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CAI

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CERTIFICATE Education for homeowner leaders just got better.

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f you live in a condominium, homeowners association, or housing cooperative, you know how important it is to have an effective governing board of directors. The CAI Board Leader Certificate is designed to provide a foundation for effective community association board leadership. Whether you are an experienced board member or just thinking about getting involved, this certificate will help you become a more informed and effective leader. To Earn the CAI Board Leader Certificate: 1) Complete the CAI Board Leader Certificate Course (also known as the Board Leader Development Workshop). This course is offered in two formats: classroom instruction through CAI chapters, or an online, selfstudy course. 2) Acknowledge that you have

read and understand three key documents: ­ Model Code of Ethics for

Community Association Board Members ­ Community Association Governance Guidelines ­ Rights and Responsibilities for Better Communities Recognition Community leaders who complete the CAI Board Leader Certificate will receive a certificate of completion and recognition on the CAI website. Other Education Opportunities CAI also offers many other

learning opportunities for homeowner leaders including webinars and national conferences and events.


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WHAT GOES INTO A COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION S BUDGET?

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udgets are crucial to a community association’s financial operation. Just like for-profit businesses, association boards should work diligently to develop annual budgets that estimate revenue and expenses for the upcoming fiscal year. A properly drafted budget can help prevent reduced services, deteriorating property, or special assessments.

two types of budgets: an operating budget and a reserve budget. Operating budgets have unrestricted funds that are used to run the association throughout the fiscal year, while reserves have restricted funds saved for expenses that will occur in the future.

contingency funds, separate from the reserve budget, for unanticipated expenses such as extreme weather, economic conditions that could increase fees for products or services, emergency repairs, and lawsuits.

Some of the most common expenses that associations should include when drafting the The board is tasked with gathering the necessary financial operating budget are maintenance, taxes, utilities, information to project potential sources of income and expenses, insurance, and administrative Many state statutes and most costs. (See sidebar to the right.) including conducting a reserve governing documents impose a analysis, looking at bids for legal obligation on boards to Once your budget is drafted, develop an accurate budget and contracts, projecting utility or collect sufficient assessments to service increases, and comparing share it with homeowners so they past years’ budget trends. can review before the annual cover expenses. A detailed meeting. budget helps residents Certain line items constitute understand why assessment amounts are reasonable and how expenses that associations are required by law or contract to pay their money will be used. and should be allocated first. An association also should allocate Community associations have


COMMON EXPENSES TO INCLUDE WHEN DRAFTING THE OPERATING BUDGET q Maintenance Allocate line items that protect and enhance the community’s property. A maintenance schedule should be developed or amended annually for budget considerations, and service contracts should be checked to anticipate potential increases or to negotiate a better rate. q Taxes While assessments are not taxable, other sources of income, such as interest earnings, facility rental income, and income from goods and services, likely will be taxed. Other taxes that associations may need to pay include personal property, payroll (if it hires salaried employees), or real estate tax. q Utilities Associations should measure past consumption of electricity and water to anticipate any increases. Conducting a

professional utility audit can ensure meters and other equipment are functioning properly. The audit also can help an association determine if it can reduce expenses by installing energy-efficient systems. q Insurance An association should ask its insurance professional to audit current property and liability coverage and recommend appropriate protection that fits its needs. q Administrative costs These include expenses for professional services provided by consultants, reserve specialists, attorneys, and accountants, fees for banking and collecting delinquencies, as well as the costs of maintaining an office, including equipment, supplies, and phone and internet service. q Insurance An association should ask its insurance professional to audit current property and liability coverage and recommend appropriate protection that fits its needs.


