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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

To Be Fair

Posted by Chris Kelsey on Feb 20, 2020 3:10:04 PM

All of us involved in servicing community associations, whether we be vendors, managers, or board members, have the important task of keeping up with legislative trends. Some states have much more complex statutes than others regarding this area of law, but we can expect that trends in these few states that are population centers and planned development community hotspots (California, Florida, Texas) will set precedent and find their way into the legislative agendas of other states. Recently, litigation initiated in Florida, seeks to enforce communities with an online presence into ADA compliance. This post is a follow-up to a previous post regarding Florida legislation requiring community associations to have online resources for all homeowners to access key documents (see, “Portal Up, It’s the Law). Let’s explore the current litigation and how to ensure you aren’t caught in the crosshairs of a similar complaint.

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Topics: resident portals, portals, HOA law

My New Year’s Resolutions as an HOA Board Member

Posted by Chris Kelsey on Jan 23, 2020 1:59:23 PM

I didn’t bother with official New Year’s Resolutions this year, but “lose weight”, “save more money”, “finish home projects”, etc. will rattle around in the back of my mind for all of 2020, and maybe I’ll make some progress. However, in my capacity as a Board Member and the Vice President of my HOA Board of Directors, I have made a few more concrete resolutions. Below is my list…if you’re a Board Member or Manager, now’s a good time to think about what you want to improve in your communities and professionalism in carrying out the work of community associations

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Topics: HOA Board

Onboarding the Board

Posted by Chris Kelsey on Jan 15, 2020 8:30:00 AM

You might be thinking, “New Year, new me” in 2020. If part of what’s new for your in the New Year is election to your HOA Board, or a new career in HOA management, there will be a learning curve related to all the new tasks in your new position. Whether you’re a new board member or property manager, your concerns will be focused on efficiency, communication, transparency, and understanding the metrics that paint the picture of how the association is doing. Board members need to be in the know to fulfill their duties, and rely on managers to present all relevant information for their decision-making. The eUnify Board Portal is a valuable tool in addressing all of these areas of focus in the following ways:

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Topics: HOA Board, portals

Season of Celebration (Not Litigation)

Posted by Chris Kelsey on Dec 18, 2019 7:30:00 AM

The holidays are meant to be celebratory, but this time of year presents special challenges to community associations. It is impossible to search for the terms “HOA” and “Holiday” without returning a slew of headlines regarding homeowner battles with their associations over holiday decorations, many of which turn into expensive litigation. If your association needs to adopt holiday regulations, here are some points to consider to prevent such expensive battles:

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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