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C.I.A Services, Inc.
Systems. Structure. Stewards.
Professional Community Association Management Since 1984
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July 2016
eNews Monthly
Website Portal for Board Members
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Did you know that there is a board portal via the C.I.A. Services website?  All board members have access to the Board Portal on www.ciaservices.com where they can find current and historical association documents.  Documents on the portal include the following:

  • Contracts
  • Meeting minutes
  • Meeting packages
  • Budgets and Financial reports
  • Deed restriction reports
  • Ownership reports
  • And more!

Board members are provided with an ID and temporary password and access instructions.  If you did not receive yours or no longer have this information, please contact your Community Manager and we’ll get that to you right away.

Upon the initial log in, board members will be able to opt in or out for notifications when new information is posted.  They may also opt to share opinions with other board members.  

The board portal is a great way to have the latest information in between meetings.  

Department Spotlight
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Compliance Inspectors

Have you ever wondered how deed restriction violations are spotted?  C.I.A. Services has a team of inspectors who perform regular inspections of our communities. Compliance Inspectors must know and understand the restrictions and guidelines for each community and be diligent in seeing changes to existing violations as well as sighting new ones. 

Many times, former community volunteers will become compliance inspectors as their experience volunteering has provided them with knowledge that can be applied to this role.  It’s a great position for someone looking for part time work that can be scheduled around their existing responsibilities. 

Inspectors drive each and every street and look at every home in the community on each inspection.  They look for violations that can be seen from the street or “public view” as it is commonly referred to.  Because our inspectors are in the communities on a regular basis, they are also able to spot changes in house colors, landscaping, fence and roofing changes as well as new structures such as storage buildings and pergolas.       

Regular deed restriction enforcement is vital to maintaining a good appearance in a community; which can directly affect the property values.  Inspectors have an important role in that process and we are pleased to have them!  If this sounds like something you or someone you know would be interested in, click here to see our current openings. 

Summer Safety
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Keep Your Home Safe While on Vacation

As the summer heats up, many of you will escape the daily grind and head out on a well-deserved vacation. But before you hit the road, take a few precautions so your home isn’t enticing to thieves or susceptible to fire and other disasters. Not only is having your home vandalized or burnt to the ground a highly unpleasant way to return from a trip, but it also puts the rest of the association at risk, as these problems have the potential to spread quickly throughout the neighborhood. So, before you take off, consider implementing these safety tips to keep your home and our community secure.

Call on friends for help. If you’re going to be away a week or more, ask a trusted friend to check on your house every day or two—or better yet, housesit—while you’re gone. Not only will they make sure nothing happens to your home, but you might also ask them to bring in your mail and newspapers, water plants or even feed Fluffy. Of course, it’s a good idea to let your neighbors know a friend is monitoring your property so they don’t call the police to thwart a perceived “break-in.”

Set your lights on a timer. Leaving your house unlit for days on end is a sure sign to burglars that it’s empty, but so is keeping the lights on 24-7. A good way to handle the lights on/off conundrum is to set them on a timer that’s scheduled to simulate your regular routine. Of course, if the lights seem a bit too simulated, that can be another telltale sign, so it’s a good idea to set the timers in individual rooms on staggered schedules to make the light coming from your home seem more natural.

Don’t advertise your vacation. Resist the urge to brag about your upcoming vacation on social networking sites. Nothing is more inviting to a bad guy than knowing your home will be sitting empty for a week. This is particularly true for your children who may not recognize that their small circle of cyber-friends is electronically linked to the whole world.

Stop your mail and newspaper. Nothing screams “nobody’s home!” like a pile of newspapers strewn about your doorstep or an overflowing mailbox. So, if you can’t get a friend or neighbor to collect them for you, it’s best to have your mail and paper stopped if you’re going to be out of town for awhile.

Don’t leave the spare house key lying around. That fake rock where you keep the extra house key isn’t as discrete as you think. Whether you keep a spare under your welcome mat, above the door frame or in a hide-a-key contraption, chances are it will take the nefarious types five minutes flat to find it and gain easy entry to your house. So take it with you, let a friend hold onto it or put it in a safe place inside your house, even if you’re worried about losing your other keys. Because when it comes down to it, calling a locksmith is less traumatic than calling the police.

Make a last-minute checklist. Are all the windows and doors locked? Stove and oven turned off? How about all the faucets? Are the electronics unplugged and valuables secured? Take five minutes before you leave to ensure your house is vacation-ready. Another run-through of the house may seem unnecessary if you did it earlier in the day, but knowing you’ve left your house as safe as possible will help you kick back and have a great vacation.

Seminar Series
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We are pleased to present the C.I.A. Services Seminar Series.  During our series, we present seven classroom seminars and one webinar throughout the year - each at multiple locations for a total of 28 training sessions. Click here to read the full seminar descriptions and see the schedule.  

Each seminar concentrates on the practical aspects of the topic and provides board members with background knowledge to help them in their decision making. We consistently receive positive feedback on the content and presentation.