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» M-100

The Essentials of Community Association Management CAI’s most popular course offers a comprehensive guide to community association management. The course is designed for new managers and an essential review for experienced managers. Each participant receives a community association guidebook filled with sample forms, templates, and time-saving tips for managing a successful community association. Course topics include: z Roles and responsibilities of managers, owners, committees, and the board z Developing, implementing, and enforcing rules z Organizing and conducting board meetings z Preparing budgets, financial statements, and funding reserves z Evaluating risk management and insurance programs z Preparing bid requests and identifying key contract provisions z Recruiting, selecting, and managing personnel

Designed exclusively for community association managers, CAI’s Professional Management Development Program (PMDP) features the most comprehensive education curriculum for professional managers seeking to increase their skills, knowledge, and job opportunities. Our chapter is hosting this course soon!

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opportunities for professional growth and education, visit the CAI Career Center at www.caionline.org/ CAICareerCenter.

Being a community manager requires specific knowledge and education. If you want to excel in your career and have personal career satisfaction, ensure you participate in CAI educational opportunities. This will make you the best manager you can be as well as ensure that your community is managed by the best! CATHLEEN M. DUNN, CMCA, AMS, PCAM

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UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANT DISTINCTION BETWEEN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MANAGERS AND PROPERTY MANAGERS By John Ganoe, CAE, CAMICB Executive Director

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common mistake in state legislatures considering community association manager licensing – and among the general public – is to lump community association managers and property managers into the same bucket. While both are very important roles, they are distinctly different professions with functions, skill sets and responsibilities specific to each.

A community association manager can manage every type of community: condominium associations, homeowner associations, resort communities and commercial tenant associations. A community association manager works directly with prcommunitypropertymanagementoperty owners and homeowners. Property managers oversee individual rental units or a group of rental units, such as an apartment complex. They’re responsible for managing the entire property while community association managers are responsible for common areas –

not individually owned properties. that there’s a slight overlap in a couple of the duties performed. “From a legislative standpoint, For example, both property this incorrect categorization managers and community occurs because state legislators association managers supervise misunderstand the nature of certain maintenance activities, community association such as swimming pool upkeep management,” said Matthew and trash removal. But it’s Green, CAMICB Director of important to understand that Credentialing Services. “They community association managers believe that community oversee and direct all aspects of association management skills running the business operation. This means, they authorize payment for association services; develop budgets and present association financial reports to Board members; direct the enforcement of restrictive covenants; perform site inspections; solicit, evaluate and assist in insurance purchases; and, even supervise the design and delivery of association recreational programs.

are identical to those of a property manager without recognizing the vastly different responsibilities of these two positions.” This misunderstanding of the two professions often bleeds into more general conversations occurring in this space. Compounding this is the reality

Property managers are responsible for managing the actual property and therefore handle the physical assets of the unit at the owner’s request. Property managers generally oversee rental units and leases. Their responsibilities might include finding or evicting tenants, collecting rent and responding to tenant complaints or specific requests.


If a property manager is responsible for a vacation or second home, he or she may arrange for services such as house sitting or local subcontracting necessary to maintain that property. Alternatively, an owner may opt to delegate specific tasks to a property manager and choose to handle other duties directly. Stephanie Durner, CMCA, AMS, who is the Director of Community Management at River Landing, a private gated golf course community in Wallace, NC, views the distinction this way, “While property managers are generally charged with overseeing physical structures that are used by people who are not the owners of the property, association managers represent the property owners themselves and are involved in just about every aspect of the overall community. For instance, if a

garage door is broken at a rental house, the tenant would call a property manager or owner/landlord. But if there’s a pothole that needs repair or if a neighbor’s dog is running loose through the neighborhood, that’s a task for the community association manager who both maintains the common areas and upholds the governing rules. To me, community association management is a more holistic approach that contributes to the overall quality of life for all the owners in a community.” Green emphasized, “While some job responsibilities are similar, community association managers have additional functions. It’s critical that community association management be recognized as distinct from property management, because association management requires a wider variety of knowledge and skills.”

