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central florida times


First Quarter 2017

contact information P.O. Box 941125 Maitland, FL 32794 www.caicf.org exdir@caicf.org 407-850-0106

board of directors Gina Holbrook, CMCA, President Lou Biron, President-Elect Erik Whynot, Esq., Vice President Brian Peck, Treasurer Kent Taylor, PCAM, Secretary Suzan Kearns, CMCA, AMS, PCAM Chris Martinez Paul Melville Diane Rullo, PhD Chuck Strode, CAM Robert L. Taylor, Esq.

a message from the president The first of the year has certainly been a busy one. Punxsutawney Phil may not have seen his shadow, bringing us a few more weeks of winter, but that certainly hasn’t slowed our chapter down as we have hit the ground running full speed! At our last luncheon a record number of attendees received their legal update; we have almost doubled our medallion members for 2017; and, for the first time ever in our Chapter’s history, sold out all of our booths for the annual Tradeshow on March 31st. If this is any reflection of how our year is going to be we want all of you to join us on this amazing journey. Join CAI today if you have not already and please be sure to attend our events each month so you are receiving the most out of your CAI membership benefits. The Board, Committee Chairs and our CED have scheduled some great educational and networking opportunities in the year ahead. One great opportunity right around the corner that you might consider joining us at is this year’s CAI annual convention from May 3rd-6th in Las Vegas, Nevada. We hope to see you there to help us show CAI National that Central Florida is the hub of great association management. Please reach out to any Board Member, Committee Chair or contact me directly at gina.holbrook@ premiermgmtcfl.com for more information! Finally, every year the Tradeshow Committee works tirelessly on our tradeshow, and this year they have outdone themselves. Scheduled for Friday, March 31st at the Gaylord Palms Resort, this year’s tradeshow theme is “Adventures in the Association” and will be our best show yet! So dust off your Indiana Jones fedoras and safari khakis, and get ready to whisk off to the desert of Cairo, Egypt as the great “Adventures in the Association” promises excitement and fun. One of my goals as your Chapter President was to increase our membership to reach over 500 members and be recognized as a “Large Chapter.” I am excited to announce, thanks to the hard work of our Board of Directors, Committees, and our amazing CED, Reini, we have officially met that goal and have over 500 members! I want to thank all of you for your continued support as your President. I am excited to be a part of the leadership of our chapter and I am committed to ensuring 2017 provides each of you with outstanding growth and education opportunities, and pledge loyalty to each of you and to our chapter. Very Respectfully,

Gina Holbrook Gina Holbrook, CMCA 2017 President, CAI Central Florida Chapter



WANTS TO BE YOUR PARTNER! Oxford Dictionary defines PARTNER as:


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central florida chapter update 2017 calendar of events More details regarding upcoming events will be posted to caicf.org under Events. Check back regularly for the most up-to-date information! CAICF Board Meetings will be held before or after each of the Monthly Meetings. •

March 2nd: Luncheon at 11:30am - “Dealing with Difficult People” with speaker Betsy Barbieux at Dubsdread Country Club

March 31st: CA Day Tradeshow from 10:30am10pm at the Gaylord Palms - “Adventures in the Association” with Education Classes (Board Certification, Legal Panel, and CAM only Litigation Prep - “Navigating the Litigation Quagmire”) from 10:30am-1:30pm and After Party from 6pm-10pm (see pages 10-11 for more information)

June 1st: Monthly Meeting - “Covenant Enforcement” for CEU

June 22nd-23rd: M-206 Course (see caionline. org for more information)

July 13th: Meet the Managers

July 20th: CAMs Only - Budgeting with Bernie Mapili

August 3rd: Monthly Meeting - “Pool Safety: 3 in 1” (three presenters)

August 24th: Business Partner Roundtable at 5pm at Leland Management’s Office

April 12th: FREE New Member Breakfast at 9am at the Panera (Next to WalMart) in Altamonte Springs

April 13th: Spring Social at Ember in Orlando from 5pm-8pm

September 7th: Monthly Meeting “Community Safety”

April 27th: CAM Only Breakfast at 8:30am at Sihle Insurance in Altamonte Springs

October 5th: Monthly Meeting - “Legal Panel”

October 13th: Annual CAICF Golf Tournament

November 3rd: Florida State Leadership Forum

December 7th: Annual Meeting/Winter Gala Fundraiser

May 3rd-6th: National Convention in Las Vegas (see page 26 for more information)

May 11th: Monthly Meeting - “Disaster Preparedness” for CEU

event rsvp reminder Please be sure to register for all events in advance, as we need an accurate head count for space and food purposes prior to the event. Thank you for your help!

