CMCA Recertification

CAMICB sent reminder notices this month to individuals who need to recertify and/or pay their annual service fee by October, 2016. 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, 2014 and October 1, 2016 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.

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

Stay Current with Smartbrief!

Have you signed up for Community Association Management SmartBrief yet? CAMICB provides a free, weekly e-mail newsbrief specifically designed for community association managers. Sign up here.

This complimentary resource is aimed at bringing you a quick, two-minute read that will help you keep up-to-date with the latest news and trends in our profession. SmartBrief will provide short summaries of the news articles that will be of interest to you as a community association manager. We know it will save you time, keep you informed and add to your success. I hope you will subscribe.

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The Art of Being Friends With Your Boss

By Lauren Laitin

 That line between being manager and employee and buddy-buddy is a tricky one to navigate. You don’t want to be too buttoned up, but you don’t want to color too far outside the lines either. You want to have a great relationship with your supervisor, but you don’t want to forget about the ever-present asymmetry of power. So how do you walk the tightrope of being friendly with your boss while stopping short of being close pals?

 1. Leave the Crazier, Most NSFW Parts Out

 You know that moment when everyone is gathered around the coffeemaker, hoping that third cup will do the trick. One colleague mentions the party he went to on Friday night; another one talks about the new guy she’s seeing. Sharing the escapades of your weekend is fine with co-workers who are also good friends, but your boss doesn’t need to be regaled with tales of your crazy Saturday night, no matter how friendly the two of you are.

 A key component of any great employee is strong judgment. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes or does things he might not choose not to repeat if given a do-over, and if those things don’t relate to work and don’t reflect well on you, there’s no need for your boss to know about them.

2. Follow Your Boss’ Lead

ThinkstockPhotos-478572312

 When it comes to casual conversations with your boss, follow her lead. Not every conversation has to be about work; in fact, you probably don’t want it to be that way. It’s great to be able to talk to your supervisor casually about things other than spreadsheets and client deliverables, but developing a strong rapport means venturing off professional topic too. When those side conversations pop up, let your manager pick the topic—at least initially. Once you’ve established that going off on non-work related tangents is OK from time to time, you can then decide to strike up conversation on the TV show you’re binging or the new restaurant you tried over the weekend.

 3. Know Your Triggers and Your Limits

 Everyone has things that push him over the edge—pet peeves, personal insecurities, workplace drama. But before you blow off steam in front of your calm and collected manager, take a deep breath and, if necessary, excuse yourself for a couple of minutes to recollect yourself. Losing your cool or misfiring your emotions rarely goes over well, and if you act in haste you’ll likely be holding your head in your hands later on when you realize how easily your bitch session could’ve been avoided.

 Being aware of your limits is right up there with knowing what triggers you. Ask yourself honestly how many glasses of wine you can consume before you become a person you’re not so interested in your boss seeing, or before you find it difficult to stick to the topics you’ve decided are kosher for sharing with your boss.

 4. Don’t Share Anything You Wouldn’t Want Him to Remember

 It’s tempting to share your views when the conversation is in full swing and your boss is sharing his frustrations about what’s going wrong with the company. Keep in mind that your boss will continue to be in a position of power long after he’s stopped being irritated. If you’ll be sorry you said it when he gets back to loving the company with all his heart, save your venting for your mom instead. Remember that active listening can be just as engaging as sharing your own views—not to mention it leaves you with far fewer causes for nightmares.

 While nobody expects you to be perfect, the old less-is-more adage works quite well when it comes to being friends with your boss. She evaluates your work, and makes decisions about your compensation, workload, and promotion status. There’s no need to be aloof and pretend like you don’t have a life outside the office, but it’s important to keep the relationship dynamic in mind.

FAA Drone Regulations

By Patrick C. Miller

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today released its long-awaited rule for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) on drones weighting less than 55 pounds conducting commercial operations.

A news release issued by the FAA said the rule’s provisions are designed to minimize risks to other aircraft, as well as people and property on the ground. Key aspects of the rule include:

–       A requirement for UAS pilots to keep their aircraft within visual line of sight.