“Because of this, the Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB) offers and maintains the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) credential, the only international certification program designed exclusively for managers of homeowner and condominium associations and cooperatives,” added Green. “Earning the CMCA credential means an individual has taken and passed the rigorous CMCA examination, proving they have a solid understanding of the business operations involved in being a community association manager.” For community association managers, the bottom line is they understand and are experienced and knowledgeable in the many facets of running a business operation, assuring they provide the best possible service to the associations for which they are responsible.

CAMICB was established in 1995 to develop and administer the CMCA program. CAMICB insists on high ethical standards for community association managers because it not only strengthens the CMCA program, but protects consumers and associations that hire community association managers.


Member of the Community Associations Institute


SOCIAL MEDIA IN YOUR COMMUNITY By Eric Tonsul

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hroughout history communication has changed drastically. From petroglyphs in caves telling the stories of ancient hunts and battles, to the pony express taking letters across the frontier, to the dial tones of “you've got mail� signaling an email has arrived, the barriers to communication have steadily dropped over time. That evolution has continued over the last 15 years with the rise of social media. Now, the barriers are virtually gone. But what does that mean for our community associations? Should community associations have a social media page/pages? And if yes, what are ways the page can be implemented?


The Stats As of 2019,there are roughly 3.4 billion(or 45% of the world's population)active social media users around the world.1In the United States, the percentage is even greater,with 72% of the adult population active on at least one social media page.2Translating that to our communities, it is safe to assume that almost 3/4 of the homes in any community are on at least one social media platform. While most are using social media to communicate with family and friends, people often use social media platforms to interact with companies, brands and organizations. Today, more than 40% of digital consumers are using social media to interact and research brands.3There is almost an inherent expectation that all organizations should have a social media page. But where does this leave our community associations as organizations?

Should Community Associations Have Social Media Pages? For many years, attorneys would advise their clients with a simple answer to this question – NO!There were concerns regarding the regulation of free speech. There were also concerns the pages would turn into platforms for board and neighbor bashing. Ultimately, it was believed social media pages caused more problems than they solved and increased the potential for liability, but as social media consumes more and more of our lives,homeowner expectations have risen on associations having a social media presence in order to share community updates, event information and emergency announcements. If your association feels it is necessary to have a social media page, you should have a plan to implement the social media page to ensure it reaches the greatest level of success.

Strategy for Implementation All successful social media pages have a plan behind their success and an association social media page should be no different. The first steps to outlining your social media plan should be to define the purpose of the plan. For associations that purpose should be to push out information to the members, receive information from the members and ultimately foster communication with the members and between the members. The page content should be limited to the defined purpose of the page. If the purpose of the page is to provide updates on community related events, the content on the page should be community event related. Stretching too far from the purpose of the page can lead to issues that open the page to controversy. A helpful tool to avoid this potential issue is to adopt a social media policy as a part of your plan.


Your social media policy should begin by defining the terms of use for the page. In your terms, identify the purpose of the page. If your page will consist of community-related posts, identify the scope of those posts (lost pets, classifieds, social activities, etc.) Along with defining the types of content your page will host, your social media policy should also identify the types of posts that will not be allowedand the potential ramifications users can face for violating your terms of use policy. The association should not allow obscene or unlawful posts, or posts and comments that are harassing or threatening in nature. It is a good idea to refrain from posting copyrighted material or images. Posting this type of content can subject the page to being suspended or deleted by the social media network. The policy should include language stating no advertising or junk messaging will be allowed on the page to prevent the page from becoming a marketplace that advertises homeowners' addresses and opening

up the association to potential liability. In addition to not allowing a marketplace to develop, the policy should not allow for posting of personal information of the residents, such as addresses, images of their homes, or complaints regarding neighbor-to-neighbor disputes. If there is a post that violates the terms of use, a strict set of consequences should be clearly defined. A violation allows for the post to be deleted without notice and continued or egregious violations will allow for the termination of access rights of the user. Most importantly, the social media policy should determine who is the administrator of the social media page and, as a result, the arbiter of potential violations. This person could be a board member, a committee member, or a community manager, but there is a potential cost factor involved with the community manager. Once all of these steps are defined and the plan is in place, the association is ready to launch the association's new “official” social media page. But be prepared for problems that may arise, including “unofficial” social media pages, by consulting with the association's legal counsel to develop the best course of action to respond to any issue. 1https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-statisticsfor-social-media-managers/ 2 https: //www.pewresearch.org/internet /factsheet/social-media/ 3https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-statisticsfor-social-media-managers/ ©2020 RMWBH PC

