Collection of condo and townhouse management related content.

Managing Your Board Through Covid-19


A Look at How HOA Boards can Manage the Challenges of Today and Beyond

Though many of our communities have experienced current challenges in their own way, their solutions have been very similar.  We’ve gathered what works best and would love to share with you. The best part is, you can do it from the comfort of your own home.

The video addresses the following:

  • COVID-19 Assessment Collection
  • COVID-19 Maintenance & Operations
  • COVID-19 Deed Restriction
  • Management Tools & Best Practices to Ensure Success During Times of Crisis
  • Tools for Boards & Homeowners

Property Management Services in Houston Adjusting to Millennials

Property management services in Houston are making changes to adjust for the influx of Millennials to the condominium market. That’s right, Millennials who cherish their free time are choosing condominiums for their first home due to the “lock and leave” lifestyle they afford. They don’t want the hassle of owning a home, so if your property management services in Houston are doing their job, you’ll have a dedicated tenant.

millennial condo buyers

What millennials expect from property management services in Houston

The millennial population is tech savvy and they expect the same from the people they do business with. This trend has caused property management service in Houston to reconsider the way they do business. Many are rushing to upgrade their website to do more and be more user friendly.

Millennials prefer paying onlineIt’s now pretty much the norm to be able to pay monthly association dues and assessments online, plus see real time their account status. It’s how millennials do business, and property management services in Houston are making it happen. Millennials have no desire to chase your staff and work around your schedule just to make a payment.

Another big one for property management services in Houston when it comes to millennials is the ability to file complaints or request maintenance online and track the progress of that request. Again, millennials do not work around your schedule, that website integration is essential to keeping them happy. They want to put in their request, wait for your response and provide feedback all via a website interface.

Got announcements for the community? It’s fine to post them on the bulletin board for older residents, but millennials want to go to the website and get the info they need. Some property management services in Houston are still adjusting to this one; either doing one or the other but not both. Don’t’ forget to post your CCRs here too.

Millennials expect property management services in Houston to promote community

Millennials like to know their neighbors and they like management services in Houston to make that happen via community mixers. Keep them short, fun and light. This type of event is a time that allows residents to bond and can strengthen community relations which makes the property management services job a little easier.

Millennials and baby boomers can live in perfect harmony if the property management services in Houston manage the process. You must be everything to everyone. Companies like RISE in Houston get and they are making it happen.

Want more information on how your property can attract millennials and keep them happy, explore the RISE difference at or contact RISE at (713) 936-9200 or [email protected].

The “Love Is” Top Condo Amenities for 2018.

Remember the old “Love Is” series of cartoons? The top condo amenities for 2018 fit well into that cartoon scenario. Let’s take a look at a few of the “Love Is” condo amenities for 2018.

Condo Amenities 2018“Love Is”…Smart home technology.

Condo owners are individuals who like the freedom to do what they want, when they want. They long for uncomplicated lives. They want all the bells and whistles when it comes to their smart home technology. They want voice activation when they’re home, but control remotely for their spontaneous lifestyles. Don’t scrimp here or you’re bound to lose out in 2018.

“Love Is”…High end fiber optics and more.

The discerning condo owner today is looking for high end fiber and more. They want to know the building they’re buying into can support the future advances like electric vehicles and robotic technology and more. It takes sophisticated systems to run the tech side of the building and it occupants, don’t under deliver here.

See where Forbes is setting the expectation

“Love Is”…City views and social spaces in Houston.

In Houston, luxury condos are boasting spectacular city views that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your private balcony or in one of the many rooftop verandas that serve as social hubs. In fact, according to Inman, the social areas one of the most in demand condo amenities in 2018.

“Love Is”…Indoor basketball courts, glass bottom pools and gyms with personal trainers.

Condo dwellers love their walk-about lifestyle and like the over-the-top convenience of never having to leave their buildings to enjoy some cardio. Indoor basketball courts and in-house gyms with either personal trainers onsite or virtual trainers are a must in condo amenities for 2018. The more daring love the new glass bottom pools that allow you feel like you’re swimming in the clouds. It’s all about the snap!