–       Allowing UAS operations during daylight and at twilight for drones equipped with anti-collision lights.drones

–       Height and speed restrictions and other operational limits, such as prohibiting flights over unprotected people on the ground who aren’t directly participating in the UAS operation.

–       A process to waive some restrictions if an operator proves the proposed flight will be conducted safely under a waiver.

To apply for waivers, the FAA plans to make an online portal available for applications in the months ahead. The agency also provided links the following online documents:

–       Small UAS rule summary

–       Advisory Circular – How to use the rule

–       Complete text of the small UAS rule

The new rule doesn’t go into effect for another 60 days, but the reaction from industry and Capitol Hill was generally positive.

Brian Wynne, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), called the rule’s release a critical milestone in the UAS integration process and a “victory for American businesses and innovators.”

“It establishes a clear regulatory framework and helps to reduce many barriers to civil and commercial operations, allowing anyone who follows the rules to fly in the national airspace,” he said.

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, applauded the FAA for releasing a rule that helps safely integrate UAS into the national airspace. However, he added that the U.S. continues to lag behind many other countries in adopting UAS technology.

“I encourage the FAA to continue to work with stakeholders and industry to ensure that the United States stays globally competitive in fully embracing the potential of new innovation in unmanned technology,” he said.

Wynne said that according to UAVSI’s economic reports, expansion of UAS technology will create more than 100,000 jobs and generate more than $82 billion to the economy in the first decade after integration.

“We need to make sure we are doing all we can to support the UAS industry’s growth and development; otherwise we risk stunting a still-nascent industry and restricting the many beneficial uses of this technology,” he said.

Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary, said. “We are part of a new era in aviation, and the potential for unmanned aircraft will make it safer and easier to do certain jobs, gather information and deploy disaster relief. We look forward to working with the aviation community to support innovation, while maintaining our standards as the safest and most complex airspace in the world.”

 

For more on the UAS Industry, follow us on Twitter @UASMagazine

In the News

in-the-newsNV HOA recognized for “Bear Logic”

Homeowners, vacationers and even day visitors need to think about their property and even their campsites as a bear would.

 

Rentals an issue for FL Condos

Some of those condos that are attracting short-term renters have bylaws that prohibit leasing for less than 90 days at a time.

 

Sex offender and HOA at odds

 A registered sex offender is challenging attempts to keep him from moving into a local housing addition. After learning that a change in Ohio state law made it illegal for a registered sex offender to reside within 2,000 feet of homeowners association parks, Norman police and Graham’s probation officer told him he needed to move.

Icebreakers for Networking

y Lolly Daskal President and CEO, Lead From Within

A simple hello can lead to a million things. Know the right phrases to be successful.

Networking events are a great opportunity to make valuable contacts, professionally and personally. But many people stress over the pressure of trying to connect quickly and impressively with complete strangers. Some even stay away because they can’t get comfortable with the idea.

 It’s definitely a situation that can prey on any insecurities you have, but if you prepare well, you can know that you won’t be caught in a long weird silence or trying to think of something to say that doesn’t sound awkward. Then you’ll be ready not just for networking events but for company picnics, conferences, cocktail parties, and any other social events that take you outside your circle of family and friends.

 Here are eight perfect icebreakers to learn and practice.

 1. Hi, my name is . . .

 Start with the basics. Put out your hand, flash a genuine smile, make eye contact, and introduce yourself. From there the person you’re talking with will almost certainly share their name, and you’re already off to a good start.

 2. What do you do?

 People love to talk about themselves. If you’re inquisitive and curious, most people will pick it up from there and carry the talking. Again, it’s a question of starting with the basics.

 3. What business are you in?

 A slightly different version of “What do you do?” Either can be appropriate, depending on the event and the person. You may even want to use both. If you learn that you’re talking with an accountant, you can ask, “Are you with an accounting firm, or do you work for a business in a different industry?”

 4. What do you like about your job?

 Open-ended questions like this are a great follow-up, because they probably can’t be answered in a couple of words. It reinforces positivity and communicates interest in their work.

 5. How did you get started in this kind of work?

 You can learn so much about someone if you hear even a bit about their journey instead of focusing exclusively on the here and now. And when people start telling their story, things can really get interesting.

