Permission for Mistakes

By Sara McCord

You know the term “rookie mistake” and you know that when you’re new at something, you’ll stumble and fall a few times as you learn.

But, the permission to make mistakes in the name of learning fades away as you gain more experience. You move into the category where you’re supposed to “know better.”

And while yes, getting it right is always a good goal; there are four mistakes you’re allowed to make no matter how much experience you have.mistakes

1. Caring Too Much

You know it’s important to make time for your life outside the office. And ideally, as you grow in your career, you’ll get better at achieving work-life balance (or integration).

But, you might hit a moment in your career when you can’t leave at 5 PM or really “leave work at work” at all. Your time—and thoughts—are consumed by your job.

Maybe it’s helping you cope with a tough time. Or maybe putting in those extra hours is what’s needed to bring your company—or your career trajectory—to the next level. For whatever reason, you’ve consciously chosen to make work the #1 priority in your life.

Back-burnering the rest of your life isn’t ideal; and without a doubt, it isn’t sustainable, either. But it’s not always the “wrong” thing to do. If there’s a clear finish line—and a clear payoff—then pouring yourself into your work may be a mistake worth making (even if you know better).

2. Trying Something Bold (and Failing)

With experience comes a sense of your strengths and weaknesses. You have a pretty good idea of how you work best and how to manage what’s on your plate so you can be successful.

But if you keep following the same, proven formula, you could end up trapped in your comfort zone.

Growth is uncomfortable, and challenging yourself means you may make a mistake—and even fail; but you’ll also never know just what you achieve unless you push yourself.

So, the next time you’re about to do something the way you’ve always done it consider how you might approach it differently. You don’t have to change every routine and build in inefficiencies for the sake of saying you tried something new, but do encourage yourself to take a risk.

3. Blowing Off Your Five-Year Plan

Five-year plans can be really clarifying. In fact, picturing where you’d like to be in five years can help you if you’re not exactly sure what to do next in your career.

And while it may seem like a mistake to change course (or, careers) mid-stream, sometimes, it’s the very best thing for you.

Maybe it took you some time to realize you didn’t just need a new job, but you’d actually like to change industries. Or, maybe you’ve been putting off launching a side gig, or even going on sabbatical. It could be that taking steps toward your new goal means you’ll miss the mark on your earlier ones.

That’s OK. It may take you longer to achieve your new definition of success, but you know you’ll be happier when you get there.

4. Putting Your Faith in Others

Especially if you’ve been burned by a teammate who didn’t pull their weight, it can seem like a mistake to hand over the reins ever again. Maybe you’re gun-shy about delegating after things weren’t done to specifications. Or maybe you credit your ascent to going it alone, or you just thrive on working independently.

In any of these scenarios, depending on others can feels more like a horrible idea than a leap of faith. After all, you can’t control what might happen with a project you don’t wholly own.

But, as a reminder, that’s actually a good thing. People think and work differently, but that’s a benefit (hence the term “strength in numbers”).

The fact that a project won’t completely stall because you need a sick day is a good thing. Being able to step away from your computer (ever) is a good thing. Learning from others and following someone else’s good ideas—and even, on occasion, following a less-efficient idea and see that the department doesn’t crumble to the ground—these are all good things.

As humans, we’re bound to make mistakes. And while trying to avoid them is a good goal, a better one is to stop viewing all mistakes as a complete failure, and vow to learn from them instead.

Questions from your Colleagues

Your fellow CMCAs are actively posting on the CAMICB listserv.  Can you help them out?  Post a comment here and we’ll make sure we get it to the right person.

1. How is your association dealing with solar panels?  For or against? In Asheville, NC Google has found that most rooftops are prime for solar panels.question

2. Is anyone hosting a spring event?  I need ideas!

3. We have been having constant issues with outsiders parking in the lot at our beachfront condominium and then trespassing across our property to use the beach. Can we have these vehicles towed?


Quote of the Day

“You must be able to embrace the diversity of this job. Every day, there’s something new to tackle and from which to learn.  Community Association Managers must have care-giver qualities. We’re taking care of individuals’ assets – and in many cases, their most important one: their home.”

–Rob Felix, Regional Vice Presidnet – West, Associa


Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of year again!

As the sky turns blue and grass gets greener, homeowner and associations are bound to do a bit of spring cleaning.

The NJ Cooperator created a checklist for managers:

  • Pack away your 2016 including financial documents and old files.
  • Take a walk!  March is a great time to schedule landscape, maintenance and architectural walks.
  • Clean.  Those gutters, pools and clubhouses won’t clean themselves.
  • Update your Disaster Preparedness Plan.
  • Get owners on board by sending out a newsletter out to your community reminding them to clean up any compliance issues.

What is on your person checklist?  Share with your colleagues below.

Spring Cleaning Just Ahead Green Road Sign and Clouds


CMCA Recertification

CAMICB sent final reminder notices this month to individuals who need to recertify and/or pay their annual service fee by April 1, 2017. 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 ( to print out a certificate of completion.

