New CE opportunity

CAI is adding a 17th course to its Professional Management Development Program. Ethics (M-300), an online course that focuses on the nature of ethical standards and how they apply to community management, is the eighth 300-level course offered by CAI.

Available in early 2013,  the interactive course will teach students to apply the CAI’s Designation Code of Ethics for Management, examine the fundamental ethical responsibilities of a professional manager, resolve potential conflicts of interest, identify appropriate responses to the potential receipt of gifts and other remuneration, and identify situations where disclosure is necessary.

“Issues of ethics are not always black and white,” says David Jennings, CAI’s vice president of education. “If you’ve been in association management long enough, you know there are difficult gray areas. This course will help community managers navigate these difficult situations and avoid embarrassing and even career-threatening mistakes.”

Managers who take the course earn credits toward their CMCA certification. The NBC-CAM CMCA Continuing Education Review Committee has approved the M-300 Ethics course for six hours of CMCA continuing education credit.

Visit www.caionline.org/edcenter for more information or to register for PMDP courses.

CMCA Recertification

NBC-CAM sent reminder notices today to individuals who need to recertify by October 1, 2012.  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.  NBC-CAM 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, 2010 and 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.

NBC-CAM recenty hired Roland Richardson to assist with the recertification process.  Contact Roland at rrichardson@nbccam.org with any questions.

Second-hand smoke

(guest post by Lisa A. Magill)

Condominium board members that are feeling pressure from members to address the issue of second-hand smoke will be pleased to learn that there is a combined effort on the part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and others to advocate and encourage multifamily housing owners and operators to adopt smoke-free policies to protect residents from the dangers of second-hand smoke and to reduce property maintenance costs. A new 63 page manual for owners or management agents of federally assisted public and multi-family housing has been published that provides eye-opening facts for community leaders, managers and operators. Smoke Free Housing is a 63 page compilation of material that includes specific information that can be helpful in limiting or eliminating smoking on multifamily buildings, as well as links to additional resources.

From the manual:

  1. Over 140,000 fires were started by cigarettes, cigars and pipes in the U.S. causing $530 million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
  2. Twenty-five percent of people killed in smoking-related fires are not the actual smokers, with many being children of the smokers, neighbors or friends.
  3. Smoke-free housing saves on property maintenance costs from cleaning and painting stained walls and ceilings and repairing burn marks; and
  4. Secondhand smoke is also associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

As courts across the country are addressing nuisance claims brought by non-smokers, with more and more ruling in the non-smoker’s favor, smokers have been required to install air ventilation systems and extra insulation to prevent smoke from entering other units. Some communities are voluntarily becoming “smoke free” through amendments to their governing documents and some municipalities have adopted ordinances prohibiting smoking in private residential buildings altogether – even if confined within the unit!

The issue of second-hand smoke is not going to go away. There are options to consider if residents are pressuring the board to do something about the odor, adverse health impacts, costs and annoyances caused by second-hand smoke and resources such as the Smoke Free Housing manual are available to assist in the effort.

CMCAs Only – Information and Resources

As a CMCA, you have shown a commitment to your profession by staying informed about current community association issues and holding yourself to a high standard of professional conduct.

Check out the updated “CMCAs Only” section on our website. You’ll find

  • Resources to assist you in your career, including: CAI Professional Management Development Program (PMDP) course schedules,
  • Links to CAI chapters and the Job Market,
  • The Directory of Credentialed Professionals,
  • A sample press release you can use to spread the word about your certification,
  • Information you can share with your employers in order to gain support for your professional development,
  • Application and dates for recertification, so you can keep your CMCA certification current—and keep your homeowners and employers confident in your ability to provide quality service, and
  • How to stay connected to other CMCAs by joining the Listserv or subscribing to Community Association Management Smartbrief, the CMCA weekly e-newsletter.

How to Delegate Effectively

“Small-business owners who remain convinced they must do everything alone quickly burn out,” says Karen Southall Watts, an entrepreneurship and management consultant. Enlisting help is important, because it gives you the time and space to keep your operation running smoothly — and even grow the business.  Watts offers these tips for figuring out which tasks to delegate and how to do so effectively.

  • Start with the sweet spot. Take a moment to write down the tasks that are a perfect match for your core skills, Watts suggests. Chances are this list will line up with your passion and interests (in other words, what made you start the business in the first place). Perhaps you’re great at closing sales, designing products, or marketing to new customers. These are jobs you want to keep doing yourself.
  • Figure out what you can delegate “down.” Write down the tasks you do that don’t require a special skill set (or are so easy that you tend to do them on auto-pilot), such as filing papers, housekeeping, or sending mail and invoices. Consider hiring a secretary, virtual assistant, or other employee to take these over. Or, if you already have staff, consider who’s most appropriate to grab the baton.
  • Figure out what you can delegate “up.”Watts recommends that you also identify the tasks you do that require special knowledge, skills, or a license. Rather than struggle to figure out complex issues alone, you may want to hire an accountant to do your bookkeeping or taxes, a lawyer for contracts and legal work, or a copywriter to take over marketing and publicity.
  • Add to your current skill set. In some cases, it may be better to pay someone to handle short-term tasks which you can take over, at least in part, later on. For instance, if you’re not tech savvy, you might hire a designer to build a professional website for your business. Then, rather than relying on the designer every time you want to make small changes, learn a few basic skills. This is a case where over-delegation may actually be too costly: Perhaps you can take over updating content and maintaining a blog to keep the site fresh. In other words, delegate the heavy lifting, but keep the easy part for yourself.
  • Tell yourself to let go. Perfectionists have a hard time letting go of tasks because they feel no one can do them as well, Watts notes. If you fall into the “if you want something done right, do it yourself” category, focus on the free time you’ll gain by delegating. Provide clear, written instructions to your new helper(s). After a few weeks or months, assess their work. Provide feedback and listen to any input your contractor(s) or employee(s) may have. Chances are, the jobs will get done well without you. Best of all, you’ll be able to concentrate on the tasks you enjoy the most.

