing.

Roland Richardson, Certification Assistant, is happy to assist you with the recertification process. Contact Roland at rrichardson@camicb.org with any questions.

In The News: Rising Mortgage Rates Lead to Lower Sales

From HuffingtonPost

For 30 years, falling mortgage interest rates have enabled homeowners to move into ever-larger homes on the promise of ever-cheaper financing. But that party is over, and the impact on existing home sales could be significant.

After peaking at more than 18 percent in 1981, rates on a 30-year, fixed mortgage fell steadily, bottoming at 3.3 percent in late 2012, according to Freddie Mac. Rates then jumped into the mid-4 percent range before retreating more recently. Nobody expects rates in the teens again, but rates in the 5 percent and 6 percent range are no longer out of sight.

Housing was relatively simple as rates fell. When I first bought a home, I had a mortgage rate of about 8 percent. A few years later, when I re-entered the market, I qualified for a rate of about 5 percent. With this lower rate, I had a choice: I could buy a more expensive and larger home, but still pay roughly the same amount per month thanks to lower financing costs. Or I could buy a similarly priced home to the one I was currently in, and lower my monthly payment and pocket the savings.

And I wasn’t alone. Today’s currently very low rates are helping to boost existing home sales volume by roughly 15 percent, according to Zillow research. This effect has acted as a tailwind for decades, helping millions of homeowners move up the chain to bigger, more expensive homes.

But as rates rise, the script flips. Higher rates will discourage or disqualify some potential future buyers that may have otherwise entered the market when rates were lower. And thanks to a furious refinancing push by lenders and a sense that low interest rates couldn’t last forever, millions of current homeowners are now locked in at mortgage rates close to or at historic lows.

It remains to be seen whether homeowners locked in at today’s low rates will be willing or able to buy again later when rates could be almost double what they were even a year ago. Instead of paying the same amount each month for a larger home, some homeowners may be faced with the prospect of paying more per month for a home very similar to the one they’re already in. This is the phenomenon referred to as “mortgage rate lock.”

The Mortgage Bankers Association is currently predicting that rates on a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage will rise to 5.1 percent by mid-2015. If that happens, then mortgage rate lock will become a pronounced headwind for the housing market, reducing home sales by about 4 percent from current levels even after accounting for positive factors like modestly higher incomes and more households.

Still, many discount this problem, thinking that we will continue to enjoy very low rates for years to come. Admittedly, this doesn’t seem too far-fetched given the most recent data. But even in this more benign scenario, the simple fact that rates aren’t still falling will begin to create a drag on home sales as soon as autumn 2015 (representing 100,000 fewer sales by then, all other things being equal). This drag will have to be offset by higher than normal rates of income growth or much higher homeownership rates, neither of which seems very likely by that time.

The bottom line is this: For a generation, we’ve gotten used to falling mortgage rates and the boost they had on sales. Very low rates in recent years have done the heavy lifting we wanted them to do, namely helping to boost home sales from the depths of the recession. But whether rates rise quickly or not, it’s safe to say that they won’t continue falling over the long-term as they have for the past 30 years.

And as is always the case, there’s no free lunch. We’re about to get the check, not just for the recent very low rates, but for the 30-year-long buffet in which we’ve feasted on falling rates.

 

News Follow up: NYC to Ban ‘Poor Doors’ In Luxury Buildings

From Huffington Post

New York City officials are vowing to reverse a law allowing luxury developers to install two separate entrances in new residential towers — one for residents paying at market rate and another for low-income residents who qualify for affordable housing.

Such buildings include affordable housing units so that developers can receive tax credits.

“The two-door system, or creating a poor-door system as some media have coined it, is an affront to New Yorkers’ belief in fairness and diversity,” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said at a recent press conference. “Creating a two-tier system in a development that is receiving tax benefits is offensive.”

The outrage stems from news last week that the city approved a controversial dual entrance at 40 Riverside Boulevard, where developers have already begun constructing a luxury condo in which low-income residents will be segregated from wealthier residents. Those who will live in the lower-income part of the building will be prohibited from using amenities including a gym and swimming pool.

Extell, the developer behind the Riverside Boulevard project, has since defended the housing design.

“Would you rather not have the affordable housing? Ask any one of the thousands of people who are applying for that, and they don’t give a damn,” Extell president Gary Barnett told NPR. “They want to have a beautiful apartment, in a beautiful neighborhood, and you know, at a super price.”

The poor door practice, which is technically permitted due to zoning codes created to spur more affordable housing units under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), is common throughout buildings across the city.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) was quick to put blame on his predecessor for the loophole, even though he voted for the measure in 2009 when he was a city council member.

Lawmakers including Councilman Mark Levine are now drafting legislation to close the loophole in the city’s Inclusionary Housing Zoning system.