“Love Is”…Personal shoppers, valet trash service, valet car service and more.

The final “Love Is” in this cartoon of must have condo amenities for 2018 is someone who can do everything menial for them. Dad’s birthday coming up…call the personal shopper, let them worry. You just show up with the perfect gift. Ready to leave, drag the trash to the hall, buzz the valet and have your car waiting for you all warmed up.

Make the “Love Is” happen.

These “Love Is” must have 2018 condo amenities don’t just happen automatically. It takes a top of the line association management company to manage this caliber of property. They must have the diversified services and qualified personnel to implement and continue the upgrade of your luxury condo property.

Need that kind of management association in Houston, check out RISE at or contact RISE at (713) 936-9200 or [email protected].

Vertical Luxury Living in Houston.

Vertical luxury living is on the rise in Houston with luxury condos in short supply. The definition by price, of luxury condos in Houston is starting at around $750,000 plus. More about luxury premiums here. These vertical luxury living options, known as luxury condos have amenities that rival most 4-Star hotels and nothing less is acceptable for their discerning buyers. So, who are the buyers of luxury condos in Houston and what do they expect? Here’s the scoop from the associations that manage them.Luxury Condos

Luxury condos – Defining the Buyers

The buyers of luxury condos in the Houston area is mainly a draw of empty nesters from Memorial, Tanglewood, Sugar Land, The Woodlands and River Oaks. Houstonians are warming to the idea of larger vertical living spaces that are lock and leave, low maintenance and high on service.

Developers are accommodating with large open floor plans, 4-Star amenities and standard, top of the line everything. In short, luxury condo owners are people who know what they want, are accustomed to paying for it and expect what they pay for. They don’t threaten to sue; you hear from their attorney that they are suing. There’s nothing wrong with that either, but it does take a very special management company to manage a luxury condo property.

Luxury condos – Setting the Standards

From the point of the first preview, association management for luxury condos begins looking at the potential buyer. It takes more than just wealth to buy, the association management is creating a community and lifestyle that blends, it’s smart management.

Most luxury condos have right of refusal for prospective owners. Don’t discount the financial obligation either which is sure to include a substantial down payment, excellent credit score and above average income to qualify as a factor to maintain a standard as well. Owners and developers look to the association management to make recommendations to accomplish these task without fear of retribution in terms of a lawsuit or damaging publicity.

Luxury condos – High requirements on staffing, maintenance and living.

We touched on it earlier, luxury condo owners get the best because they are willing to pay for it. However, they also expect performance and not excuses. Demands for service are high and require top of the line staffing and plenty of it from their association management company.

In fact, many luxury condos hire in concierge services that handle their high-end clienteles’ personal request. Requests that can range from jet reservations to birthday gifts for family members. It started in New York, but it’s nationwide now.

Luxury Condo Buyers – They are savvy buyers and not afraid to sue.

It can’t be said enough; luxury condo buyers have a set of standards they expect you to meet and it’s not optional. They don’t just demand higher service, they demand a high level of performance by management when it comes to setting and enforcing the rules.

Developers are prime targets for this class of luxury condo owners; if you advertise a Jenn-Aire stainless steel appliance package in the kitchen, then it better be just that. It’s not just the developer of their property either. In Houston there are several ongoing battles between luxury condo owners and developers of surrounding property for a variety of reasons that center around changing the character of the neighborhood. Again, this high-end buyer has the means to be heard and the money to back it. Read more about some of these cases here.

If you’re looking for the type of management company it takes to run a luxury condo, look to RISE in Houston. Find out more about their service by contacting RISE at (713) 936-9200 or [email protected].

Condo Airbnbs – Why Your Management Company is Your Best Partner.