LOOKING FOR A SERVICE PROVIDER? CAI Central Florida has a list of great service providers in most every industry a Community Association could need! The best part is, they are members! Check it out at: caicf.org/directory!


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Rally to Optimize Community Karma “Common areas do not automatically create a sense of community. Nurturing the community spirit is probably the greatest challenge facing community associations today.” - Clifford Treese, CPCU, ARM, CIRMS and community association guru extraordinaire So, how can an association nurture community spirit? Through its volunteers! This article will offer a few thoughts on how to encourage volunteerism and some ideas on fostering community spirit. First, the basics. If you’re a manager fortunate enough to work with a developer when the community is but a gleam in his or her eye, you’ve got the potential to cultivate the community spirit from the very beginning. It may take some persuasion, but convincing the developer that committees composed of volunteers help the community succeed, resulting in quicker sales and happy residents who encourage family and friends to join them, is a win-win for everyone. As the community’s first cheerleader, your responsibilities may include drafting committee charters with volunteer input that address a real purpose, real responsibilities, and a detailed organization including reporting, leadership (picking the right chairman is crucial), number and required skills of members, frequency and location of meetings, minutes, board liaison and approval process for expenditures. Committees are not for the 6

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gadfly you think you can stifle – it’s for legitimate, needed work to improve and advance the community – and foster community spirit!


Find out what makes them tick. Are they interested in networking? Meeting their neighbors? Making new friends? Improving their resume? Working for the “greater good”? Giving back? Craft your appeal to hone in on specific personal, professional and emotional needs.

Create catchy, positive, exciting and motivating recruitment material such as a YouTube video and upbeat handouts that describe each committee and the ideal committee member (necessary skills or talents, specific job description). Always include a sign-up sheet.

Purchase logo material and apparel (your association DOES have a logo, right?) that’s free for volunteers.

Plan personal recruitments efforts through one-on-one appeals and at every membership event where recruitment handouts are always available.

Continued on page 8

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volunteers R.O.C.K. cont. •

Post pictures on the association’s website and in newsletters and other communications of happy volunteers having fun in their committee and with their events and projects. Update email and cell phone lists of every household member at every event to provide no-cost (and controlled frequency) communications and information about committee activities. Send out monthly postcard updates – they’re cheaper than envelopes and have a better chance of being read.

great about engaging their parents in their efforts).

Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly so residents can access the calendar of events and committee information.

KEEPING VOLUNTEERS HAPPY Sometimes it may be relatively easy to attract volunteers but much harder to keep their interest and participation. Here are some suggestions for keeping volunteers happy and involved:

The committee chair is prepared, organized, focused, warm, kind, friendly, helpful and welcoming, assigning responsibilities to the members instead of doing everything

Hold volunteer get-togethers with meals/snacks/barbecue.

Charter a Welcome Committee with contagiously enthusiastic members who encourage new residents to join a committee.

At the community’s entrance(s), hand out bags of popcorn that say, “Pop into the clubhouse every third Thursday for the Social Committee meeting!”

Volunteers recognize leadership opportunities – first serve on the committee, then chair the committee, then serve on the board, then preside over the board.

Board members are committee liaisons, not committee chairs, to allow for the incubation of future leaders.

Hand out bags of potato chips that say “Chip in to help the Landscape Committee the first Monday of every month!”

Shortly after the annual meeting, hold an organization meeting of the board and committee chairs to familiarize everyone with the community’s mission statement, progress and challenges and to brainstorm new goals and objectives.

Recognize volunteers at every opportunity. Give credit every time there’s an audience. Showcase a volunteer in every


Budget for volunteer education and training specific to their role, such as CAI’s Board Tool Kit and webinars and classes on maintenance, landscaping, budgeting and insurance.

On Valentine’s Day, distribute bagged or boxed candy hearts that say “Love your association – join the Board!”

