Keys to Keeping Aging Communities Feeling Vibrant, Fresh

The allure of new construction and modern amenities help propel home sales in developing communities. But what happens a decade or two down the road when the community enters a more mature chapter of its lifecycle? What steps can you take to ensure your community remains relevant and desirable?

To answer these questions, we recently invited community managers and Board Presidents to share their experience and ideas on the matter. Their tips and insights are summarized below.

  • Evaluate key amenities – including community centers and landscaping – on an ongoing basis, and invest money as necessary to ensure their aesthetic and functional integrity is maintained.
  • Consider updating or modernizing association policies on issues such as house paint colors and other design modifications. As time passes and trends change, be sure you’re accommodating the needs and desires of your homeowners.
  • Continue fostering a true sense of community in the neighborhood. Word-of-mouth is a major marketing tool, and your residents can be your best salespeople. By ensuring they remain active and engaged in events, programming and community operations, you ensure you have a knowledgeable and happy base for sharing positivity.
  • Use your residents as a resource. Involve them in community operations through committees, town hall meetings or community surveys designed to gather input and better understand their interests and ideas.
  • Bring in an outside perspective. Partner with local entities that have a vested interest in the community – schools, public services, local businesses, etc. – and use these resources to gauge perceptions of your community outside the neighborhood.
  • Be open to change. As demographics of the community adjust, you need to adapt and be prepared to address their requests, whether that’s a change in meeting times or the addition of a new amenity, such as a pickleball court.
  • Prepare a communications strategy. When deciding on improvements, ensure your community communications are sharing the positive news and benefits with residents. This process continues as the project begins and, especially, when it’s completed. Ensure residents are fully informed at each stage of the process.
  • Focus on the intangibles. Often, a community can compete on elements beyond amenities, such as proximity to schools and shopping and level of assessments. Find ways to play to these strengths, such as partnering with parent-teacher organizations for events and programs and demonstrating the value of the homeowners’ assessments.

Through partnerships with CCMC, communities benefit from the open sharing of information, best practices and resources, empowering Boards and management team of each community to succeed. With age comes experience, and with more than 40 years serving community associations across the country, CCMC is well-equipped and prepared to help communities throughout the complete community lifecycle.

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Practical Tips for Conducting Common Area Transfers

During the early phases of a community, the developer Board and management company will find themselves in position to complete a common area transfer. This might entail open-space landscape or townhome-style buildings with association-provided maintenance.

Ron Stephens
Community Manager | Viridian

Ron Stephens, community manager at Viridian in the Dallas area, shared the following tips he’s learned through more than decade of partnering with developers on common area acceptance initiatives.

  • Adopt a common area transfer policy. After reviewing your governing documents, put in place a policy that describes your expectations of the process. It is also a good idea to include a threshold for when a third-party inspection of the common area will be required.
  • Assemble the right team. Along with representatives of the developer, the builder and CCMC, consider including a third-party inspector and members of your irrigation and maintenance teams. Everyone is going to have a different set of eyes.
  • Conduct a thorough inspection before signing transfer approval. Once the paperwork is signed, you have assumed responsibility for the area and any concerns that might be discovered. Warranty issues will be covered, but you could find yourself holding the bill for other problems.
  • Create an inspection checklist. This will provide you a guide for your inspection and allow you to ensure all your bases are covered before signing the acceptance forms.
  • Consider completing a pre-walk with members of your team prior to the final walk. This will save everyone time, as you’re able to prepare a list of necessary corrections before everyone prepares for the final inspection.
  • If accepting transfer of physical building construction, leave a space between what you accept and where work is ongoing. As construction continues on adjacent buildings, there’s potential for the landscape or irrigation to be damaged. If you’ve already accepted responsibility, this becomes your issue to deal with.
  • If you’re unsure of the situation or have questions, secure a third-party perspective. There’s no harm in calling an outside source to provide an additional recommendation.

CCMC is proud of our collaboration with developer partners. If you have questions regarding common area transfers, please contact your local community manager or vice president.

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In the Eye of the Storms

D.J. Cole

 D. J. Cole, CEO

Between Aug. 25 and Sept. 11, 2017, several of our communities faced unprecedented sequential hurricanes in Texas and Florida. Residents in these communities, as well as CCMC team members who live and serve there, endured personal loss associated with these destructive storms. But, in between the preparation, the waiting, the sheltering and the recovery, something beautiful happened. People connected. Community emerged. As we continue on our quest to “return to normal,” we want to share some of these remarkable stories. We hope they fill you with inspiration, hope and a renewed passion for the spirit of your own community. They have certainly done this for me. 
Aug. 25-29
Over a four-day period, slow-moving Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 40 inches of rainfall over eastern Texas. With peak accumulations of 64.58 inches, Harvey is the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the United States. The resulting flooding affected hundreds of thousands of homes, displaced more than 30,000 people and prompted more than 17,000 rescues.
The Groves | Houston, Texas
After Hurricane Harvey struck, the residents of The Groves staged a work party. Since The Groves sustained minimal damage, it was determined volunteers would focus their efforts on others who truly needed extra help in the greater Houston area. One resident knew of a group that needed assistance with demo work at nearby Atascocita Shores. After loading up cleaning supplies and tools, The Groves work party set out. Some residents stayed behind to wash loads (upon loads) of laundry from Atascocita neighbors. Others organized a supply drive, collecting food and household necessities for those affected by Harvey. Together, the work party served three different households. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community.