2.Only courses completed between April 1, 2015 and April 1, 2017 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.

Rachel LaCroix, Certification Assistant, is happy to assist you with the recertification process. Contact Roland at with any questions.


Your Phone Runs Your Life

By Kelli Smith

Do you put your phone on the table next to you at meals? Do you check it every 10 seconds? Do you panic when it runs out of battery, or, gasp, you forget it at home? (Just kidding, you’d never forget it at home.)

If you said yes to all three, there’s a good chance you’re addicted to your phone. Worse, you’re letting it run your life. Think about it: How many times have you been late to dinner because your phone just had to charge? Then, how many dinners have you kinda ruined by checking your notifications throughout the meal?

Before you claim you’re just “really busy” and you need it on you at all times, see how many of these symptoms you recognize in yourself. (And then see all my awesome ideas to help you start relying less on it.)

1. You Sleep With It

You need an alarm clock, obviously. But is that really the reason your phone’s in your bedroom? Or, do you want to “just peek” at Twitter when you’re trying to fall asleep?

The Fix

If you don’t want to buy an actual alarm clock or put your phone on the other side of the room—that’s OK!—try OFFTIME. It lets you schedule times to turn off your apps. This way you can still get that landed-at-the-airport call from your significant other without ending up on Facebook for the next two hours.

2. You Check it First Thing Each Day

Do you reach for your phone before you even open your eyes in the mothinkingceorning? Do you see news that instantly stresses you out? How about an email from your boss? If that sounds familiar, you may want to re-think how you’re starting your days.

The Fix

BreakFree is an app that measures how much you use your phone and gently reminds you to keep your screen time under control. And, with BreakFree, you can set times (like when you normally wake-up) to disable the internet so you can start your day on the calmest note possible.

3. You Have it in Your Hand at All Times

If you’re that person who takes their phone with them everywhere they go—yes, your colleagues see you carrying it with you to the bathroom—then you need an incentive to let it go (cue the song from Frozen).

The Fix

If you have a competitive streak, then you might want to grab a couple of friends and check out the Forest app. It’s somewhat silly, but also slightly addicting. The basic gist is that you nourish a tiny seed Into a magnificent tree by staying off your phone long enough for it to flourish. The more you resist temptation, the faster it grows. Plus, you can track your virtual forest’s progress and see if you’re beating your pals.

4. You’re Constantly Charging It

You swear that you’re only checking email and texts, but you keep running out of juice before noon. Constantly being out of battery is a sure sign that you’re on that thing way too much.

The Fix

If you find yourself always coming up short on power, Moment will tell you where you’re spending time on your phone so you can cut back as needed. Or, if that’s not enough, you can have it coach you by setting a daily limit for how much you use it.

5. You Get Notifications for All Your Apps

It’s time to be honest with yourself. Do you really have to hear about every post, message, or tweet right now? When you think about it, I bet you’ll realize that most of them (maybe even all?) aren’t exactly urgent.

The Fix

Luckily, you can get them under control with just a few clicks in your phone’s settings. With either iOS or Android, you can choose which apps you see that dreaded red badge for, and you can even stop notifications for certain apps from showing up on your lock screen.

6. You Imagine it Beeping and Buzzing When It’s Not

You swear you’re not crazy, and yet you keep pulling your phone out of your pocket because you felt something that seemed a lot like a notification.

The Fix

The iPhone’s Do Not Disturb mode lets you decide which calls ring through or if you want to stop both calls and notifications completely when you really need to focus. And Android Nougat’s Do Not Disturb does all that, plus lets you choose on an app-by-app basis when you get beeped or buzzed.

7. Your Notification Badges Are Always at Zero

Don’t be offended. I’m not saying that you don’t have notifications because you don’t have friends. But I’ve seen this in myself—I never have any little numbers on my home screen because I rush to check every one as soon as it pops up.

The Fix

Of course you can turn off those notifications like I mentioned previously. Or, you can just do some spring cleaning on your home screen. On Android, use an app launcher like Nova Launcher to go totally Marie Kondo and remove all app icons from view. On iOS, if you’re a believer in “out of sight, out of mind,” the simplest way is to put those apps in a new folder and move that folder to the last page of your apps. You’ll be able to get to them if you need to, but that red circle won’t be glaring at you every time you unlock your phone.

Recognize yourself in any of these signs? If you did, there is a way to stop the madness! If apps don’t do it for you (or, make things worse), try leaving your phone at home when you go out for dinner, or turning it off at night and actually buying an alarm clock. It’s the little actions you take daily that will make a huge impact on your addiction. Because every time you survive without it, you’ll remember that you don’t actually need it to survive.