What are your tips for delegating work?  Read the full article here.

NBC-CAM is hiring!

Certification Assistant

Join our team!

NBC-CAM is a 16-year-old independent board that develops certification and standards for community association managers. We administer the CMCA examination, a rigorous, three-hour test that measures managers’ knowledge of community management best practices. Passing the CMCA examination and maintaining the standards of the CMCA certification is proof that a manager is a knowledgeable, ethical and professional. CMCA-certified managers have the skills to safeguard the assets of homeowners’ associations, giving homeowners peace of mind and protecting home values. For more information, go to www.nbccam.org.

Purpose of the Job

  • Manage the CMCA recertification process from start to finish, ensuring all CMCAs are audited and approved in a timely fashion.  Manage the NBC-CAM electronic document system to include the research of and transition to a more streamlined process. Increase customer satisfaction through excellent customer service in both verbal and written communications.

 Responsibilities

  • Coordinate the CMCA recertification process; including mailings, processing recertification applications, verifying documentation and compliance, coordinating the communication with CMCAs, and ensuring accurate data/record management (including NetFORUM and Tokopen). Managing the termination process including notifications, mailings, processing late submissions, document verification and compliance, updating records in NetFORUM and Tokopen.

  • Oversee the processing of all fees associated with the CMCA recertification applications.

  • Responsible for accurate maintenance and upkeep of the database.

  • Manage electronic document management system to include sorting, scanning and indexing documents for all CMCAs and candidates (TokOpen).

  • Assist the Certification Associate with managing the info@nbccam.org mailbox.

  • Serve as primary resource for telephone inquiries regarding the CMCA program.

  • Monitor communications to ensure accuracy and thorough information to minimize questions from customers.

  • Maintains ongoing communications with the CAI Education Department staff to share information regarding designations and certification.

 Required Skills

  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills

  • Detail oriented and excellent organization skills

  • Customer service experience and sound judgment

  • Strong word processing and database management skills

  • Ability to handle multiple projects and demands in a timely manner

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred, or related association experience and customer service support

  • Ability to work independently and take direction well

 Preferred Skills

  • Prior experience working for a non-profit in an office environment

  • Self-starter and flexible

If you or someone you know is interested, please contact our Certification Manager, Sara Duginske, at info@nbccam.org for more information. 

Recert Tips from Steven

As we enter into the October recertification cycle, Certification Assistant, Steven Gonzalez, has tips and tricks to make your life easier.  Steven has been with NBC-CAM for almost 1.5 years and handles the recertification process.  He is also our point person for customer service, so you may have spoken with him recently.  Below are some of Steven’s recommendations for successful application and recertification.

 

  1. If you are due to recertify and pay your annual service fee, send the paperwork and payment in together.  Sending the recertification application and payment separately will delay your recertification as we wait for your payment to be processed or vice versa.  “Oftentimes, people call me asking if I’ve processed their recertification, but until I receive payment, I cannot start the recertification review and audit.  It’s best to send everything in at once so I can start the review immediately,” stated Steven.
  2. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.  According to Steven, “More and more I am seeing people fill out the contact information section and not answer the questions or sign the app.  If you don’t complete the app, I will toss it out and email you to re-send a completed app.”
  3. NBC-CAM has discontinued CMCA cards.  “I have been getting calls lately about CMCA cards.  We stopped creating those over a year ago,” said Steven.  NBC-CAM conducted a survey of CMCAs and found that the majority of individuals did not find the CMCA cards useful.  As a result, they were discontinued.  If you cannot remember your recertification date, check online.
  4. NBC-CAM does not keep track of your continuing education.  “CMCAs often call asking how many CE credits they have.  We do not track that information.  It is the responsibility of the CMCA to track their continuing education and submit it to NBC-CAM when their recertification is due,” said Steven.  It is worth noting that any courses you take through CAI are tracked by CAI.  You can sign online at caionline.org and print your class certificate to submit as proof of continuing education.  Steven reminds everyone that, “We provide a continuing education worksheet to help CMCAs track their education.  It’s available online.”
  5. When paying by check, include the invoice number.  “Our Accounting Department is able to process payments much faster if the invoice number is on the check.  If it isn’t, we have to spend time locating the individual which adds to our turnaround time,” Steven said.  For management companies sending in one check for multiple individuals, please submit a list of names and invoices associated with that payment.
  6. Recertify online.  NBC-CAM has created an online recertification application!  Sign on to our website and recertify online.  Note: Have your 16 hours of continuing education proof handy because we’ll be asking you to enter it into the continuing education worksheet.  If you have an active AMS, PCAM, NAHC-RCM, FL CAM or NV CAM, grab your ID because we will be asking for the number.  “Recertifying online takes less than 10 minutes and it makes it easier for me to complete the review and recertify someone.  Everyone should be going online to pay their fees as well because the card is processed immediately and you get a printable receipt for your records.  I encourage our CMCAs to embrace this new online technology!” exclaimed Steven.

If you have questions about CMCA recertification, please read our comprehensive recertification webpage or contact us at info@nbccam.org.  Leave your questions in the comment section so everyone can benefit!