Thursday, May 28, 2015

New Employee Spotlight

ACM is excited to welcome David Boyce, joining our firm as the newest Property Manager! David comes to us with almost 30 years experience in the Property Management industry and a B.S. degree in Psychology and Business as well as a Masters degree in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University.

Welcome, David!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New Employee Spotlight

ACM extends a warm welcome to Michelle Nicholson joining our team as a Community Association Manager! Michelle comes to us with 10 years of community association management experience within various positions. She is from Maryland and joins many of the fellow employees in cheering for the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens!

Welcome, Michelle!

Congratulations!



Congratulations to the following ACM team members who have successfully completed the M-100 “Essentials of Community Association Management” course and exam!

Mariah Connolly, Administrative Team
Amber Courtock, Administrative and Accounting Portfolio Team
Melody Flippo, Community Manager
Nicole Metz, Community Manager

This achievement is the first step toward earning a professional designation
in community association management!

The Top 10 Association Insurance Questions Continues!

We are up to question 4 of "The Top 10 Questions asked by Board Members and Community Managers Regarding HOA and Condo Association Insurance."

By: Brian J. Finnerty (CIC), Area Sr. Vice President, Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services

Question 4:
What do I need to have on my HO6 policy?

Answer:
What I suggest to most people is to have the association documents available when you talk to your personal insurance agent.  The state of Maryland makes it easier than a lot of other states because of the condominium law that governs the master policy and what it should cover.

So your personal agent should be familiar with the basics of what limits you need to carry on your HO6 policy.  Here are some items to consider however:
  •  How much in improvements and betterments have been made to your unit since original purchase?
  • How much in value do you have in furnishings and personal belongings
  • Have you considered a personal umbrella?
    • This policy can extend your liability limits above what you have on your auto and your homeowner liability
  • Do you have a personal articles floater?
    • Many items like jewelry have limitations on what the base property policy will pay.  By asking about a personal articles floater you can protect the full value of your more valuable items.
  • Have you considered “loss assessment” coverage?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

ACM Staff Apple Training




In ACM’s ongoing effort to transition to Mac computers, we sent our first group of employees to a training session at an Apple store. The Training Specialist at Apple reviewed Mac basics and answered questions from our staff. The Creative Specialist from the Apple Team said that our people were energetic, positive and eager to learn. Here’s what a few of our team members had to say:

The training today was excellent . This was a great opportunity to learn about key features and shortcuts that I was totally unaware of . The instruction was excellent and I left knowing that I can create and organize my files easier and have better overall access to information as I need it. Looking forward to more. 
Regional Manager, Charlene Pindell

Training was great. One of my biggest issues was getting my files and emails organized and now I know how. Sharing, air drop, drop box and so on. If you ever want to sign me up for another class I'm all in.
Community Manager, Michelle Alexander

Training was great! Very informative, showed us short cuts to navigate though systems, as well and filing and organizational techniques. I was very impressed. 
Administrative Assistant, Ashlee Miller

Our training instructors were great. The content of the course covered Finder, Spotlight Search, file and folder creation in Pages, document organization, the utilization of Launchpad, tagging, email and calendar synchronization, as well as a question and answer session. I found it informative overall, despite having used a Mac system for last year. It was beneficial to learn some of the organizational tools and system shortcuts, and to be able to ask some questions specific to my devices.
Chrystie Reif, Director of Training and Website Services

Next up - IPad training and more Mac training for new users.

ACM Welcomes Cynthia Hitt Kent and Ursula K. Burgess Special Guest Seminar Presenters



One week ago today, ACM hosted our first Board member training seminar of 2015. Our goal was helping Board members to better understand and navigate their association’s governing documents. Record attendance numbers proved the topic is one of great importance and even greater challenge among Association Board members. In order to tackle this complex subject area, ACM welcomed two expert attorneys in the field:  Cynthia Hitt Kent of the Law Offices of Cynthia Hitt Kent, and Ursula K. Burgess of Rees Broome PC.

Seminar Speaker Cynthia Hitt Kent

Nearly 70 Board members chose to attend one of three learning opportunities: two on-site sessions on May 14th, led by Ms. Kent, and an afternoon webinar on May 15th, led by Ms. Burgess. Guest feedback was compellingly positive; both speakers presented engaging and immensely helpful sessions. Board members came away with a practical understanding of the document hierarchy and the why’s and how’s of the purpose behind the creation of the documents themselves. 


Webinar recording link available by request.

ACM is grateful to our speakers and to our sponsors, American Bank and Atlantic Maintenance Group, who partnered with us to host this event for our Association Board members.
If you missed last week's sessions, you can still benefit by requesting an electronic copy of the seminar reference materials or a link to view the webinar recording. Email ACM Marketing Coordinator Sara Rolf at srolf@communitymanagers.net to take advantage of these learning opportunities!