Enthrall children in the community through conservation challenges or protecting the newly-planted saplings (kids are

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himself or herself. Meetings are as short as possible while still being productive.

newsletter and on the website. Acknowledge committees and committee members in newsletters, minutes and member correspondence.

Allow each committee chair to present a 3-5 minute “committee in review” at the annual meeting or in the annual meeting handout, listing all the committee members.

Install brick pavers honoring specific volunteers.

Hold an annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner/Barbecue/ Lunch with spouses and families.

Ask for a Mayoral Proclamation recognizing a particular volunteer or committee.

Recognize a “Volunteer of the Year.”

The true value of someone’s time and talents are measured by the sense of fulfillment and accomplishment they feel when they know that their work has been worthwhile. Treat volunteers with the respect, kindness and appreciation they deserve. They are the lifeblood of community associations – they help accomplish work of the association but also establish values and priorities of the membership. The more effective and committed our volunteers, the more successful the community will be and the happier the members. The more positive their experience as a volunteer, the better chance they’ll continue to serve. Volunteers will also prove invaluable in recruiting other volunteers. So, go forth and recruit, welcoming those volunteers and expressing your appreciation at every opportunity.

President and CEO of CADRExperts (Community Association Dispute

Ask contractors and vendors to contribute gift cards and other tokens of appreciation.

Resolution Experts) providing professional developer transition specialists, expert witnesses and dispute resolvers, Margey was twice named CAI’s Educator of the Year and was honored with the 2014 Outstanding Volunteer

The committee chair and board president should regularly communicate with and encourage volunteers so there’s no disconnect between the board and the committees’ goals. They should also attend committee meetings occasionally to personally thank the volunteers.

Heartfelt, genuine hand-written thank-you notes are always appreciated.

Surprise them with chocolates, a bag of sweets or an edible arrangement.

Present “This is Your Life” for a long-term volunteer.

Service Award. She is a nationally-recognized community association educator, speaker, advocate and author.

m-206 Financial Management COURSE MATERIALS

Participant guide and flash drive with bonus readings and materials. CAI Guide for Association Practitioners: The Board Treasurer.


2 days | 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. both days


CAI manager member: $459 Nonmember: $559

Create and maintain a photo album or scrapbook highlighting volunteer projects and successes.

Provide a comfortable, safe, welcoming, encouraging, appreciative environment.

Provide snacks and non-alcoholic beverages at meetings.

Encourage creative thinking and collaboration.

Set reasonable workloads and deadlines.

Cancel unnecessary meetings and disband superfluous committees.

DESIGNATION CREDIT M-206 is required for the PCAM designation.


M-206 is approved for 14 hours of continuing education for CMCA recertification. Visit www.camicb.org for details. For information on continuing education for state licenses, visit www.caionline.org/pmdp.

LEARN HOW TO BUDGET AND MANAGE YOUR ASSOCIATION’S MONEY. This course gives you the tools to understand and apply the principles of financial management to your community association. You’ll learn the entire budget process, from identifying line items to reconciling accounts to gaining board approval. You’ll also learn how to analyze and report on association finances. Topics include: z Developing, managing and balancing budgets z Financial planning processes z Replacement reserves and basic investment principles z Accrual and fund accounting z Analyzing financial reports and records z Using budgets and financial reports as management tools

» Visit www.caionline.org/m206.

JUNE 22-23 8:30am-5pm DoubleTree coming



LiftMaster UnionBank




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the adventure begins with you! SUBMITTED BY THE 2017 CAICF TRADESHOW COMMITTEE


just a few weeks, the cavernous depths of the luxurious Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee will be filled with adventure as contractors, suppliers, attorneys, accountants, managers, service providers, and other business partners descend and set out on Adventures in the Association! On Friday, March 31st, the Central Florida Chapter will host the 2017 Annual Community Associations Day and Tradeshow, bringing together those who live, work, and provide goods and services to condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowners associations throughout Florida. Nationally recognized as one of the best tradeshows and educational programs in the country, this year’s program is expected to clamber to the top of that pyramid and claim the top spot. The educational programs will feature a board member training and certification course (required by Florida Statutes), a legal case preparation course for Community Association Managers (offering CEU credits), and an Attorneys Legal Panel session, offering free legal advice and guidance from seasoned community association law practitioners. Educational sessions will begin at 10:30am and run through 1:30pm on Friday. Given the show’s grand history and reputation for excellence, demand for exhibition sites was high and supply was limited; the Tradeshow Committee is proud to announce that more than 60 days ahead of the show date, all 125 exhibitor booths have been claimed, and the show is SOLD OUT! However, sponsorship opportunities still