“It’s outrageous that we give huge tax credits to developers for including affordable apartments in their buildings only to allow them to turn around and segregate entrances or block access to amenities for low-income tenants,” Levine said. “I am profoundly disappointed that the developer of 40 Riverside has exploited this loophole in creating a ‘poor door’ in its building. We must do everything we can to end this discriminatory practice immediately.”

Cvil rights groups are also working to end the practice, which they say inherently discriminates against minorities who make up a large portion of residents qualifying for affordable housing.

A New York University study cited in the Times noted in 2011, 73.4 percent of market-rate residents were white. Seventy-seven percent of owners were also white.

A petition demanding change was also launched.

“Our goal is to continue to fight, to do what we need to do and make it right,” Elzora Cleveland, who started the petition, explained. “It’s just not right, it’s not right.”

 

In The News: NY Condo Getss ‘Poor Door’

By Inaw Oh from Huffington Post

A controversial plan to have the lower-income residents of a New York City luxury condo go in and out through a separate entrance has officially been given the green light.

The proposal, from the New York-based developer Extell, was approved under a city program meant to incentivize affordable housing, the New York Post reported Sunday. New York’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development was reportedly the city agency that gave the go-ahead.

The 33-story building, now under construction at 40 Riverside Boulevard on the Upper West Side, will contain 219 luxury units facing the Hudson River. There will also be a segment on floors two through six that will contain 55 street-facing units for the building’s poorer residents. This segment will have its own entrance.

The more affordable units will be given to families of four whose annual income is $51,540 or less — about 60 percent of the area’s median income.

Residents living in the lower-income part of 40 Riverside will be prohibited from using the attractive amenities commonly found in Extell properties, including a gym and a swimming pool.

Extell’s proposal, which has been widely described as a “poor door” policy, was approved under the city’s Inclusionary Housing program, which allows developers to use more square footage than they’d ordinarily be allowed to — provided they set aside some units in their building for affordable housing. For doing so, developers also receive millions in tax breaks.

Gothamist reports that arrangements like the one planned for 40 Riverside are not uncommon in New York.

Still, ever since plans for the separate entrance were revealed last August, city officials and community members have been demanding that Extell officials jettison the policy for a more inclusive one.

“This ‘separate but equal’ arrangement is abominable and has no place in the 21st century, let alone on the Upper West Side,” Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal told the blog West Side Rag last year. “A mandatory affordable housing plan is not license to segregate lower-income tenants from those who are well-off.”

As The New York Times noted in May, minorities and the elderly largely make up the city’s rent-regulated population.

Getting the Same Amount Done in Half the Time

Pomodoro-TechniqueBy Jessica Stillman

A formerly frazzled founder claims he managed to squeeze 40-plus hours of work into just 16.7. Could his system work for you?

What if I told you there’s a way to get exactly the same amount of work you’re now accomplishing done in less than half the time? You’d probably respond that you have some amazing magic beans you’d like to sell me or ask for directions to the unicorn stable.

The idea that some miraculous wrinkle in the time-space continuum exists that can instantly compress your workweek into a more humane duration seems too fabulous to be believed, but entrepreneur Chris Winfield insists that the idea is fact, not fantasy. In a recent post on his site, he relates how he’s developed a system for cramming 40 hours of work into just under 20 hours (a startlingly precise 16.7 hours, to be exact) using nothing fancier than a kitchen timer and his phone’s airplane mode.

He laid out the whole system in detail in a recent post that also explains the genesis of his new approach. If you’re seriously considering giving the system a try, it’s well worth a read in full to get all the finer points, but here’s a basic rundown.

Employ the Pomodoro technique.

There’s nothing radical to Winfield’s first suggestion–the Pomodoro technique, which is simply a fancy term for setting a timer to work in 25-minute sprints of single-minded focus (no Facebook, no popping over to your inbox quickly, etc.) followed by 5 minutes of rest. It has been around (and much recommended) for ages. After every four intervals, called Pomodoros, you’re supposed to take a longer 15-minute break.

It sounds incredibly basic, but Winfield insists that after much monkeying around to find the perfect number of Pomodoros to shoot for in a week, the simple technique radically increased his productivity and his sanity.

“My goal was eight Pomodoros each weekday, for a total of 40 per week. This worked, sort of, but as they say, life happens. Some days I had so many meetings to attend, or my daughter had a recital at school that I didn’t want to miss, and I just couldn’t find fit in eight Pomodoros. It became clear that 40 was my magic weekly number, but I needed to be less rigid with how I approached my workweek,” he says (which also explains the oddly exact time he allots for work in this system: “40 Pomodoros = 1,000 minutes of work (plus 350 minutes of breaks) each week. This averages out to about 16.7 hours of work each week.”)