  • Board Member Orientation
  • Advanced Topics for Board Members
  • Meeting & Records - The Legal Requirements
  • Understanding Collections & Financial Reports
  • The Super Budgeting Process
  • Practical Deed Restriction Management
  • Essentials of Architectural Control
  • Community Website Administrator (Webinar)

Each two-hour seminar begins at 6:00 pm and we provide deli sandwiches in case you come straight from work.  You’ll leave with a wealth of practical information and a notebook for future reference.

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Advanced Topics for Board Members

After you’ve been on the Board a few months or a few years, you realize that some things are pretty complicated. This seminar has a heavy legal and legislative orientation. We’ll dissect the lawsuit process, review foreclosures and bankruptcies, and discuss significant portions of the Texas Property Code and federal law. After all the legal stuff, we’ll touch on aspects of “risk management” which includes insurance, reserves and budgeting concepts.

07/07/16 – Thursday

6 – 8 pm

San Antonio

07/18/16 – Monday

6 – 8 pm

Humble

07/19/16 – Tuesday

6 – 8 pm

Southwest Houston

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The Super Budgeting Process

"Super-Budgeting" is our term for preparing a comprehensive long term budget and business plan. This isn’t something you do on the back of an envelope an hour before the budget meeting. We’ll break the process down into understandable components and show you how assets and reserves fit into the picture. We’ll start with a simple question that very few people can answer correctly: "How much money should our Association have in the bank?" By the end of the seminar, you’ll know the correct answer for your Association. This is a critical seminar to take before you start looking at budgets.

 

07/28/16 – Thursday

6 – 8 pm

Southwest Houston

08/15/16 – Monday

6 – 8 pm

Humble

08/31/16 – Wednesday

6 – 8 pm

San Antonio

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Community Website Administrator Training

This is the required training course for certification as a Community Website Administrator (CWSA) on the C.I.A Services web site (www.ciaservices.com). As a CWSA you’ll be able to maintain the pages for your community. You’ll be able to create news and events, update key personnel, add community information, display photos, conduct surveys and much more. Being a website administrator is very easy on www.ciaservices.com and you can do it from anywhere you have an Internet connection. All CWSA training is done by webinar in the comfort of your home.

Space is limited and advance registration is required.  To register, please send an email to seminars@ciaservices.com.

08/25/16 – Thursday

6 – 7 pm

Webinar

 

Community of the Month
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Inwood Northwest Neighborhood Association

We are proud of every one of our communities so it is always hard to find just one to highlight. We start by having each of our Community Managers write a nomination for one of their communities. We then read them and take a vote. Here are our most recent selections:

  • July - Inwood Northwest Neighborhood Association - North Office - Brenda Ellington
  • June - Colony Grant Homeowners Association - Southwest Office - Libby Hodges
  • May - Greensbrook Community Assoication - North Office - Frances McIntyre
  • April - Atascocita Timbers Homeowners Association - North Office - Linda Morris
  • March - Cinco Ranch Southwest Community Council - North Office - Laura Tate
  • February - Homeowners Association of Timber Forest - North Office - Linda Morris

To see the full story on these communities and to see the past winners, visit the Community of the Month page on our site.

New Communities
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Cambridge (San Antonio) Homeowners Association

We are very pleased to announce that another outstanding community has joined C.I.A. Services San Antonio Office. 

The Cambridge (San Antonio) Homeowners’ Association, Inc. is a nice community with 129 homes on northwest side of San Antonio near the UTSA campus just inside the 1604 Loop.

Welcome to the family, we look forward to servicing your community for many years!

Community Anniversaries
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Every month we appreciate the communities that are celebrating their anniversaries with us. Here are the clients that started with us in July.

  • East Point Community Association— 26 years
  • Inwood Northwest Neighborhood Association— 15 years
  • Royal Palms Homeowners Association— 12 years
  • Community Association of Crockett Park — 6 years
  • Steeple Chase Terrace Townhouse Association - 2 years

Our goal has always been to create a positive, long term relationship with all of our client communities. We are very proud to be managing all of these communities.

Employee Corner
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Anniversaries

We love to celebrate special milestones with our employees. In each issue under Employee Corner, we will list all employees that have reached their 1 year anniversary with our company. We also acknowledge the yearly anniversaries of all stockholders.  Employees become stockholders once they celebrate their 5th year with the company.     

Congratulations to Linda Morris, a dedicated and loyal stockholder, on her 9th anniversary with C.I.A. Services. Linda is a Community Manager at our North Office.  

Congratulations to Carrie Harmon. Carrie is the Branch Manager and a Community Manager at our San Antonio office.  Carrie leads her team with a smile every day.  

JoAnn Peterson of our Bandera office is also celebrating her 1st anniversary.  JoAnn is a super accounting clerk and member of our accounting team.

Brooke Gattis is another employee with a 1st year anniversary this month.  Brooke is a Community Manager in our North Office and a joy to work with.

Assistant Community Manager Melissa Hallman is also celebrating her 1st anniversary in July.  Melissa joined C.I.A. Services to work with a master planned community and quickly became an integral part of the team!

Congratulations to these wonderful ladies, we enjoy working with them every day!

Read Past Issues of eNews Monthly

Every month, we issue an electronic newsletter, eNews Monthly, to keep clients informed about Association items, spotlight clients, answer frequently asked questions and let you know what is happening with the company. Old issues of eNews Monthly are available on our Library page.