abound! Exhibit booths will be open beginning at 2pm on the day of show and be staffed through 6pm that evening. Exhibitor packets will be coming within a couple of weeks. Throughout the day, many of our Business Partners will be offering door prizes and giveaways to show attendees, while the Chapter’s Board of Directors members and representatives of the Membership and the Education Committees facilitate the break-out sessions and general events of the day. Following the tradeshow, the Chapter invites you to continue the Adventure by attending an After Party in the opulent Gaylord Palms atrium, featuring food, drinks, and live entertainment. The event begins at 6pm and concludes at 10pm. After Party tickets are available at just $35 per person and can be purchased on the registration website. Admission to the event is FREE for Board Members and Community Association Managers! Registration is available on the Chapter’s website (listed below). Parking (at the rear of the convention center facility) is also FREE for board members. For more information or to REGISTER to attend this year’s event, visit the Chapter’s website at www.caicf.org today. For more information on remaining sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Chapter Executive Director, Ms. Reini Marsh, at exdir@caicf.org or by phone at 407-850-0106. We look forward to seeing you and sharing the Adventure on March 31st!

tradeshow sponsors PHOTO SPONSOR





a signature bug that signifies healthy ponds SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR QUINBY, DRAGONFLY POND WORKS


ragonfly Pond Works is the Johnny Appleseed of bugdom, lavishing clients’ ponds with dragonfly larvae. It’s their signature insect because it inhabits only flourishing environments. As dragonflies grow, they consume increasing amounts of their favorite meal - mosquito larvae. A single dragonfly can eat several dozen to several hundred mosquitoes every day. Dragonflies are superbly adapted for mosquito control. Flying three and a half times faster than their bug prey, dragonflies are so precise as to capture nearly every mosquito they chase. They actually catch their prey by grabbing it with their feet. A Harvard University study (“Dragonflies: The Flying Aces of the Insect World,” Science Nation, October 3, 2011) found that dragonflies were so efficient in their hunting that they caught 90 to 95 percent of the prey released into a test enclosure. Dragonflies are expert fliers. They can zoom straight up or down, hover like a helicopter and even mate mid-air. If they can’t fly, they’ll starve because they only eat prey they catch while flying. Dragonflies’ appetite for mosquitoes makes them an integral part of any sensible wetlands beautification strategy. As a key indicator of aquatic health, wetland refuges populated by dragonflies will be more highly valued not just by property owners, but by the community at large. A healthy pond is a sanctuary and a natural asset that increases a property’s beauty and worth. 12

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Smithsonian Magazine noted in an article from October 5, 2011 that “there’s something magical about dragonflies.” The article pointed out that dragonflies were some of the first winged insects to evolve, some 300 million years ago. Today’s dragonflies have wingspans of two to five inches, but, incredibly, fossil dragonflies have been found with wingspans of up to two feet in length. Dragonflies are unappreciated members of the natural world. They do amazing things and are so beneficial to us. Think about this: A dragonfly called the globe skimmer set the record for the longest migration of any insect on the planet - 11,000 miles back and forth across the Indian Ocean. What insect could be more amazing than a dragonfly?

For more information on Dragonfly Pond Works, visit dragonflypondworks.com or call Arthur Quinby, Marketing Manager, at 919-851-0033 (office), 919-2600808 (cell), or q@dragonflypondworks.com.

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developer to fund reserves prior to turnover SUBMITTED BY FRANK A. RUGGIERI, ESQ., THE RUGGIERI LAW FIRM, P.A.