Choose your tasks wisely. 

The second half of Winfield’s approach, as the quote above suggests, is all about flexibility. To manage to get to his goal of 40 Pomodoros, he found he had to choose his tasks wisely each day, taking into account his mood, physical energy levels, and degree of mental focus.

“The reality is that I’m a human being, living in a world full of other humans. I have emotions I don’t control, and I often get tired. Some tasks I simply don’t feel like doing, even though I know they’re important, and possibly urgent. To make this work long-term, I had to face these things and learn to accept them, working with rather than against them,” he writes. In order to stop fighting his moods, he learned to survey his mental state and find jobs to do that would reverse whatever was ailing him–on low energy days, he’d find tasks that made him feel healthier; if he was sad, he looked for work that would cheer him up.

Truly forget the nine to five.

The last step for Winfield was jettisoning old ideas of when he should work and when he should unwind, so he could better utilize all the hours of the day, not just the ones falling within “normal” work hours.

“The final piece to my puzzle was moving from a five-day work-week, where I had to stop by 5 p.m., to a seven-day work-week, where I could work when it suited me. This took me from 40 to 45 hours available to get my 40 Pomodoros in, to having 168 hours each week. Since I only need 16.7 hours net, that means I only work 10% of my time. What a difference.” he says.

A note for the skeptics

Taken together, these three simple changes meant that Winfield went from working a frazzled 40-plus hour week to getting just as much done in half the time, he claims. Though there is a pretty hefty caveat: He doesn’t count meetings and calls within those 16.7 hours of work.

His bottom line: “I ‘work’ 35 to 40 hours a week, but I spend at least 20 to 25 of those hours on calls, meetings, networking online and offline, and other less-focused tasks. These are important, but I don’t count them as work time. I truly work 16.7 hours each week, and I get about five times more done in those few hours than in the other 25 hours.”

So that incredible 16.7 hour number does take a little word-choice wizardry to make a reality, but whether the final tally of hours worked is a little tarted up or not, Winfield insists he’s a far saner man for his system–having whittled an overwhelming 60-hour workweek down to a healthier and more manageable schedule.

Spending Time With Your Employees

By Jessica Stillman

A new survey claims to have found the perfect balance point between neglect and micromanagement.

Leadership is a balancing act. Spending timePlenty of experts and studies note that the best route to empowered, engaged employees is to trust them and leave them alone. But weighed against this minimalist management approach, another small army of advisors repeatedly tells managers that their team crave feedback, appreciation and guidance. So what’s a confused entrepreneur to do? How can you find that sweet spot between outright neglect and annoying micromanagement?

A massive new study of more than 30,000 American and Canadian employees, executives and middle managers claims to have found a definitive answer to this tricky question. The magic number according to the survey from research firm Leadership IQ: six hours per employee per week.

More Is Better… Up to a Point

The results show that almost half of us spend less than three hours a week with our bosses. They also show that increasing that amount of contact has some serious benefits–at least up to a point. Take inspiration for example. “We found that their inspiration increases significantly every hour [employees] spend interacting with their leader, up to six hours,” says the study report. Moving from one to six hours weekly contact with the boss increased employee inspiration by 29 percent, but after six hours inspiration actually started to take a hit.

Other questions around engagement, innovation and motivation found similar patterns. Six is the sweet spot, so that the more time teams spent with their leaders up to that point the better, but beyond that, time with the boss hurt rather than helped. Even more startling than the consistency of these findings, perhaps, is the fact that they seem to hold no matter how much people actually like their boss.

For people “who do not feel positive about their leader (they feel like their leader does not value their work), the more time they spend interacting with their leader, the more inspired they feel,” claims the report. “Essentially, even after controlling for peoples’ feelings about their leader, these findings show a robust relationship between time spent interacting with one’s leader and increased inspiration.”

Takeaways

So what are the takeaways here beyond the obvious nudge to leaders to get a bit more hands on if they’re currently falling short of the six hours a week mark? Leadership IQ CEO Mark Murphy offered a few to Fast Company:

  • Telecommuting can work. The study findings that there are diminishing returns to more and more face time supports the idea that part-time telecommuting shouldn’t ding innovation or engagement. “There really is a point of diminishing returns here,” Murphy said. “Sitting with the boss for 20 hours a week doesn’t help.”
  • You can’t truly manage more than seven people. “You can have 50 employees, but you’re not really managing 50 employees. You can monitor them, but you can’t really manage them. There are limits on span of control,” Murphy claims.
  • You can wrack up six hours in a variety of ways. The study counted phone calls, face time and even emails from the boss as time spent together, so there’s no need to think that you have to to formally schedule this exact amount of time with each employee each week. In fact, that might be a little weird. “If you try to instantly go from zero to six, it’s kind of hard,” Murphy said. He recommends having “one really good, meaningful conversation this week” to get started.