Condo AirbnbAirbnb’s are a popular way for condo owners to make a little extra change and for travelers to save a little money on their stay. “Winter Texans” as we call them are a great target for this type of arrangement-6 months here and 6 months in their home state. But what happens when you Airbnb your unit and you get found out? Condo Airbnb – ing is not the same as a house. However, with the right property management company in place, it can be a win-win situation.

Condo Airbnb – What You Need to Know

When deciding on condo Airbnb, start with your CCRs. Short-term rentals would need to be allowed by your community. There is nothing worse than signing up on Airbnb, only to find out that it is against the CCRs for your community. Otherwise, there’s a real possibility of getting fined from the association.

Don’t forget to check your city regulations as well. Many cities have begun very strenuous regulations about not only condo Airbnb s, but short-term rentals in general. Here’s a recommended guide with city resources if you’re in the Houston area

Consider how you will get keys, relay the rules, etc. to your condo Airbnb guest. Then there’s the make ready between rentals, and cleaning. What if your guest break a rule? If you’re fined by the condo association, who’s paying that? There’s more moving parts then you realize.

Your management association could be an Airbnb ally.

Condos can become very popular on Airbnb, due to the amenities and often their proximity to downtown, restaurants and bars. How much money can someone make? An Airbnb host in San Fransisco was earning $4,000 per month by renting out apartments. For Houston, it’s reasonable to charge $65 per night in a newer furnished condo close to downtown or other amenities. $1,000 to $2,000 per month is possible per unit.

Airbnb can be an extra revenue source for condominium owners. One way is to rent unsold units until a buyer signs an agreement or even allowing a furnished model to be leased on weekends.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But we all know, with increased flexibility and revenue comes increased commitments in time, resources and liability.

  • Insurance is the first hurdle. Have your management association review not only what your current policy covers, but what changes would need to be made to cover the liability of short term rentals, not just for common areas, but for individually rented units.
  • Security is another consideration in condo Airbnbs. Permanent residents could feel unsafe with constantAirbnb traffic. Plus, it is not uncommon forAirbnb guests to be in town for a party; after all they’re typically on vacation. Noise violations could increase.
  • Don’t forget damages, who pays for them if they are to common areas? It could be your responsibility.
  • Finally, there’s just the day to day logistics of keys, repairs, cleaning crews, etc. Essentially, your condo becomes a hotel; and hotels require onsite management.

Looking at the list above, I’m sure you can see where a property management company is integral to the success of Airbnb  endeavors. Just as they act as a buffer and mediator between property owners; they can be that onsite management needed when offering short-term rentals.

If you and your condo property decide to move forward with an Airbnb model, be good hosts. Here are a few tips to help you out. Still want to know more? Get a free consultation from RISE in Houston. Contact us at (713) 936-9200 or [email protected].

Spring Cleaning Condo Properties, A Community Affair.

It’s that time of year again, we’re all coming out of winter hibernation and slowly venturing out. For condo managers and staff, it means spring cleaning condo properties. Admit it, you’re seeing neighbors you thought had moved, it’s like a whole new community! Along with spring comes an annual rite of passage, “Spring Cleaning”. Spring cleaning started years ago, when homes in the winter were heated with coal furnaces/fireplaces and illuminated with oil lamps which left soot and residue on everything. When spring came, the house was opened-up and emptied out to be thoroughly cleaned. (Origins of “Spring Cleaning”) I don’t know about you, but I’ve slacked up a bit. But spring cleaning shouldn’t be limited to just your home, spring cleaning condo properties helps you complete a few items on your annual check list.

Tip 1: Spring Cleaning Condo Properties

Paperwork makes the world go around and your association is probably drowning in it. Spring is a great time to archive association management records in that cabinet. By now, all important paperwork should be with the CPA for tax preparation. Add a discard tag to your boxes if you don’t already have that system in place. Discard tags tell you when a box can be shredded or if it is a permanent file. I can already hear you saying, “our records are electronic”; guess what, you still need to backup files and store them on a separate HD or flash drive for security.

