Improving Communications in Your Community with Seacrest Services

Improving communications in your community is so important these days. With so many different platforms and avenues for communication, sometimes things get lost in translation. As one of the top community association property management teams in South Florida, Seacrest Services knows all too well that clear and effective communication between all parties, from property management, to associations and boards, as well as to residents, it makes a difference in the overall well-being of any community. It’s no secret that open and honest communication in any relationship creates transparency, therefore facilitating a feeling of community. This is an invaluable asset to any board or association, and is certainly something that Seacrest Services places as a high priority.

Our innovative, proactive approach to community association property management keeps Seacrest Services on the leading edge of our industry, and allows us to provide the highest level of service to your association. Our Total Quality Management System provides an effective and successful mode of communication with a proven track record of success. We care about our communities and their overall well-being. A huge part of this is through improved communications!

Miscommunications can wreak havoc to the proper functioning of an association and community, especially when it comes to important matters – like your association budget! Poor communication tactics and protocols, or none at all, are a real problem facing some poorly managed properties, which can negatively impact your community’s reputation and even your operating budget and property values. Clear messaging directly from the board, and consistent places and avenues for communication will avoid miscommunication for most community matters – from the mundane to the extremely important. Are you using all available resources and channels for communication? In today’s world, managing properties effectively is made so much easier with all of the many modes of communication for associations and communities. You can use a group Email, weekly or monthly newsletters by mail or email, billing statements, announcements at board or association meetings, and reminders in flyers, social media, and resident alerts. There are even proprietary mass communication platforms that many of the best property management companies use to help facilitate and foster an environment of improved and consistent communication.

Seacrest Services: Effective Communication

So why is effective communication so important to associations and your boards? One of the most important reasons for improving communications is the trust of residents. They want to know that the association fees they are paying are being properly used in every way, including the betterment for everyone who lives in the community.

If you want to avoid confusion in your association and improve communication in your community, there are things you can and should do. For starters, if residents aren’t hearing pertinent information directly from you on a consistent basis, in a consistent forum, they will likely fill in the blanks on their own. This often leads incomplete or just plain old incorrect information circulating.

Now might be a good time to ask yourself if your community is always aware of things like:

  • Upcoming events
  • Scheduled construction projects
  • The next board meetings
  • Responsibilities and policies

Although you can try to plan and be prepared and organized, there will always be unexpected things that come up on a monthly basis. For most residents, the rules and regulations need to be reiterated regularly because, as with all of our busy lives, residents tend to forget or perhaps haven’t been made aware of them. There are some of our communities that notice things arising, like a higher than normal resident turnover, allowing a great opportunity to send communications reminding everyone of regulations, protocol, and policies that need to be followed. If you see an increase in community and association violations, especially those that impact the community’s overall aesthetics and well-being, it is the perfect opportunity to improve your communications before it causes property values to decline.

Seacrest Services: Helping to Improve Property Management and Communication

Seacrest Services is a full-service property management company proving professional management, accounting, landscaping, construction and building maintenance, and painting services to condominium and homeowner’s associations in South Florida throughout Martin, Palm Beach and Broward Counties. It is our mission to bring outstanding services – including effective and improved communication strategies – to help with overall organization. Our ever-growing and new and improved techniques and technologies will continue to place Seacrest Services at the forefront of the property management community, highlighting us as one of the best!

For more questions on how to improve communications in your community, please call Seacrest Services directly today. We will happily work with you to provide an environment that will keep your residents at your property for many years to come. Seacrest Services is your one-stop-shop for any and all of your community association property management needs.

Managing Short-Term Vacation Rental Violations with Seacrest Services

It’s coming up on that time when travelers from the northern United States and foreign countries look forward to escaping to South Florida for a short-term vacation, escaping cold weather destinations during Fall and Winter months. Many homeowner associations are struggling with short-term rentals in their community, as many homeowners are using certain online providers to rent out their homes for very short periods of time. This can sometimes be the high turnover of nightly rentals.

The Florida Supreme Court addressed this issue in the 2002 Landmark Decision of Woodside Village Condominium Association v. Jahren, when the Florida Supreme Court found in favor for the association, ruling that when condo owners buy their home or units, they are on notice that the contract that spells out their legal rights (the declaration of condominium) can be amended by the vote specified therein. In these situations, the board is most often granted the authority for administrative details of rentals in each community where rentals are subject to association regulation.

Last year, Miami Beach in rolled out a strict new law designed to prevent widespread illegal rentals, requiring online platforms to list specific business license information on their sites. As you can imagine, this was a decision that was sharply criticized by Airbnb and the other short-term rental platforms that were allowing the rentals to happen in zoning districts that are patently illegal. Rental restrictions for a homeowner’s association are most commonly found in the declaration of covenants. Most declarations of covenants can only be amended by the approval of the owners, and the approval of a super-majority is required, with a percentage of the owners being the most common thresholds for amendments.

Community Association Rules: No More Short-Term Vacation Rentals

Tourists visiting South Florida appreciate the ease of a turnkey situation, the cheaper daily rates, and accountability of reviews that comes with the sharing economy of short-term vacation rentals. In almost every case, these South Florida vacation renters book a stay without necessarily even knowing that many of the associations governing South Florida’s condominiums and communities outlaw such short-term rentals. That can create awkward situations where tourists show up to a condo building with suitcases after traveling long distances, only to be turned away by security with nowhere else to go. Because of this, there are several South Florida developers that are recognizing the increasing demand for short-term vacation rentals – and specifically tailoring their new projects for such uses in neighborhoods and communities where they are allowed. In combination with the continued efforts of associations to get rid of illegal, short-term rentals, we are hopeful for the future where there won’t be visitors stranded with their suitcases and a ruined vacation in front of our properties.

