Category Archives: Management Services

6 Ways to Implement Disaster Readiness Within Your HOA

No HOA-led community wants to be plagued by a disaster, but unfortunately, disasters happen and your members need to be prepared. Community-wide disaster readiness goes beyond mailing out general precautions to your neighbors.

Find out the important steps your HOA board and management team can take this year to ensure that your community is prepared for any natural or man-made disaster that could come your way.

Coordinate With Your Association Management Team, First

Although your Board may already have disaster plans in mind, it should always present them to its management team prior to unveiling them to the general population. This way, your Board can set expectations and processes with the management team before a disaster; which will aid in rapid communication to owners when a disaster strikes.  

Realistically Focus on Potential Disasters

Time is precious as a Board Member, so when considering disaster plans, put geographically potential disasters at the top of your priorities. For example, in North Texas, you would be more concerned with tornadoes than earthquakes. By placing your focus where it’s geographically necessary, in the event that a disaster occurs in North Texas, your community will be best prepared to protect itself. Yes, earthquakes and hurricanes may create a ripple effect in our local weather patterns, but they hardly impact the immediate livelihood of the communities across North Texas.

Stay Proactive With Maintenance

It’s important to keep up with the maintenance of shared community buildings. By properly maintaining your buildings, your HOA is being proactive against any disasters or accidents that could occur due to improper maintenance. By following this tip, not only do your community members stay as safe as possible, but your Board has also taken steps away from huge liability risks.

Obtain All Member Contact Information

Make sure your Board Members and management team have the contact information for each family living within your community.  Homeowner Information forms are requested at the time of closing, but oftentimes they are returned blank or not at all. As a Board, it would be prudent to check contact information at least once a year and develop a plan for filling in the gaps so that you can reach the largest number of homeowners in case of an emergency.  

Review Your Emergency Response Plan at a Designated Meeting

Once the Board and your community management team have come to a consensus on disaster protocol, schedule a meeting or casual community event to present your plan to your neighbors. This is the preferred method to simply print out a notice and pinning it to neighborhood doors. By hosting a meeting, your Board will be able to ensure that they have addressed all concerns that its neighbors may have regarding disaster safety.

Publish Your Plan Online

Finally, make sure your plan is readily available 24/7. Get the information online at your community website or designated social media channels to ensure that any changes or updates are immediately accessible to the association’s members. 

Let Goodwin & Company Help Mitigate Your HOA’s Liability

Don’t let the incoming spring weather threats take your association by surprise. Let Goodwin & Company help your community get prepared for potential disasters and damages. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our services and how we can assist a community like yours.

Keeping Your HOA Comfortable This Winter

A new year means new potential community members looking to get in on your HOA’s amenities. HOA management services should be dedicated to keeping your community in top shape, and winter is one of the biggest seasons of the year to perform important maintenance.

Keep your community buildings and shared property on their A-game this winter with this winterization checklist that will position your HOA for a successful 2020.

Make Sure Your Pipes Stay Warm

Your pipes are usually the first victim of freezing weather. Nothing is worse during the winter than plumbing problems that are the result of a burst pipe. Keep your shared community properties problem-free by practicing these tips:

  • Insulate exterior and interior pipes
  • Make sure your windows and doors are properly sealed
  • Drain your community pool for the winter
  • Ensure all outdoor faucets are turned off

Tune-Up Your HVAC Systems

Schedule an inspection on your community HVAC systems before the cold really sets in. This will allow you to catch any major or minor repairs before they become a problem that results in poor heating during the winter.

Some things to ask your inspector to look for include:

  • Emissions
  • Leaks

Check Smoke Detectors

The safety of your community buildings is one of your top priorities. Take some time to check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. This is a quick task, but simply pressing the test button or changing out the batteries can save someone’s life.

Prevent Ice Damming

Cleaning out your gutters is essential during seasons where the rain and freezing weather come together. Not only does leaf buildup promote potential damage to ceilings and walls, but it also leads to ice damming.

As pretty as ice formations may seem during the holiday season, ice damming on your gutters can lead to serious property problems and also pose a safety risk to people nearby.

Take some time throughout the season to clear out your gutters and ensure water that does flow through them is able to do so freely.

Send Out a Checklist Reminder

Your HOA doesn’t have the budget to provide vendor services to all of the homes in your community. However, your homeowners should still do their best to winterize their homes for the colder season.

So help them stay on top of their responsibilities. Send out a newsletter or create a social media post that outlines some of the tips we’ve prescribed here today! Trust us, when their home stays comfortable this winter, they’ll thank you for it.

Stay on Top of Seasonal Vendors with Goodwin & Company

If you’re part of a new community, don’t spend the winter trying to winterize yourself. Hiring the right vendors is essential to helping your board stay on task, no matter the season. Goodwin & Company can help your community pick the right vendors that will get the job done in line with your budget.

We are ready to help your board make the behind the scenes decisions that help your community flourish. Contact us today to find out how we can get your association on track for the new year.