Thanks American Bank for sponsoring our mid-day session!


Thanks AMG for sponsoring our evening session!

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Top 10 Association Insurance Questions Continued!

Today we discuss question 3 of "The Top 10 Questions asked by Board Members and Community Managers Regarding HOA and Condo Association Insurance."

By: Brian J. Finnerty (CIC), Area Sr. Vice President, Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services

Question 3:
Does my insurance provide coverage if we serve beer/wine/liquor at a community function?

Answer:
This question comes up mostly during pool season or the holidays when communities are contemplating having social gatherings.  In most cases the function is a BYOB style party.  In that case your General Liability typically provides what is called, “Host Liquor Liability”.  This simply states that as long as you are not manufacturing, selling, and or distributing alcohol then a claim that arises out of liquor liability would be covered.   There are some policies that also outline that if the event would require a liquor license then the host liquor liability will not be suitable.

The best thing to do is ask your agent what solution is best for you and your event.  We have plenty of clients that purchase liquor liability because they do have a cash bar at an event or host a party in a jurisdiction that requires a liquor license to be in force.  The other solution is to hire professional bartenders that carry their own liquor liability insurance.


Be sure to check back next week for the 4th installment! 

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Top 10 Questions asked by Board Members and Community Managers Regarding HOA and Condo Association Insurance

Today we share the second installment of the top 10 questions asked by Board Members and Community Managers regarding HOA and Condo Association Insurance!  

By:  Brian J. Finnerty (CIC), Area Sr. Vice President, Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services.

Question # 2:
What is Co-Insurance?

Answer:
Co-Insurance is a provision that can be found on many property insurance policies. This provision states that the insured must carry a certain amount of coverage in order to have a claim paid in full. Most Co-Insurance provisions suggest either 80%, 90%, or 100% of the buildings value be covered at the time of the loss in order for the loss to be covered in full.

For example, if you have a $1,000,000 building and 90% Co-Insurance you would need to carry at least $900,000. If you carried less than that at the time of loss the insured performs a calculation based on what you did carry and pays that percentage of the claim.

This can be difficult for a board to keep up with since labor and material costs are rapidly inflating. There are better solutions to programming your insurance policy. I suggest the board get “Agreed Value” endorsed to the policy. This negates any Co-Insurance provision that may already be on the policy. I also suggest the board routinely review their valuations for re-construction cost. The best way to do this is by getting an appraisal done or knowing your square footage of your buildings so that an accurate cost per square foot analysis can be done.  

Next week question #3 will be revealed! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Board Member Seminar Webinar Opportunity May 14 and 15 - Register Now!


 
ACM Presents:  Understanding Your Association’s Governing Documents
Featuring Special Guest Speaker

Cynthia Hitt Kent of The Law Office of Cynthia Hitt Kent, LLC
 

Audience: Community Association Board members
Where: American Community Management Hanover Office:

                        7484 Candlewood Road, Suite H, Hanover, Maryland 21076

Date:  Choice of 12:30–2:00 pm OR 5:00-6:30 pm (on-site), Thursday, May 14, 2015
 
OR
 
Webinar Summary Session (on-line), 2:00 pm, Friday, May 15, 2015

Featuring Special Guest Speaker

Ursula Koenig Burgess of Rees Broome PC
 

Discover useful information such as: 

·         How and why Governing Documents came into existence
·         Federal and State Laws affecting Community Associations
·         When to amend Declarations vs. Bylaws
·         How to understand the authority for enforcement that may already exist within your Association’s current documents 
 
Contact Sara Rolf to register at srolf@communitymanagers.net with your name, association and desired session date and time.Due to limited space, RSVP is required by Friday, May 8, 2015. 
**Materials and light refreshments provided**
We hope you can join us!

Monday, May 4, 2015

ACM Welcomes New Associations in May, 2015!

ACM is excited to welcome two new associations joining our Accounting and Administrative portfolio this May:

Spring Breeze Community Association, located in Columbia, Howard County

The Towns of Doolan Homeowners Association, located in Timonium, Baltimore County

We look forward to working with the homeowners and Board members in the Administrative management of your associations! 

The Top 10 Questions asked by Board Members and Community Managers Regarding HOA and Condo Association Insurance

Today is the first installment of the top 10 questions asked by Board Members and Community Managers regarding HOA and Condo Association Insurance!  

By:  Brian J. Finnerty (CIC), Area Sr. Vice President, Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services.

 Question # 1:
Is Flood Covered?

Answer:
Typically, Flood is an excluded coverage under all property policies.  Unless you have specifically endorsed your policy with Flood coverage or purchased a separate stand-alone flood policy you most likely do not have this peril covered.  There are some carriers that can provide a small sub-limit for “Surface Water” but this is not a replacement for flood coverage.  Ask your agent for a quote indication on flood.  Some policies depending on the flood zone have very reasonable premiums.


Check back next week for question # 2!