How many hours a week are you spending with your employees?

Bored at Work? Good

By Jessica Stillman

Studies show that in moderate doses boredom actually has a big upside.

These days there are more options than ever to avoid ever feeling truly bored. Got five minutes to spare? Whip out your phone for some gaming or trawl through Twitter. Have a bit more time? Thanks to the wonders of tech you can download your favorite music or TV show in minutes and fill the gap.

At first blush that sounds like a great thing. Who likes being bored, after all? But according to psychologists, if you’re keeping yourself perpetually engaged, you may be missing out on the benefits of boredom–yup, you heard that right, boredom, it turns out, is actually good for us.

The Benefits of Boredom

How? Idle brains, scientists have found, aren’t just a source of pointless pain. Being bored actually signals to the mind that you’re in need of fresh ideas and spurs creative thinking.

Researchers recently confirmed the counter-intuitive creativity-boosting effects of boredom by subjecting one group of study participants to the mind-numbing task of copying out the telephone book for 15 minutes. After attaining a state of utter boredom in this manner, the study subjects were then given a standard test of creativity in which they needed to come up with as many uses as possible for a common household item (in this case a plastic cup). Their results were compared to those of a control group that hadn’t been pre-tormented with boredom. The telephone book copiers, it turns out, were more creative.

A follow-up study compared those who given passive but boring tasks (just reading the phone book, i.e. the rough equivalent of hearing someone drone on stultifyingly at a meeting) to those completing the original active but boring task of writing out telephone numbers. Boredom plus daydreaming while passively bored, the psychologists discovered, was an even greater productivity boost (may that be some comfort to you during your next interminable meeting).

PsyBlog points out that writers have long known about and exploited this reality, offering a quote from comedy writer Graham Linehan as an illustration: “I have to use all these programs that cut off the internet, force me to be bored, because being bored is an essential part of writing, and the internet has made it very hard to be bored. The creative process requires a period of boredom, of being stuck.”

The Takeaway for Bosses

The author of the telephone book study, Dr Sandi Mann, commented that “boredom at work has always been seen as something to be eliminated, but perhaps we should be embracing it in order to enhance our creativity.”

Bosses, she notes, who demand constant busyness may actually be inadvertently denting their team’s creativity. “Employers, who are under the misguided notion that boredom is a problem to be eliminated in the workplace through increased activities and tasks, should look to embrace it in order to enhance employee creativity,” she advises.

Are you going overboard with your efforts to eliminate boredom?

In The News…

HOA forces suburban farmer to give away hemp plants

A homeowner in Denver, Colo., has been forced to shut down his hemp-growing operation after the homeowners association at Todd Creek Farms found him to be in violation of several community rules. Jim Denny failed to notify the HOA of his landscaping changes and his plans to sell his product, which breaches the association’s ban on home businesses. Westword (Denver) (7/2) 

 

Veteran, HOA may go to court over flag in flower pot

The homeowners association of the Tides at Sweetwater in Jacksonville, Fla., is demanding a 73-year-old veteran remove a 17-inch-by-12-inch American flag planted in a flower pot on his front porch, but the resident says he has no plans of taking it down and may even take the issue to court for the second time. The association’s documents state that flags must be flown on brackets and hung, and flower pots must only hold plants. San Francisco Chronicle (free content)/Associated Press (7/3)

 

South Carolina homeowners want laws regulating HOAs

South Carolina is home to 6,400 HOAs, according to the Foundation for Community Association Research, and officials throughout the state say that letters, calls and emails from dissatisfied homeowners are a near constant. They don’t come in a flood, say people in state and local governments, but you can count on them every week or month or so.  The writers want to eliminate what they see as unresolved problems in their developments and to rein in what they feel are out-of-control HOA boards and declarants, as developers are known legally.  There ought to be laws to help them out, they say. The State (Columbia, S.C.)/The Sun (7/6) 

 

Condo insurance for owners

Condo insurance differs from renters’ insurance and homeowners’ insurance in the way it deals with responsibility for the building’s structure and certain interior components. Make sure that between the complex’s master policy and your unit-owner’s policy, you’re fully protected but not over-insured. Investopedia (7/3)

 

HOA life: Being labeled as a complainer

Clete Linke doesn’t mind at all that some of those in charge at Waterford Plantation label him a complainer. “I’m a complainer when I’m not treated fairly,” he said. A resident of the subdivision for about four years, Linke not only takes on issues for himself, but for other residents as well. He’s taken on a variety of issues in the past, ranging from the lack of circulating fountains in some of the development’s lakes to sidewalks that aren’t built across common property, to the legal authority of some who have been in charge The State (Columbia, S.C.)/The Sun (7/6)