Defining The Difference Between HOA and Property Management

Community Association Boards and property management teams often get lumped together in the eyes of homeowners of a community. Sure, both entities have the Association’s best interests in mind, but there is actually quite a difference between being a member of your Association’s Board and being a hired member of a professional management team.

Let’s set the record straight on the actual duties between the two association cornerstones and how their duties and goals have a positive impact on a community.

Don’t the Board and Property Manager Work Together?

The short answer is, yes! Even though the two are separate entities, teamwork helps to ensure upkeep in a community is met.  While the Board and Manager work hand-in-hand, ultimately, any decision is still made by the Board either directly or via a filed policy.

Usually, a property manager is hired to work for an Association and help with some of the specifics behind managing, staffing, and contracting for a community. Here’s a closer look at how the two work both separately and together to keep an association successful.

Understanding Association Management

In an instance where an association management team has been hired to assist an Association, they will be on-hand to carry out management tasks for a property that would simply be too time-consuming for a board. After all, your Board consists of volunteers with jobs, families and other duties outside of their service to the community.

The job of association management is, intuitively, to manage your community. Therefore, they serve on the front lines fielding issues for the Board such as, but not limited to:

  • Homeowner communication on community matters and changes;
  • Dues collection;
  • Project coordination;
  • Emergency scenarios involving homeowners or tenants.

The Duties of Your Association Board

As previously mentioned, the Association Board is a volunteer-driven entity that governs a community within a specific jurisdiction. This is a governing entity that is responsible for setting and enforcing the rules of the community. The whole goal of your Association is to ensure that the neighborhood continues to live up to the standards of excellence set in place by former board members.

The average duties of the board are:

  • Making decisions on Association business
  • Vetting and hiring contractors for community projects
  • Reviewing Association finances and expenses

Get Your Association in Line with its Goals with Goodwin & Company

Ironing out the details that involve running a successful planned community can be a lot for a board of volunteers to handle. At Goodwin & Company, we understand that there are some duties that should be taken off of a Board’s plate.

From legalities to financial planning, we are prepared to help. Contact us today to speak with one of our representatives and find out how we can help your Board mitigate the stresses of maintaining a North Texas community.



Easy Ways to Keep Your Community Pool Summer-Ready

School’s out for the summer and if you’re part of an association board, then you already know that the community pool is going to be your top priority. While we’ve already shown how your association management team can keep your pool clear during the off-season, actual pool season needs are a different story.

Not only do you have to keep your pool area clean, but you have to raise the bar in order to keep locals happy and entice potential new residents to think about living in your community. Here are five ways your management team can help you enhance your community pool and maintain common areas this summer.

Put Your Maintenance Schedule into Overdrive

Where the offseason saw spaced out maintenance, with summer in town, it’s time to step up the maintenance visits to at least once a week (more if your pool is especially busy). Your pool has to stay pristine, stabilized and kept at a proper water level.

This amount of maintenance requires a professional vendor. By now, your Board should have selected a reputable pool company to handle all of the cleaning details. If not, it isn’t too late. Your association management group can help you select the right company through their list of recommended vendors.

It’s also important to remember that swimming pools shouldn’t be forgotten about during the off-seasons or it can cause some unexpected expenses during the hot weather months. Add pool maintenance to your checklist when you are getting your association winter-ready or when you are creating your community spring cleaning plan.

Spruce Up Surrounding Landscaping

Summer is a time to enjoy the natural beauty of your surroundings. Invest in some color by planting some perennial flowers in the garden beds surrounding your pool. Upon entering the pool grounds, your landscaping is one of the first things that residents will notice as an enhancement to the surroundings.

Create an inviting environment that lets your residents know that this is a clean, beautiful area for families to enjoy during the hot Texas summer months.

Update the Patio

Yes, landscaping is important, but the patio is where most of the family lounging is going to take place. If it’s in the budget, make the extra effort to add some welcome updates. One of the first updates to pay attention to is the patio’s paint. If you notice chipping, scrapes, or are just ready for a new color, spend a weekend with your Board members to re-paint the area and personally invest in your community.

Lounge Chairs

After your residents have enjoyed the pool, they’re going to need a place to relax and dry off. First-off, make sure all of your area’s umbrellas are in top shape, and then start to think about the state of your patio’s furniture. If your area is a little worse for wear, invest in some new lounge chairs or even high-end outdoor couches and chairs to transform your pool into a place where residents love to hang out!

Trust Goodwin Association Management to Help Your Pool Stay Fresh This Summer

At Goodwin & Company, we understand what your community needs to remain attractive for current and future residents. If your pool or other shared community areas need some TLC, let us help your Board make the right decisions for your neighborhood. Contact us today to find out more about our services.