Seacrest Services: Expert Association Management

The reality of illegal, short-term vacation rentals by owners or tenants at condo or community properties can be extremely damaging to the other owners and even the association. The practicalities are that there are safety concerns that come with a group of strangers staying at an association building for even a day or two; they often end up getting intoxicated, using building amenities, playing loud music at all hours, and throwing parties with even more non-residents. In these situations, owners can face financial repercussions if their building becomes known for excessive short-term rentals. The trickle-down effects of these repercussions could mean that it becomes more difficult to refinance a unit or obtain lines of credit. Even resale values can take a major hit, as realtors are inclined to steer prospective buyers away from communities that have the reputation of strangers coming and going.

Many associations are hiring counselors to review or amend their bylaws to ensure that the illegality of short-term rentals is explicitly addressed. They can also rely on the expertise of an association management company like Seacrest Services to root out and stop the violations. There are measures that can be taken, including:

  • Train staff so they know what key signs to look for, which can mean visitors with suitcases and people walking around aimlessly because they do not know where anything in the building is. It is perfectly acceptable for you to make sure that anyone who enters the lobby or courtyard of a building is asked who they are there to see. Through a combination of monitoring and training, most short-term vacation rental violations can be eliminated in just a few months.
  • Take written action with a cease and desist letter for those homeowners or tenants who use any rental platform to make out a profit or cover expenses. Most times, the threat of legal action requiring defense counsel is enough to get them to cease or take the short-term renting elsewhere.

In any situation that arises, Seacrest Services is here to provide the best community association property management services and to protect your reputation. We see it as highly successful to make public the efforts to eliminate short-term renting to the point that buildings and properties become known for being particularly unfriendly and unaccepting of the short-term rental violations.

At Seacrest Services of South Florida, we offer concierge community services and full-service property management to homeowner associations and boards. It is our mission to maximize and elevate your property values so that residents can enjoy the inspired lifestyle enjoyed by successful property owners in south Florida. We offer unparalleled levels of service and expertise, with a focus on building long-lasting relationships with our valued HOAs and boards who also share our vision and commitment to excellence.

Managing Invasive Wildlife in South Florida Communities

At Seacrest Services, we have found that community association management in South Florida brings up all kinds of interesting and unique situations. There have been many articles written recently about the consequences of the increasing invasive wildlife in South Florida communities. This invasive wildlife is comprised of species that are not native to our South Florida location, and typically spread diseases and damage the environment. For many of these critters, since they have no natural predators here in South Florida, the only population controls that they face are cold temperatures or pest control methods.

When you are looking for the best community association property management company near you in South Florida, you are virtually searching for a local property management business with local knowledge, local know-how, and local expertise. Seacrest Services is your ultimate choice for a local property management company serving Stuart that is supported by successful systems and processes that have developed for over 40 years! When it comes to managing invasive wildlife in South Florida communities, we want to make sure that residents and associations stay informed. Precautions should always be taken when managing invasive wildlife, whether you have elected to remove the invasive critters from your property by yourself, by hiring a professional, or not at all.

South Florida’s may not be Jurassic Park yet, but it’s getting kind of close. Some experts say that packs of green iguanas may be at record numbers as they swarm seawalls, roam community yards and community parks, and leave a path of destruction and filth in their wake. There are more than five hundred different non-indigenous or non-native wildlife – including fish and plant species – that live and thrive in South Florida. These exotic and foreign creatures and vegetation can threaten native species and cause serious economic damage, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

From these wild, green iguanas to Burmese Pythons or lionfish and air potato vines, there must be some control taken for communities and residents to feel safe. Right now, the invasive green lizards are out of control, with as many as hundreds of thousands creeping and crawling around Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties. Unfortunately, green iguanas can potentially live up to ten years, laying dozens of eggs at a time, which is why the population issue has grown so out of control. One of the ways in which these green iguanas are affecting our community association properties is that they also tend to destroy landscaping, gardens, damage infrastructure, and leave their droppings everywhere with potentially harmful diseases, such as Salmonella.

Finding Solutions with Seacrest Services Community Property Management

It seems that because of record heat levels this summer, the only viable option is to control the green iguana population. In fact, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced an open season on these green iguanas, stating that community homeowners are allowed to eliminate these iguanas on their own properties without a permit, as well as on 22 public lands in South Florida.

Some of the stories of invasive wildlife in South Florida seem almost too surreal to be true; there has been a colony of Vervet Monkeys who live near the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood airport for many years. These swinging critters pose a definite threat to our health and safety, as wild primates carry diseases, such as herpes B. There are solutions to these animal invasions as well, and things can be done according to the FWC; for example not feeding these wild monkeys is a good start!

Our professional landscaping teams know all too well about the invasive air potato vine, which is an aggressive weed that tends to smother other vegetation in our South Florida community gardens, yards, and properties. But even this invasion has a solution with the experts from Seacrest Services, and recently small leaf beetles seem to be helping to control these noxious property invaders!

From complete community associate property management services and professional accounting services, to the best landscaping and property maintenance in South Florida, Seacrest Services can tailor a specific plan for your community association or commercial property, no matter how unique the situation!

As one of the top property management companies located in Stuart, we can promise your association that we will keep your property looking its best and functioning seamlessly and safely throughout the year, with our dedicated team of experienced and knowledgeable professionals. Call today to find out more about why Seacrest Services offers the most trusted property management services in Stuart.