Social Media Policy

Eric Tonsul is a shareholder in the firm's Real Estate section as a leader of the Community Association Team. Eric is Board Certified in Property Owners Association Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. His practiceincludes representation of land developers, community associations, condominium associations and other common interest communities. Eric graduated from South Texas College of Law in 2000.


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COMMON MALWARE TYPES: CYBERSECURITY 101 By Neil DuPaul The amount and variety of malicious programs out there is enough to make your head spin. This blog post will break down the common types of malicious programs and provide a brief descrip on of each. What is Malware? Malware is short for malicious software, meaning software that can be used to compromise computer functions, steal data, bypass access controls, or otherwise cause harm to the host computer. Malware is a broad term that refers to a variety of malicious programs. This post will define several of the most common types of malware; adware, bots, bugs, rootkits, spyware, Trojan horses, viruses, and worms

Adware Malware is short for malicious software, meaning software that can be used to compromise computer functions, steal data, bypass access controls, or otherwise cause harm to the host computer. Malware is a broad term that refers to a variety of malicious programs. This post will define several of the most common types of malware; adware, bots, bugs, rootkits, spyware, Trojan horses, viruses, and worms

Bot Bots are software programs created to automatically perform specific operations. While some bots are created for relatively harmless purposes (video gaming, internet auctions, online contests, etc), it is becoming increasingly common to see bots being used maliciously. Bots can be used in botnets (collections of computers to be controlled by third parties) for DDoS attacks, as spambots that render advertisements on websites, as web spiders that scrape server data, and for distributing malware disguised as popular search items on download sites. Websites can guard against bots with CAPTCHA tests that verify users as human.


Bug In the context of software, a bug is a flaw produces an undesired outcome. These flaws are usually the result of human error and typically exist in the source code or compilers of a program. Minor bugs only slightly affect a program’s behavior and as a result can go for long periods of time before being discovered. More significant bugs can cause crashing or freezing. Security bugs are the most severe type of bugs and can allow attackers to bypass user authentication, override access privileges, or steal data. Bugs can be prevented with developer education, quality control, and code analysis tools.

Ransomware Ransomware is a form of malware that essentially holds a computer system captive while demanding a ransom. The malware restricts user access to the computer either by encrypting files on the hard drive or locking down the system and displaying messages that are intended to force the user to pay the malware creator to remove the restrictions and regain access to their computer. Ransomware typically spreads like a normal computer worm (see below) ending up on a computer via a downloaded file or through some other vulnerability in a network service.

Rootkit A rootkit is a type of malicious software designed to remotely access or control a computer without being detected by users or security programs. Once a rootkit has been installed it is possible for the malicious party behind the rootkit to remotely execute files, access/steal information, modify system configurations, alter software (especially any security software that could detect the rootkit), install concealed malware, or control the computer as part of a botnet. Rootkit prevention, detection, and removal can be difficult due to their stealthy operation. Because a rootkit continually hides its presence, typical security products are not effective in detecting and removing rootkits. As a result, rootkit detection relies on manual methods such as monitoring computer behavior for irregular activity, signature scanning, and storage dump analysis. Organizations and users can protect themselves from rootkits by regularly patching vulnerabilities in software, applications, and operating systems, updating virus definitions, avoiding suspicious downloads, and performing static analysis scans.