Tip 2: Management by Walking Around

Once you’ve cleared out the paperwork, try a little MBWA (Management by Walking Around). When RISE does spring cleaning for our clients, this is one activity that can’t be forgotten. Managers learn more about the needs of the property by walking around and interacting with staff and home owners. Speaking of staff, take your maintenance, landscaping and office employees with you. Use the time to gather input and identify needs of the community.

Tip 3: Preventative Maintenance

Spring cleaning is also important for preventative maintenance. There are a few items that require upkeep before the hot Houston summer is upon us – air conditioners and pools. RISE knows when those brutal Texas summers are on the way, it is essential to use spring as a time to tune up. HVAC in each unit should receive a tuneup and maintenance check and filters should be replaced. Outside, confirm the A/C condenser is clear of leaves and debris so they can operate efficiently.

Spring is also an important time to set a date for the pool to open. Beforehand, a pool must be cleaned and inspected, both inside and out. Repairs should be made if needed and filtration, PH and chlorine systems tested and ready for non-stop summer operation.

Tip 4: Get Everyone Involved!

Spring cleaning condo properties is best done as a community wide event! Don’t make it feel like a hassle for residents. Instead, get everyone involved, have a community wide kick-off party and give DIY tips for styling your balcony or patio. Come up with a contest, such as, “Most Improved Balcony!”. Get a few local sponsors and pass out gift cards and food. Have the onsite manager talk about why Spring Cleaning a Condo is important and efforts residents and the association is taking for upkeep. When everything is done, celebrate your accomplishment with the opening of the pool or a community party.

Want ideas on spring cleaning condo properties, talk to my Houston friends at RISE, get info from people who live it every day, explore the RISE difference at or contact RISE at (713) 936-9200 or [email protected].

The Digital Condo Age, Tech Solutions to Age Old Problems.

Welcome to the new digital condo age; it’s the age of Alexa, Google Home, Amazon Key and smart home technology additions that can regulate temperatures, turn on/off lights and allow you to view your home from your phone while you’re away. The digital condo age can help provide solutions to age old problems like package management, energy conservation and security for condo management teams.

Gadgets for the Digital Condo Age

Let’s face it, most of us enjoy our gadgets and that’s good in the digital condo age. Alexa and Google Home devices are becoming more popular to voice control many of the functions in their homes. These devices interact with various smart home peripherals via Bluetooth or Wifi. In the digital condo age, Nest thermostats, doorbells with built in cameras and electronic locks are providing a new level of energy conservation and security. Products are flooding the market and the race in on; some devices will flourish, while other will flounder. Check out this smart socket introduced at the recent electronic consumers show (

Package Management in this Digital Age

Package management has long been a problem for management companies, but this digital age could provide some needed avenues for improvement. In the digital condo age here are some tips and suggestions that can be implemented to help: (

  1. Make sure tenants know where the liability for missing or mis-delivered packages that are not delivered directly to the management office lay. Even in the digital condo age, don’t take on a responsibility that is a liability.
  2. Consider installing package lockers as a capital improvement. Package lockers can provide an easy solution for deliveries to be secured. Amazon is currently working with communities to develop locker locations in a program known as Amazon HUB. (
  3. Another choice in the digital condo age for package management is the installation of smartlocks. Smartlocks can be used on a specific space for deliveries and accessed via key cards/codes for resident and package safety.

Amazon Key System

You may have residents who opt to use the Amazon Key System in the digital condo age. This system is not inexpensive coming in at almost $300 to set up. Then there’s the issue of someone you don’t know having access to your home while you’re not there. Some are comfortable with that, other’s, not so much. You can read more about how this works and the pros and cons in this article (

The impact of the Digital Condo Age

It remains to be seen what new rules or amended rules may need to be put in place to accommodate the digital condo age. For instance, with the Amazon Key System, what is the liability to have delivery people going past the management office, wondering around looking for an individual unit they are delivering to? Who pays for the installation of digital options and once installed, what becomes the property of the unit?

