SOURCE: Community Advocacy Network

Community Advocacy Network

February 24, 2011 09:00 ET

Community Advocacy Network Releases 'Managing in Times of Crisis,' Report on 2011 Florida Association Management Survey

Second Annual Florida Survey Shows Smaller Communities Shift Toward Self-Management, Professionally Managed Communities Pay Less for Services

Survey Respondents See Quality of Management as Important in Maintaining Property Values; Split Over Management's Role in Dealing With Foreclosures, Delinquencies

ORLANDO, FL--(Marketwire - February 24, 2011) - The Community Advocacy Network (CAN, www.canfl.com), Florida's leading advocate for the interests of millions of community association residents statewide, released here today a summary report of its Second-Annual Florida Association Management Survey, a recent poll of residents and property owners of Florida condominiums, HOAs, cooperatives mobile home and other community associations on their perceptions of association management practices within their communities.

"Managing in Times of Crisis," released in conjunction with the annual CAI Mid-Florida chapter's "Community Association Day" conference and exhibition here at the Orlando Hilton, details survey results that indicate shifting attitudes among Florida's estimated 3.75-million community association residents about the ways in which their associations are managed. The report also reveals trends toward actual changes to management practice and style being implemented by some communities, apparently in response to the economic challenges experienced by communities statewide during 2010.

Results from the 2011 Florida Association Management Survey detailed in "Managing in Times of Crisis" show residents of Florida community associations across the board now saying their communities are today paying less for professional management services than they paid just one year ago. At the same time, smaller communities appear to be increasingly opting for self-management, without the aid of licensed professional managers, even as survey participants residing in self-managed communities themselves expressed diminishing satisfaction with the benefits of self-management.

The report also shows that while a two-thirds majority of respondents believed that property values are highly influenced by perceptions of the quality of management in community associations, fewer than half of the survey participants thought the way in which their communities are being managed was doing much toward helping maintain those same property values.

"The Community Advocacy Network is very grateful to the hundreds of Florida community association residents and property owners who participated in the 2011 Florida Association Management Survey, allowing us to record and quantify their experiences, attitudes and insight into management practices and trends in their communities," said Donna DiMaggio Berger, CAN Executive Director and Managing Partner of the Florida law firm of Katzman Garfinkel & Berger.

"Understanding how community association management actually works and how it can be improved is essential to maintaining the quality of life of millions of Floridians living in common-interest ownership communities," Ms. Berger added. "This report, 'Managing in Times of Crisis,' provides real data and real perspective on community association management in our state. We hope it will serve to inform and instruct our industry and our local and state government leaders as we strive together to develop and implement legislation and regulations that truly benefit the millions who live in Florida community associations today."

Key findings of CAN's 2011 Florida Association Management Survey include:

  • Professional management companies appear to be receiving less remuneration for their community association management services this year than last, with the percentage of respondents living in communities that pay less than $25,000 annually for those services rising 3.2% year-on-year, while the percentage in communities paying more than $70,000 per year fell by 3.0%;

  • The proportion of survey participants living in self-managed communities who identified themselves as also living in small- to mid-sized communities (consisting of 200 or fewer homes or units) increased significantly year-on-year from 54% in last year's survey to 67% in the 2011 survey, pointing to a trend of smaller community associations opting for self-management during the past 12 months, a period marked by economic difficulties for Florida community associations generally;

  • Dissatisfaction with self-management may be on the rise, however, as indicated by a 13% year-on-year decrease in the percentage of self-managed respondents saying they were satisfied with their community's decision to self-manage, at the same time that the those citing "significant cost savings" as a reason to choose self-management declined sharply this year to 47% as compared to 64% in last year's survey;

  • Four in ten professionally managed respondents (41%) said their manager had been either "very" or "extremely" helpful in helping the association deal with the impact of mortgage foreclosures and delinquent assessments -- yet fully one-third (33%) expressed dissatisfaction, saying their manager had been either "not very helpful" or even "very unhelpful" in that regard; and,

  • Only slightly fewer respondents (37%) were just as convinced that self-management had been either "very" or "extremely" helpful to their communities' efforts to deal with foreclosures and rising delinquencies, while nearly a third (31%) took the opposing view, that self-management had been "not very helpful" or even "very unhelpful" in dealing with the foreclosure crisis and the growth of delinquent assessments.