Spyware Spyware is a type of malware that functions by spying on user activity without their knowledge. These spying capabilities can include activity monitoring, collecting keystrokes, data harvesting (account information, logins, financial data), and more. Spyware often has additional capabilities as well, ranging from modifying security settings of software or browsers to interfering with network connections. Spyware spreads by exploiting software vulnerabilities, bundling itself with legitimate software, or in Trojans.


Trojan Horse A Trojan horse, commonly known as a “Trojan,” is a type of malware that disguises itself as a normal file or program to trick users into downloading and installing malware. A Trojan can give a malicious party remote access to an infected computer. Once an attacker has access to an infected computer, it is possible for the attacker to steal data (logins, financial data, even electronic money), install more malware, modify files, monitor user activity (screen watching, keylogging, etc), use the computer in botnets, and anonymize internet activity by the attacker.

Virus A virus is a form of malware that is capable of copying itself and spreading to other computers. Viruses often spread to other computers by attaching themselves to various programs and executing code when a user launches one of those infected programs. Viruses can also spread through script files, documents, and cross-site scripting vulnerabilities in web apps. Viruses can be used to steal information, harm host computers and networks, create botnets, steal money, render advertisements, and more.

Worm Computer worms are among the most common types of malware. They spread over computer networks by exploiting operating system vulnerabilities. Worms typically cause harm to their host networks by consuming bandwidth and overloading web servers. Computer worms can also contain “payloads” that damage host computers. Payloads are pieces of code written to perform actions on affected computers beyond simply spreading the worm. Payloads are commonly designed to steal data, delete files, or create botnets. Computer worms can be classified as a type of computer virus, but there are several characteristics that distinguish computer worms from regular viruses. A major difference is that computer worms have the ability to self-replicate and spread independently while viruses rely on human activity to spread (running a program, opening a file, etc). Worms often spread by sending mass emails with infected attachments to users’ contacts.

Malware Symptoms While these types of malware differ greatly in how they spread and infect computers, they all can produce similar symptoms. Computers that are infected with malware can exhibit any of the following symptoms: Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ

Increased CPU usage Slow computer or web browser speeds Problems connecting to networks Freezing or crashing Modified or deleted files Appearance of strange files, programs, or desktop icons Programs running, turning off, or reconfiguring themselves (malware will often reconfigure or turn off antivirus and firewall programs) Strange computer behavior Emails/messages being sent automatically and without user’s knowledge (a friend receives a strange email from you that you did not send)


Malware Preven on & Removal There are several general best practices that organizations and individual users should follow to prevent malware infections. Some malware cases require special prevention and treatment methods, but following these recommendations will greatly increase a user’s protection from a wide range of malware: Install and run anti-malware and firewall software. When selecting software, choose a program that offers tools for detecting, quarantining, and removing multiple types of malware. At the minimum, anti-malware software should protect against viruses, spyware, adware, Trojans, and worms. The combination of anti-malware software and a firewall will ensure that all incoming and existing data gets scanned for malware and that malware can be safely removed once detected. Ÿ Keep software and operating systems up to date with current vulnerability patches. These patches are often released to patch bugs or other security flaws that could be exploited by attackers. Ÿ Be vigilant when downloading files, programs, attachments, etc. Downloads that seem strange or are from an unfamiliar source often contain malware. Ÿ

Spam Spam is the electronic sending of mass unsolicited messages. The most common medium for spam is email, but it is not uncommon for spammers to use instant messages, texting, blogs, web forums, search engines, and social media. While spam is not actually a type of malware, it is very common for malware to spread through spamming. This happens when computers that are infected with viruses, worms, or other malware are used to distribute spam messages containing more malware. Users can prevent getting spammed by avoiding unfamiliar emails and keeping their email addresses as private as possible.


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CAI Austin  

A National Award Winning Journal of the Austin Chapter of Community Associations Institute. We are very excited to be publishing a full-colo...

CAI Austin  

A National Award Winning Journal of the Austin Chapter of Community Associations Institute. We are very excited to be publishing a full-colo...