Want to more about the digital condo age and how to manage the challenges it can provide, check out RISE at or contact RISE at (713) 936-9200 or [email protected].

Condo rules…the why, how and where of change

Starting a new year always means new resolutions and rules; your condo property isn’t any different, many boards will wait till the first of the year to implement new or revised condo rules. By having a designated period in which they make condo rule changes, it helps the residents to learn when and where to look so they can stay in compliance.

Why condo rules change

Many people wonder why condo rules must change at all; I mean, they should be fairly basic, right? Truth is, there are societal and operational changes happening daily and with that will come changes to condo rules. For instance, your condo rules may currently indicate that trash should be left by your door on Monday morning for pickup that day; if the trash day moves to Wednesday, the rule must change.

Changing some condo rules can go beyond affecting a single concern. Rules could create an even more dangerous and complex issue for residents. A recent example of this happened in Placer County, CA. One resident in a condo community was allowing people to live in their garage; with the garage door constantly being closed, it was hard for management to catch them breaking the rule that prohibited this. To remedy the situation, a new condo rule was written, and a notice sent out that everyone had to leave their garage door open from 8 am to 5 pm daily. Residents of course are up in arms due to privacy and security concerns. You can read the article here ( The consensus is, there has to be another way to address this random issue without endangering other residents.

My daddy always said, “Be careful when you say there ought to be a rule against that, because many times in protecting one, we endanger the masses.” Not sure where it came from, but it makes sense. Condo rules should not be altered to address what is basically an isolated instance with one or two problem residents.

Condo rules and public opinion

Another area to be careful about when making new condo rules is how they will be seen in the court of public opinion. You always have to be thinking about the resale of your property based on your public image. Sometimes public opinion is just a matter of how a rule is presented, it’s a very simple formula:

Identify the Issue-Explore Options-Make Rule-MARKET Condo Rule to Homeowners

Yep, you read that right, market the condo rule; when you release a new condo rule, homeowners should have a clear definition of what the problem was, the process you went through to arrive at your rule and the actual condo rule. They need to buy in and know you have their interest at heart. The same is true of the public. One HOA in Houston has taken a PR hit after they posted signs banning photography sessions on their grounds. ( Now there’s even a challenge to their legal right to do so.

Making condo rules-proceed with caution

If you are sitting on your condo association board, the best advice is to proceed with caution when making new rules or revising existing ones. Be sure the rule is being made because you are “Acting, not reacting.” Most condo rules made as a reaction with limited forethought become legal challenges in the future.

Be sure your condo rules clearly state the expectations and the whys for those expectation as well as the penalty for non-compliance. Even more importantly, communicate the changes in multiple forms for all residents. Many condo bylaws address how changes can and will be made; be sure you are aware of these. Final advice, before you announce your new rules, run them by your legal team and management team.

Want to know how to effectively manage your condo rule changes, check out RISE at or contact RISE at (713) 936-9200 or [email protected].

Surviving Harvey… Tips from RISE Association Management in Houston

The time for planning for #HurricaneHarvey is past; according to RISE association management in Houston it’s all about survival and what to do and what not to do now.

What to expect…

Anyone in association management in Houston will confirm that the greatest risk during these types of events are:
• Flooding
• Tornadoes
• Excessive wind

Association management in Houston suggest these steps to survive…

As you are hunkering down and the storm moves closer inland the rains will increase significantly and the wind will increase substantially. Best advice of association management in Houston, “Stay inside and monitor your weather radio.” People fail to realize that at 40 mph on a wet road, your car is no longer making solid contact with the road. They also fail to realize that it really doesn’t take much water running over a road to wash a vehicle away.

The wind isn’t just a danger while you’re in your vehicle, consider the danger getting to your vehicle. Simple objects become deadly projectiles as they are picked up by the wind and hurled here and there. Consider how bad you really need to leave.