Del Webb Sweetgrass | Richmond, Texas

After several days under a mandatory evacuation order, Sweetgrass residents returned home to find that the community fared well through the storm. The surrounding areas, however, were not so fortunate. So, residents decided to spend their Labor Day collecting donations for local neighbors in need. More than 3,000 pounds of food and hygiene items and close to $15,000 were donated. A second fundraiser would bring in an additional $16,000. The food and clothing were distributed through the Helping Hands facility in North Richmond. The money benefited the flood victims of Western Fort Bend County. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community. 

Towne Lake | Cypress, Texas

This boating community did not hesitate to use their watercrafts to assist in rescue efforts. For nearly two weeks, volunteers provided boat rescues, breakfast, lunch and dinner to three surrounding communities. They raised $14,000 selling Houston Strong T-shirts and sent $3,000 worth of cleaning supplies to hard-hit Rockport. The community developer, Caldwell Companies, established a relief fund and donated the first $50,000. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community.
Travisso | Leander, Texas

This community organized a food drive for the Central Texas Food Bank. Neighbors joined together to collect 681 pounds of food for donation. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community. 

Devonshire | Forney, Texas
Donation drives were organized for food, clothing, toiletries and other necessities. The community response proved overwhelming, and the Trusted World Center benefited from an entire truckload of goods for those in need. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community.  
BackCountry | Highlands Ranch, Colorado
The community raised $1,000 for the JJ Watt Foundation during a viewing party for a Denver Broncos game. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community.

Wildridge | Oak Point, Texas

This new community of 110 homeowners hosted a fundraiser that raised $1,300. Every penny was donated to the Houston Flood Relief Fund. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community.
Sept. 11-14
With recorded winds of 185 mph, Hurricane Irma caused more than $100 billion in damage and left more than 10 million Floridians without power. This widespread loss of power significantly impacted cellphone service throughout the state. In the end, Irma claimed the lives of at least 50 Floridians.

Celebration | Celebration, Florida

As forecasting models continued to convey a potential Florida impact, local community leaders at Celebration convened. The emergency action plan was implemented, and an informational flyer was created to provide residents quick access to important phone numbers and websites. Residents quickly responded to a call for volunteers on social media; sandbag lines trickled into the one and two-hour zones. Others offered up cold drinks and cupcakes to those waiting in the long line of vehicles. As dawn ascended on Sept. 11, residents were at the ready to take back their community. While representatives from the community’s managing organizations assessed damage and potential impacts, residents took to the streets and sidewalks to clear debris and offer water and assistance anyway they could. Chainsaws, shovels and brooms were not the only tools used to help assess damage, as residents even utilized drones to give neighbors in search of potential problem spots a bird’s eye view of their roofs. Local students participated in a fundraising campaign for their Houston peers. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community.

Shearwater | St. Augustine, Florida

The community hosted an intense donation drive for clothing, medical supplies, non-perishable food items, diapers, baby supplies, paper towels, cleaning supplies, toiletries and inflatable mattresses. Resident volunteers coordinated efforts with Feeding Northeast Florida. Neighbors helping neighbors has built community.
CCMC has supplemented these remarkable community efforts by providing additional resources to those affected. We have donated $5,000 to a fund that will support affected employees, $5,000 to the Salvation Army for Harvey/Irma relief and $2,500 to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.  Additionally, our employees donated more than $2,000 in gift cards to support their team members.
At CCMC, we build community by bringing people together in the neighborhoods where they live and in the offices where we work. Simply put, we create experiences that connect people. These stories of good works are just a few examples of our purpose personified. They are proof that neighbors helping neighbors has built community. Thank you for inviting CCMC to be one link in these connections.

Are You Seeking an Engaging Workplace Home?

D. J. Cole 2

D. J. Cole

by D. J. Cole, Chief Executive Officer

Employee engagement is a hot topic among job seekers today. At CCMC, this topic has become a top priority. In fact, half of our 2016 goals were established in order to achieve a higher level of engagement among our team members. So what exactly is employee engagement and why does it matter so much?