 6. What are you hoping to get out of this event?

 Obviously this isn’t a question to ask at, say, a birthday party for a board member, but if the focus is professional, it’s worth a try. It gives the other person a chance to communicate something about themselves indirectly–is their answer funny, sarcastic, sincere, dismissive?

 7. I love your work.

 If you’re talking with someone well-known, expressing admiration for their work can be a good starting place. From there, you can pivot into something more open-ended, like “I heard you speak about your new project at last year’s conference–how is that going?” or “One of the ideas in your book really helped me through a rough patch . . . “

 8. What advice would you give someone just starting out in your industry?

 With an industry veteran or older person, an open-ended hypothetical like this can lead you to valuable insights. You may also want to ask how the industry has changed during the course of their career.

 The bottom line is this: Be interested in learning more about others, and you’ll always have something to ask. Be willing to engage in give and take and give something of yourself as well, and you’ll soon wonder what it is you were so intimidated by.

Storms and Your HOA

By Spectrum Management

disaster

You were just hit by a big storm, you know there is damage and are grateful everyone is safe; and that you have insurance. But, did you know that you as a homeowner are responsible to prevent additional damage and if you don’t mitigate then it could get very expensive?

Failure to mitigate post-storm damages can have detrimental consequences for homeowners. An example from a recent hail storm tells the tale. During the storm, a homeowner’s roof sustained what appeared to be minor damage. Because the damage did not cause immediate or noticeable leakage and caused only a few roof tiles to break loose, the homeowner delayed reporting any claim to their insurer. Weeks go by, a heavy storm occurs, and the homeowner now notices a leak in the roof. This leak caused flood damage that may not be covered by insurance. This problem could have been avoided had the homeowner enlisted their insurance professional and began mitigating damages as quickly as possible after the original loss occurred. In many cases, damages that result from failure to report a loss at the time of occurrence or failure to prevent future damages may not be covered, leaving the policyholder responsible for damages.

Here are some important steps to take for moving forward when a storm damages your property:

  1. Inspect for Damages
    1. Take pictures to document the loss. This is important because the burden is on you as the insured to PROVE a loss occurred. If your insurance company has any questions, they will send out an adjuster (see below).
    2. Your Association’s insurance (or your personal carrier) will likely cover hail-damage losses. And if the hail penetrated the roof or broke out windows, any water damage from driven rain will likely be covered as well; however, …
    3. You and your Association have a duty to protect your property from future damages. This means that if the hail broke your windows and rain comes in anytime after the storm, your insurance will likely NOT cover that water damage because the idea is you should have protected your property.
  1. Make Emergency Repairs
    1. Follow up on the above if you have damages that pose additional risk (your windows are busted out/all of the shingles blew off your roof, your exterior drains are covered with debris, etc., because you need to make immediate repairs to prevent further loss.
    2. Your insurance will reimburse the costs for putting a tarp on your roof, plywood to board up your windows, etc.
  1. Get Estimates for Fixing the Property
    1. Hail is not an everyday occurrence in San Antonio, and insurance carriers are now swamped with many more claims than usual. If you have an insurance adjuster come out to your property, here’s an idea of the timeline involved:
      • File the claim + 1 Day
      • Insurance carrier responds and assigns adjuster + 2 Days
      • Insurance adjuster hires an independent contractor to create a report/estimate + 2 Days
      • Independent contractor takes pictures of damages/creates report for adjuster + 14 Days normally, + 21 Days if they are backlogged
      • Adjuster reviews independent contractor’s report + 7 Days normally, + 14 Days if they are backlogged
      • Check issued + 7 to 14 Days
      • TOTAL TIME: Best Case: 33 Days from claim to payment (1 Month)/if backlogged: 44 Days (1 1/2 Months)
    2. BUT if you get pictures and estimates, the insurance carrier MAY rather pay you a little more than normal to save on the cost of hiring a contractor, and it’s a much faster timeline:
      • Inspect property and take pictures + 1 Day
      • Receive estimates from contractor +1 to 7 Days
      • Insurance carrier files your claim with estimates and documentation + 0 Days
      • Insurance carrier responds and assigns adjuster + 2 Days
      • Adjuster sees that they already have everything they need in their file (pictures, estimates) to decide claim + 0 days
      • Check issued + 7 to 14 Days
      • TOTAL TIME: As soon as 11 Days to get a check in hand, depending on how long your contractor takes

 

Do a 30-Day Challenge

By Christina DesMarais

A psychologist explains why pushing yourself with a fresh habit results in several valuable benefits.