December 22, 2016, Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals released its initial opinion in Case No. 5D16-1254, styled Mackenzie v. Centex Homes, et al. Please note that the opinion issued by the Fifth District Court of Appeals is not final as of the date this article was written. The opinion’s focus is the interpretation of a developer’s obligation to fund reserve accounts where the developer elects to fund the budget deficit in accordance with 720.308(1)(b), Fla. Stat., in lieu of paying assessments. 720.308(1)(b) provides that while the developer is in control of the Association, it may be excused from payment of its share of the operating expenses and assessments during any period that the developer has obligated itself to pay any operating expenses incurred that exceed the assessments receivable from other members. This is commonly referred to as “deficit funding.” Several issues are implicated in this opinion. First and foremost, are reserves included in the “operating expenses incurred” which the developer is obligated to pay in lieu of paying assessments? How does the language in the Association’s “governing documents” impact the analysis? 720.303(6), Fla. Stat. makes reserve accounts mandatory for homeowners associations where (1) they were initially established by the developer or (2) a majority of the total voting interests elect to do so. Once established, reserve funds can only be waived or used for different purposes in accordance with the statute. The case, decided by the Fifth District Court of Appeals, involved a developer, Centex Homes, that established reserves prior to turnover of control and elected to fund the budget deficit in accordance with 720.308(1)(b) in lieu of paying assessments. However, Centex (much like any developer of a community subject to Chapter 720 which I am aware of ) interpreted the statute to limit the developer’s deficit funding obligation to the Association’s operating budget, exclusive of reserves. 14

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The Fifth District ultimately disagreed and ruled that the foregoing statutes, when read together and in conjunction with the Declaration, required that Centex fund the reserves as part of their deficit funding obligation. However, recall that reserves are not required unless they are 1) initially established by the developer or 2) a majority of the total voting interests elect to do so. The governing documents involved required reserves and Centex initially established reserve accounts, presumably in accordance with the documents. The Fifth District’s opinion certainly does not go so far as to create an obligation to initially fund reserve accounts where the statute does not already require it. However, if the reserves were initially established by the developer prior to transition, this opinion certainly provides a good faith basis to demand that a developer fund those reserves as part of its deficit funding obligation. With no express statutory requirement that homeowners associations initially establish certain reserve funds, developers effectively remain in control of their obligation to fund reserves prior to transition. The governing documents are initially established by the developer and an initial election to fund reserves is likewise within their control. A majority vote of the total voting interests to establish one or more reserve accounts is not likely to be achieved prior to transition. Time will tell if the Florida Legislature will eventually create a clear obligation to create and fund reserve accounts for capital expenditures and deferred maintenance for homeowners associations but the Fifth District’s opinion may certainly provide significant relief to some communities in the State of Florida in the meantime. Please consult your Association counsel should your community have questions regarding whether the developer properly addressed reserves, both prior to and after transition of control to the homeowners.

“Devoted to the Personalized Representation of Community Associations� 111 N. Orange Ave., Ste. 725, Orlando, FL 32801

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welcome new members! BUSINESS PARTNERS Central Florida Appraisal Consultants Mr. Daniel Peele Every Green Lawn Care Mr. Alex Solojov Regal Paint/Benjamin Moore Dealer Mr. Richard Incandela RLC Landscaping Company Ms. Charlene Evensen SecurAmerica, LLC Mr. Travis Miller Superior Roadway Service Mr. Daniel J. Hayes

MULTI-CHAPTER BUSINESS PARTNERS Dragonfly Pond Works Mr. Arthur Quinby HomeWiseDocs.com Mr. Michael Coleman KWA Engineers, LLC Mrs. Mitch Savoie-Hill ProTek Construction Services Inc. Mr. Joe Gideon

Valcourt Building Services Mr. Kent Williams

Mr. Rodney D. Cotten


Ms. Gail Stanley

Reserve Advisors, Inc. Mr. Nick Brenneman Sperlonga Data & Analytics Mr. Scott Swanson

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Mrs. Elizabeth Cruz Community Management Professionals Ms. Jessie Chatman EPM Services Ms. Lizbeth Martell RealManage


Ms. Lauren Wheeler Titan Management

Access Residential Management Mr. Michael Laster

Ms. Kiera Lemmon Towers Property Management, Inc.