Stay connected; keep your phone, tablet and portable computer charged. Remember, when these devices fail and they may during a hurricane, a battery-operated weather radio is a great investment. Many will lose power during this storm and staying aware of conditions is imperative to survival. These little inexpensive radios may very well be the most valuable purchase you will make. Don’t forget to have additional batteries.

Candles vs flashlights; they both serve a purpose in a storm according to association management in Houston. Save those flashlights for times when you need that blaring light to see, use candles for just safety lighting. The candles will most likely last longer and those batteries in that flashlight may come in valuable later.

Most important advice from association management in Houston is:

If you are told to evacuate, don’t argue, don’t take your time to google it, just GO!

By staying in a dangerous situation, you only endanger your life and that of the first responders who will have to go and rescue you. Seriously, the department of emergency management and your association management in Houston is not doing to suggest you evacuate unless it is really necessary.

After the storm passes…

After a hurricane passes, don’t be in a huge rush to get outside; dangers will be lurking from downed power lines, damaged building and roads, etc. Let your association management in Houston and the proper authorities get an assessment of the damage and dangers first.

Be a helper, don’t hinder recovery. In any disaster, according to association management in Houston you see the true heart of people; you see communities come together and people helping people recover. Be a helper, don’t hider the efforts by complaining. There are priorities to any recovery and if you don’t have the whole picture you don’t really know what is highest on the list. Listen and help.

Want to more about how association management in Houston prepares and protects you and your investment, call RISE. Explore the RISE difference at or contact RISE at (713) 936-9200 or [email protected]

To our friends and neighbors in Houston, and the association management in Houston charged with their safety, our prayers are going out for you.

Hurricane Prep for Harvey in Houston

Tis’ the season, for condo management in Houston… And I don’t mean Christmas. Hurricane prep season brings unwanted visitors like Gilbert, Dolly, Ike and many more come to party in Lone Star State. In preparation, condo management in Houston months ago began dusting off their hurricane prep plans, breaking out the supplies and reviewing everything for live event. There are a lot of moving parts in these plans and condo management in Houston knows what happens if you aren’t ready.

You know what, you better hope your condo management in Houston did that because we are live and our first visitor of the season, Harvey is bearing down on the Texas coast as we speak.

Quick List for Hurricane Prep for Harvey

So, what does condo management in Houston do to prep for a major storm? To answer that question, I went to my friends at RISE. Here’s what they do for prep:

  • Months ago, they pulled out their hurricane plan and began reviewing it with all their staff, so they could reiterate each staff members’ roll; identified backup for key positions and made sure everyone had the appropriate training.
  • They looked at their checklist for prepping a property for a storm. Most condo management in Houston should have the same things on this list, like:
  • Securing outside fixtures
  • Clearing drains and drainage paths
  • Placement of sandbags for flooding
  • Backup power supply for systems and fuel to keep it running
  • Trauma bags for injuries stocked
  • Supplies like water, flashlights, canned goods, etc. bought and stored
  • Resident communication and monitoring
  • They updated their list of emergency contacts for residents and for first responders, emergency command centers. In fact, some condo management in Houston actually set up their own staffed command centers to monitor their properties and take emergency calls from tenants.
  • Condo management in Houston is also making certain they have their Contingency Plan current, including other properties that can house residents in the event of damage that deems the property unlivable; offices for staff should they need to be housed offsite and alternate lines of communication for residents to reach them. They also will have accountability plans so they can report to officials if they have missing persons.

Condo management in Houston in action

The test is here, condo management in Houston is live now and probably in the final stages of prepping their properties for Harvey. Look around your property, do you see the signs of the items above being completed. If not, you may want to do a little prep now yourself. Information on this can be found at these websites:

      • What Houstonians Should Know About Hurricane Prep
      • Hurricane Prep Safety Checklist

Then, after the storm, find out more by about condo management in Houston from a company that is prepared and protecting your investment, RISE. Explore the RISE difference at or contact RISE at (713) 936-9200 or [email protected]

To our friends and neighbors in Houston, and the condo management in Houston charged with their safety, our prayers are going out for you.