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Chris Kelsey

Chris Kelsey is the Director of Support for eUnify, cloud based property management software. He serves on the board of his self-manage HOA and has earned a Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University.
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Recent Posts

Happy Holidays and the HOA

Posted by Chris Kelsey on Nov 20, 2019 4:05:45 PM

The holidays are like the weekend of the year. We work hard the rest of the time and look forward to the things we enjoy the most, shared time and meals with loved ones, overeating (overdrinking?), parties, gifts, laughter, etc., and just like the weekend, somehow it goes by too quickly and ends up more loaded with manual labor and demands than we’d like. Somehow many of us forget about all those demands over the ten months between holiday seasons, and many of us end up stressed out hosting guests and parties, making the house look perfect, and finding gifts for everyone. For those who live in HOAs, community rules, leadership, and events can be one more layer of stress. Board Members and Managers might consider the following to help keep the holidays happy for residents:

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Topics: HOA, HOA Board, Holidays

Going Green, Composting

Posted by Chris Kelsey on Oct 17, 2019 1:23:53 PM

I recently sent out a compliance notice to a homeowner in my community for what I thought was a garbage bin left out in plain view, and in violation of our CC&Rs. I was informed by the homeowner that it was a composting bin, a fact which they served to me with a measure of snark equal to the amount of slop in the bin, I’m sure, along with an implicit accusation that the HOA was not supporting the homeowner going green. Really, the issue is not with composting in this instance; if the bin were placed out of sight, no one would even know about it…or care. However, the homeowner’s attempt to turn the citation into something it wasn’t, an argument about the environment, got me thinking about composting specifically, and in more general terms, how the community might be more supportive of eco-friendly initiatives. I went down the rabbit’s hole researching composting, and even decided to start doing it myself (but there will be no bucket of slop in my yard!). Here’s some of what I learned, and some things for HOAs to watch out for as homeowners “go green”.

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Just Follow The Rules

Posted by Chris Kelsey on Sep 19, 2019 9:27:24 AM

Governing bodies are charged with oversight. In order to prevent oversight from becoming overreach, and even downright tyranny, transparency and accountability are key. Homeowners associations, as governing bodies, must work to preserve visibility into the work of Board Members and Managers alike. An overzealous Board Member, disorganized Manager, or belligerent homeowner can do a lot of damage to the community. A simple internet search returns countless “HOA horror stories” with a couple of common themes: 1. Abuse of power by the Manager or Board (or individual Board Member) and 2. Ignorance of or disregard for the rules detailed in the association’s governing documents on the part of Homeowners, Board Members, and/or the Manager. Here is a real-life horror story pulled from the headlines for each of these themes and a summary of how effective use of software may have prevented the drama.

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Topics: HOA Compliance, architectural reviews, portals, architecturals, community link

Build It and They Will Come

Posted by Chris Kelsey on Aug 21, 2019 8:15:00 AM

In conversations with eUnify clients recently, best practices for leveraging the CommunityLink homeowner portal has emerged as a recurring theme. I have observed clients utilize the portal with varying degrees of success and have come up with a short list of ideas for making the most of the community portal. Basically, it comes down to building content. Think about your favorite news site. You probably visit it a couple times a day. If content isn’t constantly refreshed, you are easily bored and unlikely to peruse outdated headlines. While announcements, events, and documents in your community portal are slower to change than the day’s headlines, building a library of content will encourage homeowners to come to the portal site more often. Here are some ideas for maximizing usage of the eUnify CommunityLink portal:

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Topics: portals, community link

What I’ve Learned in My Time Serving on My HOA Board

Posted by Chris Kelsey on Jul 31, 2019 11:39:35 AM

So far, I’ve been a member of my HOA board for 4 years. In that time, I’ve gained a new perspective on my community and the work it takes to maintain it. Prior to serving, I would be happy to pay my dues and let someone else take care of everything, and probably much more likely to have a negative view of the Board and of HOAs in general. I think if you live in an association, becoming involved on the Board or with some sub-committee is eye-opening in the way that working in a restaurant makes you a better customer. These are some of the lessons I’ve learned (I’m sure there are more to come):

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Topics: Community, self managed HOA, quickbooks, HOA Board

"OMG, the Pool!" - Summer Storms and HOAs

Posted by Chris Kelsey on Jul 24, 2019 10:46:20 AM

Phoenicians look forward to monsoon with the eagerness of NASCAR-goers awaiting a car crash. There’s beauty in the destructive power of the unpredictable storms in this season. Two of my brothers who now live out of state plan visits during the annual monsoon season to satisfy a nostalgic craving for the theatrics of mile-high walls of dust, fierce lightning, and flash flooding, along with the thrill of waiting to see how much force nature will unleash. Just last night, the first of these cracked open the skies with an impressive lightning show, rain, and microbursts of wind. I had dinner with a friend and stopped for a second leaving the restaurant to take in the gorgeous yet ominous sunset with a storm looming in the distance, and then got in my car and thought nothing of it. I made it home before even the air stirred. As soon as I was home, I got a message from my friend whose house apparently was in the path of a microburst while we were at dinner. The message said, “OMG, the pool! It’s brown and there’s half a tree in it!”.

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Topics: eUnify, HOA, HOA Board, work orders, portals, HOA Landscaping, vendor portal, community link, summer

eUnify Customer Service Revamp

Posted by Chris Kelsey on Jun 26, 2019 9:00:00 AM

If you’ve chatted with us at a tradeshow, you’ve probably heard us say, “eUnify is a software shop”, which means we are in the business of building software. We have focused on software development for the community association industry and are very proud of the systems we’ve built. While we’ve built a host of valuable functions in our all-in-one uManage platform, our customer support hasn’t always kept pace with development efforts. eUnify is a software shop, but it is also in the business of customer service. We sincerely value our customers and want to show it by completely revamping the eUnify customer support effort. Here’s a short list of what we’ve been up to when it comes to improving customer support:

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Topics: eUnify, tradeshows, eUnify Team, support

Xeriscape Your Community and Home

Posted by Chris Kelsey on Jun 12, 2019 8:30:00 AM

As I type, with the blinds closed, lights off, and A/C blasting, a deadly heatwave is baking the paint off my car in the parking lot. With record heat and prolonged drought as a backdrop, I determined xeriscaping to be a good topic for this blog post. Whether you live in the desert or in greener parts, much of the US is experiencing drought conditions. Xeriscaping is a great way to conserve water, save time, and update the appearance of your home. Let’s take a closer look at what xeriscaping is, what the benefits are, and some things to keep in mind when it comes to your HOA.

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Topics: HOA Landscaping

Portal up, It's the Law

Posted by Chris Kelsey on May 29, 2019 1:23:26 PM

Maintaining an association website and/or portal is extremely useful in making community documents, events, and other information available to homeowners while saving managers and boards valuable time.This convenience is no longer an option for condominium associations with more than 150 units in Florida, where the state legislature has recently passed a bill to require websites for associations. The new laws even detail potential criminal penalties for noncompliance.

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Topics: resident portals, eUnify, portals, law

Cool for the Summer

Posted by Chris Kelsey on May 22, 2019 8:05:00 AM

I run hot. On a recent flight, after politely asking the flight attendant if he could lower the cabin temperature, he asked if I was “going through the change”. I told him the answer was whatever it needed to be in order to cool off the plane. Given my temperature sensitivity, I probably shouldn’t be living in Phoenix, but calling this place home for so many years has helped me learn some tricks to keeping cool. As it relates to our homes, staying cool for the summer is easy, just think cool colors, like green and blue:

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Topics: community link, summer, pool pass