CCMC Ms. Patricia A. Wasson, CMCA, PCAM

Ms. Barbara Maiorelle, CMCA, AMS

MANAGER MEMBERS Ms. Gail Lynn Beith Mr. Corey Arlan Berman

february 2nd luncheon


Ms. Melanie Horne Lucas

VOLUNTEER LEADERS Mr. Andre Damian Wilson Ms. Melissa Debach The Sanctuary Community Association




to Your Association

“My job is to help your board balance keeping down operating costs while maintaining property values and improving quality of life for homeowners. We have a strong community presence, independent advising and full transparency. ” – Katie, Sentry Community Manager

Four Central Florida Locations 407-788-6700 www.sentrymgt.com

resident engagement BY JEFF TOMBERG, GROUPVALET

The Real Way to Turn a Neighborhood Into a Community


t’s an over-used idea - stating the difference between a neighborhood and a community. In fact, I recently Googled “turn a neighborhood into a community,” and found about 86,800,000 results! Wow! The implication is that a neighborhood is bad but a community is good. Nobody wants to live in just a neighborhood. A neighborhood is simply a collection of houses, but a community is a collection of homes, with friends who live there with us (the house vs. home analogy is overused as well).

Even software built to provide customer service platforms for businesses are rebranding themselves away from “customer service” and toward building emotional connections. For example, UserVoice, a platform for soliciting customer feedback, posted the article “The future of Customer Service: build emotional connections, make more money” (http://community.uservoice.com/blog/emotionalconnections). And by the way, notice the domain they use in the web address for their blog: “community.uservoice.com.”

There’s an underlying truth there. You never hear about a “sense of neighborhood.” There’s something special about a sense of community – where everyone feels safe, welcome and happy. And that applies to a much broader segment than just where we live. A sense of community is important to schools, religious institutions, universities, clubs, and even sports teams. So what is it about the sense of community that is important to people?

So how do we build emotional connections between our residents and form that community feeling? Let’s first discuss engagement. Engagement is one of those buzzwords we all hear, and likely use. “Let’s find ways to increase engagement” is a common phrase that everyone would agree with. It’s a word that is rarely defined and as a result there’s likely no shared understanding of its meaning.

Humans are both social and emotional. We need contact with other humans. It’s in our DNA. A sense of community provides those two most basic needs – emotional connections and a feeling of belonging. In fact, many businesses have realized this fact and have been marketing to consumers in new ways. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, said that the goal of their customer service was to develop a “personal emotional connection” with each customer. They even created the acronym PEC for it. Apple has long known the impact of building emotional connections with customers and they built their brand around having cool products that people want because they feel a sense of belonging when they make that purchase. 18

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Most people would agree that engagement is synonymous with activity. The more activities someone participates in, the more engaged they are, but that’s not the complete story. While it’s true that engagement is tied in part to participation, the main driver of engagement is the emotional connection that is fostered by the activity. The more emotionally connected a person is to the activity and the other participants, the more engaged they are. My favorite definition of engagement is: “Any activity that fosters an emotional connection among the participants.” It’s simple and to the point. This definition can be applied to any activity that goes on within your community - from the annual

Continued on page 20

resident engagement cont. meeting to a weekly bridge game that residents run on their own. So how do we build those emotional connections that translate into engagement? It’s important to understand that both the community and the residents can create and foster engagement. Residentinitiated engagement is always stronger because it directly builds personal relationships, but a mixture of both types is most effective. In order to build true engagement, you must understand the 3 Pillars that engagement is built upon: 1) Building Awareness; 2) Driving Participation; and 3) Creating Delight.

1. BUILDING AWARENESS It seems obvious, but if residents are going to participate in an activity they first need to know about it. What might not be so obvious is how you get the word out. Most communities these days have the ability to do an email blast, but how effective is that? Many residents only scan emails from the community, or ignore them altogether – just look at your open rates. And have you ever had a resident say “I wish I would have known about that…” even though you sent multiple emails about it? It’s a common problem.

groups around those activities. I’ve seen communities with groups for activities you might expect, such as book clubs, golf, tennis, pickleball, bocce and bridge. I’ve also seen residents create groups for activities you might not expect, such as fly-fishing, knitting, volunteering and croquet. When residents are able to create groups based on their interests and invite other residents to join in, you’re providing the foundation for building those emotional connections. Best of all, this provides the community with the ability to “inject” ads for upcoming community events in the emails the residents receive for their groups. In other words, you’re able to get more eyeballs on your important messages without having to send extra emails. Are you standing and applauding yet?