6 Budget-Friendly Ideas to Boost a Property’s Appeal

The housing market continues to boom in the Big D. You may have noticed a significant uptick in homes for sale in the area. Dallas and its surrounding suburbs are rapidly growing with plenty of new construction (and the traffic to prove it). While Dallas continues to be a seller’s market, the average home sits on the market for 71 days. Buyers are willing to shop around until they find that perfect home in a great neighborhood that will also be a good investment. Check out these six budget-friendly ideas to boost a property’s appeal and help it sell faster.

1. Clean It Up

Want to clean up in the current market? Make sure your property is cleaned up. The only thing it will cost you is a few hours and a little elbow grease. Pick up all trash, clean the windows inside and out. Clean out gutters, rake leaves and clear away any debris that may have blown in from a recent thunderstorm. When prospective buyers see a spotless exterior, they know the inside will also be clean.


2. Spread Some Mulch

Mulch helps freshen up and frame your property. Adding mulch around the trees and flowerbeds will instantly boost your property’s appeal. Both organic and inorganic mulch cuts down on weed growth and keeps plants hydrated in the scorching Texas heat. Looking to learn more about mulch? Follow these helpful tips and tricks!

3. Add Colorful Plants

You don’t have to spend hours digging a new flower bed to add some color to your front porch or walkway. Plant some native flowers like hibiscus or verbena in large, colorful pots, which you can use to surround the porch or line the walkway. Move them around and change the plants out as the seasons change. Native plants are easy to maintain and stand up well in the Texas heat. The container plants can also be used to hide unsightly utility boxes.

Add Colorful Flowers for Curb Appeal

4. Paint Entrances

Check storage areas for any leftover paint for the front door and trim of your house. Make sure the color either matches or compliments the exterior colors. Yellow, red, and even black doors create a dramatic look that will stand out to potential buyers. Make sure to submit an ACC request to your Association Board before making any changes like this to the exterior of your home though!

5. Keep It Trimmed

Mowing the lawn on a regular basis is one of the easiest and budget-friendly ways you can boost your property’s appeal. Unkept yards are quickly discounted or skipped during a house hunting tour. Show potential buyers that all areas of your property are well maintained by keeping the lawn neat and trimmed. Remember to edge for an overall polished appearance. If that seems like a lot of work, consider hiring a local professional, as the cost is quite affordable.


6. Power Wash Hardscapes

It can be easy to overlook the grime and dirt that can build up on the hardscaped areas around the property. Rent a power washer for a day and blast away the dark stains that have accumulated on the patio and sidewalks over the past few years. Pay close attention to walkways and brickwork.

These budget-friendly ideas will help you boost your curb appeal, and win you favor among your neighbors. After all, the appearance of your property also affects their curb appeal.

Jacob Palmer is a gardening and landscape design writer. When mowing lawns on his street as a child, he discovered a lifelong passion for landscape design. He now has three children who can all be found helping him most weekends with his next big garden project.

Creating Perfect Vendor Contracts in 2019

Your community is only as great as the vendors that keep it running. From landscaping and irrigation to general maintenance on your shared community centers, hiring the right vendors for your neighborhood is important.

Even though a vendor may have a great reputation, sealing the deal with a solid vendor agreement contract will ensure that your Association’s needs are met and your community will continue to thrive. As spring begins to blossom and summer looms in the distance, now is the perfect time to start solidifying your vendor contracts. Also, keep these tech trends in mind when making big decisions about vendor contracts.

Try out these tips that association management experts trust to ensure a perfect vendor agreement.

Don’t Throw Every Proposal to Your Association Board

No vendor should be hired without the official approval by the Board of Directors. If you’re sifting through several possible vendors, this could become a time-consuming process, so approaching the Board with vendors that could be the potential hires – and filtering out those who do not meet your requirements – is a great idea.

Not only does this save your Board time, but it also gives them the chance to closely review candidates and make a decision based on merit over trying to meet a specific deadline.

Understand the Qualities You Need in a Contractor

When hiring vendors, your community’s best interest should be the priority. Aside from knowing if the contractor will be able to successfully manage their position within your community, there are some specific qualities that you will want to look for prior to even considering a contractor for employment.

The top necessities in a potential vendor should be:

  • Fully licensed
  • Bonded
  • Insured for worker’s compensation and general liability

Keep in mind that your Association management team will be able to help you vet vendors throughout this process.


Ensure They Are Insured!

If you are part of an Association Board, then you already know how important insurance is for your community. Don’t just take a contractor’s word that their insurance is in good standing, ask for the specifics:

  • Ask for a copy of their Certificate of Insurance
  • Check their policy number
  • Match up the insured’s name with the vendor you are hiring
  • Understand liability limits and deductibles

Work with Goodwin & Company to Find Qualified Vendors That Fit Your Community Needs

Goodwin & Company helps Community Associations like yours make the important decisions that impact their neighborhoods. We know that leading a Board is hard work, and that is why we are prepared to take some of the weight off of your shoulders so you and your fellow Board members can effectively lead. Contact us to find out more about our Association management services in your area.