Yielding responses from 780 residents and property owners in Florida community associations, CAN's Second-Annual Florida Association Management Survey was conducted online from Dec. 10, 2010 through Jan. 31, 2011. Launched in 2010, the Florida Association Management Survey assesses property owner and resident attitudes and their first-hand experience of community association management practices in Florida in order to reach a better understanding of how professionally managed and self-managed communities are currently operating across the state.

Additional findings of the CAN 2011 Florida Association Management Survey include:

  • Survey respondents who said their Florida community is managed by either an independent state-licensed Community Association Manager (CAM) or a licensed CAM employed by a property management company fell slightly to 71% from 75% the year previous; those who said their association has no professional manager and instead relies on its non-salaried Board members for management of the community increased slightly by 4% in 2011 to 29%;

  • An overall decrease of 10% in respondents who said their association employs a full-time, on-site CAM appears to indicate a drop in the number of independent CAMs being hired by associations, as the survey also registered a 6% increase in the number of those participants who said their association contracts with a management company that provides the services of a licensed full- or part-time CAM;

  • Professionally managed respondents expressed virtually the same levels of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with management in their communities as last year: fully half (50%) expressing satisfaction with their current licensed manager or management company and nearly six of every 10 respondents saying they would recommend their manager or management company to another association -- even so, nearly a third (30%) indicated dissatisfaction and four of every 10 respondents saying they would not recommend their manager or management company to another association; and,

  • Nearly 2/3 of respondents (64.9%) in the current survey identified the quality of association management as having either a "very" or "extremely" important influence on property values, yet only 43.6% of those same respondents said that association management as currently practiced in their communities had had either a "very" or "extremely" positive impact on the value of their properties.

"Managing in Times of Crisis: The Community Advocacy Network's Second-Annual 2011 Florida Association Management Survey" is based on the results of a survey of 780 Florida community association residents and property owners conducted online from Dec. 10, 2010 through Jan. 31, 2011. The margin of error for the survey sample is +/- 5% percentage points with a 99% confidence level.

Interested individuals attending the CAI Mid-Florida chapter conference and exhibition at the Orlando Hilton can obtain a copy of "Managing in Times of Crisis" by stopping by Booths 32 & 33 in the exhibition area from 4-7 pm Thursday, Feb. 24th. The report can also be downloaded from the website of the Community Advocacy Network (CAN): www.canfl.com.

The Community Advocacy Network was founded in 2007 by the Florida law firm of Katzman Garfinkel & Berger to provide education, advocacy and outreach services to community associations statewide. CAN is "management agnostic" in its approach, working closely with communities throughout Florida managed by professional firms of all sizes, as well as communities that choose to be self-managed. 

Membership in the Community Advocacy Network (CAN) is open to all Florida community associations, including condominiums, co-operatives, homeowner associations, timeshares and mobile home communities. For more information about the benefits of CAN membership and the organization's activities around the State, please contact tchristiana@canfl.com or phone 954-315-0372.

About the Community Advocacy Network (CAN):
The Community Advocacy Network (CAN) is the leading statewide advocacy network promoting the interests of millions of Floridians who reside in common interest ownership communities, including condominiums, co-operatives, homeowner associations, timeshares and mobile home communities. Established in 2007 as a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization, CAN is dedicated to providing education, information and advocacy services to improve the quality of life of all who live, work and serve in community associations throughout the state of Florida. Membership in the Community Advocacy Network is open to all Florida community associations. For more information, visit www.canfl.com or call 954-315-0372.

Contact Information

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