2. DRIVING PARTICIPATION Once the residents are aware of what’s available for them, the next step is getting them to sign up and show up. There are three steps that are important here – personalize the content, make it easy for them to sign up, and remind them before the activity. Personalization is the key here. People these days are used to having content delivered to them that is personalized and curated. Yet in communities we still send out event calendars that are anything but. For most residents perhaps only 10-20% of a calendar is of interest to them. As time goes on, the residents rely on the calendar less and less – again, look at your open rates. This is not to say that you should stop producing the calendars – some residents depend on them. If the calendar and an email blast is your main way to get the word out about events, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to increase participation. Consider a personalized dashboard for each resident that lists everything they can participate in. There are tools that provide this for you.

I once had a manager tell me that in order to get the word out about their important meetings and events, he was going to send SO many emails to the residents that they would not be able to claim they didn’t know. You can probably guess what happened. The residents quickly grew frustrated with the number of emails they received and many unsubscribed from receiving any further emails. There was such outrage that it became the biggest topic at the next few meetings. So what does this teach us? More communication does not equal better communication. I counseled this manager that the best way to get the word out is to follow the golden rule of communication: Send the right message to the right person at the right time. There are methods and tools available to help with this, but it’s important to keep this in mind when sending blast emails: if the content of that email is not 100% pertinent to each recipient, you’re training residents to ignore your emails. Another great way to get the word out is to provide a way for residents to search for activities that interest them and create their own 20

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Now let’s discuss the actual signup process. In my experience, many communities handle signups on their website, or worse by calling a staff member. And typically, the website process does not actually sign up the resident. Instead, the resident is able to add the event to their own calendar but there’s no response sent back to whomever is managing the event and little to no ability to ask questions during the “sign-up” process. Why is it suboptimal to handle signups on your website? It’s important to let people sign up for events when they want to. Studies have shown that the more steps/clicks needed to accomplish an online action, the fewer number of people who will accomplish that action. Think about how many phone calls you receive from residents who forgot their password. If a resident wants to sign up for an event at 10pm and has forgotten their password, they have to wait until the next day to contact the office for help. By then, it’s possible that they

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resident engagement cont. forgot about signing up, or have changed their mind. It’s critical to allow residents to sign up when they are excited about the event. Signing up should be more than simply adding the event to their calendar. There should be a process whereby a tally is kept so the community knows who is attending, but more importantly, so that the community can track and monitor resident activity over time. The only way to know if your participation is going up is to keep track of it. There are ways to make this incredibly simple for your residents where, with only 1 click, they are able to sign up for any event – without having to log in. The third piece of Driving Participation is the simplest – reminding the residents about the activities they’ve signed up for. This reminder is important for a number of reasons. First, it helps to prevent noshows, which, depending on the type of activity, can be a killer. The reminder also provides another opportunity for you to promote upcoming events by injecting them into the reminder – without the need to send extra emails. Of course this should all be automated so it doesn’t require any staff time.

3. CREATING DELIGHT In some ways this is a byproduct of the first two pillars, but this is broken out as its own pillar to reinforce the importance of helping residents participate in activities they enjoy. If you’re in a community with little to no activities, try hosting a book club as they tend to be popular. If you’re in an active community, either find out what types of activities your residents want, or better yet, provide a way for your residents to create their own activities and groups. Your residents will be happy when you make it easy for them to find out what’s going on, sign up for activities that are of interest to them, and have the opportunity to meet and mingle with other residents. By following The 3 Pillars of Engagement you will be your community’s hero as you watch the bonds of friendship flourish.

For more information, visit www.groupvalet.com or contact Jeff Tomberg, Founder of GroupValet - Software that delivers engagement - at 407-777-8651 or jtomberg@groupvalet.com.

interested in getting more involved? join a caicf committee! If you are interested in getting more involved in the chapter, joining a committee is a great thing to consider. Below are the different committees that we currently have active. Please feel free to contact any of the following committee chairs: CA Day/Tradeshow Committee Amanda Whitney Leland Management awhitney@lelandmanagement.com

Gala Committee Gina Holbrook Premier Association Management gina.holbrook@premiermgmtcfl.com

Meet the Managers Committee Cathy Bowers True Property Group cbowers@truepropertygroup.com

Chuck Strode Associa cstrode@community-mgmt.com

Golf Committee Scott Pollock Sentry Management spollock@sentrymgt.com

Membership Committee Debbie Young Premier Association Management debbie.young@premiermgmtcfl.com