Read More:


The CAMICB Board of Commissioners approved a new continuing education policy for individuals seeking CMCA recertification.  The policy is as follows:

CMCA recertification requires the completion of 16 hours of continuing education within a two-year certification period.  Current CAMICB policy states credit hours may be earned only for education that meets either of the following criteria:

It pertains to community association operations or management
It contributes to the professional development of the CMCA

Further continuing education credit specifications include:

  • Educational courses are offered by approved course providers.
  • One half of the continuing education credits may be obtained through in-house training courses.
  • Local law seminars and local college or university courses pertaining to accounting, business practices, computers, or foreign language will count toward the continuing education requirement
  • Courses related to buying and selling real estate are not acceptable.
  • Self-study credit must be pre-approved by CAMICB and is limited to no more than four hours every two years.
  • Teaching a course related to community association management can qualify for credit.
  • Publishing an article in a regional or national community association publication may qualify for credit.
  • One hour of credit equals one hour attended.
  • Credit for a course may only be submitted one time per recertification cycle.
  • Online learning must be interactive.  Interactive coursework is defined as requiring proof of participation.

The CAMICB Continuing Education Review Committee has reviewed and approved a list of coursework for CMCA recertification continuing education credit.  This list can be found on our website.

Coursework approved by a state regulatory agency for manager licensing requirements will be approved for CMCA recertification continuing education credit.  These states currently include: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, Virginia.

Community association management company in-house training material must be reviewed and approved by the CAMICB Continuing Education Review Committee. Only one half or eight (8) continuing education credits may be obtained through pre-approved in-house training courses.

CMCA prerequisite coursework is also approved for continuing education.  CMCAs may not use the coursework to meet both examination eligibility and continuing education requirements.  For example, if a CMCA used CAI’s M100: The Essentials of Community Association Management as their prerequisite education to sit for the CMCA examination, they may not submit it for CMCA recertification continuing education credit.

Coursework which meets the standard criteria may be submitted for review and approval to CAMICB. If proposed coursework is judged to meet the criteria set forth, it will be approved for a two-year cycle.

Coursework which has been previously approved by CAMICB, may be re-submitted for staff approval in consecutive years, if the coursework has not been altered between years.

A CMCA may seek approval from CAMICB for a course not provided by a pre-approved course provider.  CAMICB staff will review the learning objectives and credit allocation to determine eligibility.  CAMICB staff may consult a member of the Continuing Education Review Committee when necessary.

The changes mostly pertain to the approval of coursework.  Check to make sure your CE course providers have been approved by CAMICB by checking our online list.  If they haven’t, send over the course info (I.e. learning objectives, outline, etc.) to our Recertification Associate, Rachel LaCroix at  She will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

In the News

From the Daily Dose

HOA Fees Outpace Home Prices

Homeowner Association fees (HOA) have risen across the nation, even outpacing inflation, according to a report from Trulia. The average monthly HOA in 2005 was $250, but by 2015, that number grew to $331, outpacing both national housing prices and inflation. HOA fees are primarily used to help in-the-newscover the cost of maintaining community common spaces such as pools and landscaping. This can include both multi-family homes and single-family houses in a community.

Trulia notes that the financial crisis did not do much to slow the rising HOA fees, even in the face of dropping home prices. Trulia’s data attempts to identify what kind of properties are likely to have high HOA fees.

Using data from the U.S. Census, Trulia found that HOA fee increases outpaced home prices. Between 2005 and 2015, HOA fees rose 32.4 percent, while the median home price rose only 15.1 percent. HOA fees are particularly higher in older buildings. HOA fees for homes built in 2005 or later were, on average, $90 cheaper than homes built between 1960 and 1969. Smaller homes also tend to have smaller HOA fees, and data shows that an additional bedroom could mean $30 more per month in HOA fees.

Trulia links the rising cost of HOA fees to aging homes. The average age of buildings occupied by homeowners is 5 years older than it was in 2005, 36 years compared to 41 years. As buildings got older, HOA fees rose, even throughout the recession.

Trulia looked at the largest metros to see where HOA fees differ. New York took the top spot, with average HOA fees averaging $571 per month. Nashville, Tennessee enjoys the cheapest average HOA fees, averaging $194 per month, closely followed by Las Vegas at $198 per month.

By metro, HOA fees increased the most in the Virginia Beach, Virginia area, between 2005 and 2015, jumping up 75.4 percent. Though New York may have the highest HOA fees, it saw the least change, as average HOA fees only increased 12.8 percent in that time.

Read all of what Trulia has to say here:

HOAs and Marijuana

The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) put out a deep dive on marijuana laws and use in America.  NCSL stated, “Marijuana has lit up conversations and controversy across the country. It’s a hotly contested and complicated issue for states to weed through, and no doubt will remain high on legislative agendas for the foreseeable future.”

Aside from the legislative agendas, how is your community dealing with the issue of marijuana?  Do you already have smoking or odor related restrictions?  Let us know in the comments and check out the latest research on everything from taxation to decriminalization here:

weed-policiesGraph by NCSL