Think about the most successful people you know. Do they handle themselves differently compared with others in your circles? Whether it’s consistently getting out of bed before dawn, taking their health seriously, or relentlessly working on self-improvement, it cannot be denied that these high achievers challenge themselves, and not just at work. That’s according to psychologist Dr. Jason Richardson, who maintained top-10 status on the professional BMX circuit for most of his 15-year career, retiring with a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games. His philosophy: Whether it’s eating differently, biking to work, taking a dance or cooking class, or even brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand, trying out a new habit for 30, 60, or 90 days brings huge benefits. Here’s what he says you can gain by challenging yourself on a personal level.

 1. Expectationsold life new life

 By constantly striving for self-improvement, you are role modeling diligence. “It would be hard for others to complain about you asking your team to do the same,” he says.

 2. Empathy

 When you challenge yourself, you become acutely aware of what it is like to venture on a new path. “Constantly dealing with your own emotions during a challenge can help you coach and communicate to your team on a more cellular level as they experience their respective growing pains,” he says.

 3. Perspective

 Pushing yourself forces your brain to find the best way to get things done. And if you practice a new skill long enough, your neurons fire and wire together to make it a habit. “We learn to look at things differently,” he says. “We connect dots that might not have otherwise even been noticed.”

 4. Mettle

 This word is a noun that means “courage and fortitude.” It’s true–self-improvement takes time, dedication, and strength. “It is good to know you still got it and can get it,” he says. “More importantly, you are willing to go for it.”

 

In The News

Airport Issues

A revitalized airport is seeing increased flights and thriving business activity that spurs the local economy. But some local residents are feeling that all that activity is coming at the expense of their tranquility.

 Flag Day Troubles flags_porch

A flag flap had some Hutto homeowners on the defensive, facing off with their homeowners’ association on when they can fly the U.S. flag

 HOA and Government Service

Fearing a homeowners association’s influence in city government, Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal asked its members who serve on government boards to choose: resign from the association or the boards.

 

5 Solutions to Open Office Problems

By Stacey Gawronski

Here’s how you can overcome the noise and other distractions in your work environment to get more done.

 The closest thing I’ve ever had to a regular office (read: non-open) was a nifty little cubicle. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was actually quite spacious, and, of course, it was private. I might not have had a door to close, but I had makeshift walls around me, making the distractions few and far between.

 My experience with the cubicle no doubt made my transition to the wall-less environment less daunting than peers who’d grown used to occupying a space with physical boundaries, like a door. Like most open-office employees, I’m used to working on a computer mere inches from my colleagues.

 The open office, at least a decade in the making now, has its critics. A recent Fast Company article asserts that “Open-plan offices have been found to reduce productivity and impair memory.” Moreover, the article states: “They’ve also been associated with high staff turnover.”

 The lack of privacy and noise are obviously problematic. But, because it seems as if the trend’s only growing, if you work in such an environment, there’s only one thing to do: Deal with it. Here are five common issues you encounter and solutions for navigating them so that you can be your most productive self.

 1. It’s Loud

 This is the most obvious problem and not one that you can do much about, unfortunately. If Tim and Rita two desks down are having a riveting discussion on the latest marketing tools’ impact on traffic, you can’t very well shush them, and you certainly can’t ask your co-worker to take her sales call elsewhere just because you’d like some peace and quiet. What to do then?

 Buy Noise-Cancelling Headphones

 I discovered these Bose ear buds about six months ago, and I’ve never looked back. Life-changing isn’t an overstatement. With that said, they’re also not cheap, so if you can get your employer to spring for them as a necessary work-related expense, you won’t regret it. (But if you can’t, and want a reason to justify them beyond work, know that they’re awesome for traveling, too.) Even if you’re not someone who likes working with music on, the noise-cancelling feature sans sound works wonders.