Communications Committee Benjamin Isip Towers Property Management, Inc. ben@towerspropertymgmt.com Education Committee Gary van der Laan Leland Management gvanderlaan@lelandmanagement.com Phil Masi Assured Partners pmasi@assuredptr.com


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Rick Shreve True Property Group rshreve@truepropertygroup.com Legislative Committee Lou Biron Sihle Insurance Group lbiron@sihle.com

Social Committee Tara Munoz Your Private Adjustor tara@yourprivateadjuster.com Sunshine Foundation Committee Jennifer Agravat Asphalt Restoration Technology Systems jennifer.agravat@asphaltnews.com

Some say first impressions are everything. We say it’s the lasting ones that count. Be confident about the message your landscape sends. Partner with our team of landscape experts whose tailor-made solutions, dependable service and consistent results ensure your resident’s first experience is never their last. Susan Chapman 407 702 4929 Susan.Chapman@brightview.com


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CAI CENTRAL FLORIDA CHAPTER MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS In addition to the many perks associated with a National CAI Membership, your local Central Florida Chapter offers even more value and engagement to its members:



If three members from the same board join the chapter, your first year of membership dues are FREE

CAICF will pay for HALF of your manager tuition fees for required education credits



Company recognition & networking Maximize business brand opportunities with current & recognition & enjoy exclusive potential clients, as well as face-to-face networking industry-specific business partners opportunities with potential clients

LOCAL CHAPTER EDUCATION AND NETWORKING EVENTS Quarterly Board Certification classes CEU credit hours at specified luncheon events Participation opportunity at the Annual Golf Outing Invitation to the Summer Social & 2015 Holiday Awards Gala Admission and exclusive perks at one of the best community association tradeshows in Central Florida

Opportunity to attend and speak at panels, Q&A sessions, education classes, and Business Roundtable events Participation & sponsorship opportunities at the Annual Golf Outing Invitation to the Summer Social & 2015 Holiday Awards Gala Admission, exclusive booth vendor pricing, and sponsorship opportunities at one of the best community association tradeshows in Central Florida

Professional Designations & Certifications Local Professional Management Development Program Classes Quarterly Board Certification classes CEU credit hours at specified luncheon events

ACCESS TO SPECIALIZED COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION SERVICE PROVIDERS Online service directory Personal interaction at monthly events Panels and Q&A sessions

SPONSORSHIP & MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES In addition to brand recognition, sponsors enjoy benefits like a free booth at the trade show, advertising opportunities, first consideration at speaking events, discounted pricing for future sponsorships and events & advertising on the chapter website Inclusion in the Service Directory


Interested in joining the CAI Central Florida Chapter? For assistance or more information, reach out to the Executive Director by calling 407-850-0106 or e-mailing at exdir@caicf.org. To join now, visit www.caionline.org for membership categories and dues. Prior to joining online you will be prompted to log in or create an account. Membership dues are non-refundable. 24

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It’s a sure bet! Cash in on new ideas, play to win by networking with the best of the best and raise the stakes on your career at the CAI Annual Conference and Exposition.



May 3–6, 2017 Caesars Palace Las Vegas Register now at www.caionline.org/events.



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Access Management Alliance Association Bank Angius & Terry, LLP Arias Bosinger Asphalt 365 Asphalt Restoration Technology Systems Assured Partners BB&T Association Services Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. BrightView Landscaping Capital Land Management Dragonfly Pond Works Driveway Maintenance Enviro Tree Services Garfinkel Whynot Association Law

Glickstein, Laval, Carris, P.A. Leland Management, Inc. Melrose Corporation Mutual of Omaha Premier Association Management Ramco Protective Renovia Ruggieri Law Firm Sentry Management, Inc. Spies Pools The Association Law Firm PLLC Triad Pavers & Concrete Services True Property Group Vice Painting Whitaker Contracting

gold All County Paving Hara Community 1st Advisors Mapili CPAs LLC

Centennial Bank Lanco Paints Midway Services Utilities Proscape 28

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Reserve Advisors Towers Property Management World of Homes


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Profile for Overflow

CAICF | 1st Quarter 2017  

CAICF | 1st Quarter 2017  

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