And, if this purchase is not an option right now, you can try ear plugs or regular headphones, which are a distant second-;but at least they’re inexpensive and helpful for muffling distracting sounds. Or, if you pair regular old headphones with these free ambient noise sites, you’ll be on your way to tuning everyone out.

 2. Your Co-Worker’s Personal Call’s Distracting

 You can’t very well get frustrated with Tara for taking her fiancé’s call at her desk; where else is she supposed to go in the bustling open space? While one can hope that our colleagues aren’t regularly taking lengthy personal calls from the seat two feet away from us, on occasion it’s bound to happen, and you’ve got to either work through it unfazed or…

 Switch Locations

 Does your office have additional communal work spaces? Couches and coffee tables for you to put your feet up on? A corner table? Proceed to another area. Many companies understand the need for quiet space, so if your organization has a designated no-talking area, relocating there is a good bet anytime the distractions around your assigned seat threaten to zap all productivity and focus.

 As the Fast Company piece points out, “We need the freedom to choose what works for us,” and maybe sometimes that’s interpreted as steering clear of your too-small desk.

 And if there isn’t a quiet spot available, use this as a reason to do something less urgentthat you’ve been meaning to do-;from grabbing lunch, to speaking with a co-worker about an upcoming project, to knocking out a few mindless tasks that’ve been sitting on your desk. By the time you wrap them up, the call will hopefully be over.

 3. It’s Freezing

 My current office is usually really cold. One day when it was particularly icy, I asked if we could turn the air conditioning down. But because I’m not comfortable asking for my temperature preferences to be accommodated every day, I’ve had to problem-solve in other ways. I’ve made myself at home by bringing in items from home that keep me warm and focused.

 Get Cozy

 Go home tonight and grab your favorite hoodie, or beanie, or both. Do you have an extra blanket lying around? What about some thick wool socks? A microwavable heating pad? It may sound like overkill, but if the office chill is preventing you from getting anything done, it’s actually just your best recourse. Plus, it’s been suggested that personalizing your workspace can aid in productivity. No need to stop at a desk plant and framed photo then. Bring in whatever’s reasonable to make you comfortable and keep you plugging along.

 4. There’s an Unpleasant Smell

 Whether it’s a co-worker who missed the memo about appropriate cologne application or a colleague with a penchant for egg salad, the nose-scrunching scents of others can be distracting. But pointing out someone’s body odor isn’t something most of us will be comfortable with, so solution number two may be in order here. If, on the other hand, it’s a passing, unpleasant scent, get up and…

 Go for a Walk

 There are days when I’m so into my work that I nearly forget how much better I’ll be for the rest of the day if only I take a walk around the block or run out for a coffee. At the very least, a 10-minute stroll will refresh you and allow you to escape during your co-worker’s stinky lunch break.

 5. You Want to Be in on the Conversation

 Whether your co-workers are talking about the election, their Netflix queues, or a project that you’ll eventually have some part of, it can be hard to stay tuned into what’s in front of you when there are so many interesting conversations taking place around you throughout the day. Do you stop what you’re doing to chime in with your opinion on the big blockbuster your colleagues are talking about, or do you force yourself to drown them out and finish the presentation you started earlier in the day?

 Pick and Choose

 I’ll admit I have a hard time not jumping into a conversation I feel that I can contribute to; in fact, I’m always impressed when others don’t join in when I’m talking to someone about something which I’m sure they must find intriguing. But, I realized recently, in order to stay relatively on task and feel good about your to-do list, it’s all about picking and choosing when to add your two cents and when to coax your perked-up ears to shut out the distracting chatter around you.

 There are a lot of things you can negotiate when you receive a job offer, but, unfortunately, a private office probably isn’t one of them. In a lot of companies, even the CEOs don’t have offices with doors. I’m afraid until some major, damning workplace study linking the open office to employee inability to do good work-;any work!-;is revealed, many of us have no choice but to find a way to make this setting work for us.

 The upside? Learning to work around various distractions is a skill worth possessing, so continue to try out different solutions until you find one that works best for you. Because the more you can navigate distractions, the better you’ll be at your job.