As defined by Forbes Contributor Kevin Kruse, employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to the organization and its vision, mission, purpose and goals. At CCMC, we believe that this type of commitment is critical in order to provide an exceptional workplace experience. That is why we hire for passion and leadership and aim to drive meaning and purpose throughout our company. We understand that, fundamentally, engagement will turn CCMC into a magnet for the best people in the business in our open talent economy. In the words of Josh Bersin, Principal and Founder of Bersin by Deloitte, we want to become “simply irresistible” to our current and future talent. We understand that engaged leaders build empowered teams who will not hesitate to do the right thing for each other and our customers.

Most polls indicate that only 32% of employees are truly engaged at work. When the leadership team is highly engaged, the company’s managers are 39% more likely to be engaged. When managers are highly engaged, employee engagement increases by 59%. So we’ve asked our team members what they can do to become more engaged at work and challenged our managers to find new ways to increase the engagement level of their teams. Are they investing their time in the development of others so they can grow their careers? Are they fostering close-knit relationships among staff members? Are they creating office experiences that connect people? Are they looking for ways to nurture emotional bonds between our company and our team members? Are they building a caring workplace?

At CCMC, we are keenly aware that people leave managers more often than they leave companies. That is why employee engagement at all levels is one of our top priorities. It is also why we seek to hire and develop leaders who can build trust and inspire innovation in people, rather than administrators who simply manage systems and structure. We are convinced that engaging employees is a better way to do business. This is why we have woven employee engagement through our mission, our purpose and our goals. Our goal is to see it spread both vertically and horizontally through our organization and to become the absolute best place to work. We hope you will join us.


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The Evolution of Community Management

CCMCIt’s funny how things evolve. Ten years ago, community association management companies did not have to have expertise in things like lifestyle amenities and community agriculture. But in today’s competitive environment, such knowledge is critical to our client’s success. Take, for example, the latest article by Chris Crawford, President of RVi Planning and Landscape Architecture entitled The Evolution of Community Design, which includes contributions from CCMC Division President, Todd Davidson, and Corporate Lifestyle Director, Debra Wyatte. Insights such as these are the reason developers across the country trust CCMC to transform their vision for new communities into sustainable realities. CCMC. Now this feels like home.   

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Arizona Soldier Receives a CCMC Homecoming

Last week, an Arizona soldier returned from war. Although it was 9.30 pm, Austin Hoopes’ arrival at his Maricopa home was not a quiet one. That’s because his Tortosa neighbors waited up to greet him. You see, they had been working in partnership with CCMC to plan a very special homecoming for Austin, who had just completed a one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan. And they did not want to miss this opportunity to personally thank their hometown hero.

This amazing story of community began when Austin’s wife Julianne contacted CCMC community manager Chris Hashisaki. In preparation for Austin’s return, Julianne wanted permission to line the streets with American flags. Would the association approve? Would her neighbors agree to have flags flying in their yards? Chris decided to find out and neighbors were notified.

What happened next was simply amazing. Not only did they agree, they actually wanted to help! And so the community went to work executing Julianne’s plan. Maricopa Boy Scouts lined the streets with Old Glory. One neighbor tied yellow ribbons around the trees. The CCMC management team decorated each street corner with balloons and printed a “welcome home” banner for Austin’s garage door. Spotlights lit the way, as local media arrived. When everything was in place, Julianne headed for the airport. It was 5.30 pm. Four hours later, their hero was home.

I am so pleased that CCMC did not miss this opportunity to create a lasting family memory, to express our gratitude for an American soldier, to celebrate freedom in our neighborhoods… and to bring one community a bit closer together. You see, these are the opportunities CCMC seeks each and every day, as we work to make your neighborhood truly feel like home.

CCMC Celebrates 40 Years in Business!

It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. Last week, as the ball dropped and the corks popped, we all resolved to live better, work smarter and not sweat the small stuff. But this year is anything but “small stuff” for CCMC. That’s because 2013 marks our fortieth year in business.

Formed in 1973 in Dallas, Texas, Capital Consultants Management Corporation started out as an apartment syndicator. At that time, many apartments began converting to condominiums and all of these projects needed managers. To meet this need, our founder, Ed Boudreau, began growing the most well-respected condominium management company in the Dallas region. Since then, our firm has completed 13 acquisitions and discovered our true wheelhouse while working with master-planned communities.

Today, CCMC manages many of the nation’s most desirable neighborhoods. Over the past four decades we have learned quite a bit about community association management. It is our pleasure to share this knowledge with our clients. But no matter how much our industry evolves, our most important lessons remain the same: put people first, do the right thing and never underestimate the power of the human spirit.

CCMC is committed to transforming everyday life in American communities. We approach this commitment today with passion and purpose, just as we have for the past forty years. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to practice our profession in your neighborhood. Thank you for being the reason why we are celebrating!

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CCMC: A Game Changer

Have you heard about Sam Gordon? A Daybreak resident, she is 9 years old and weighs less than 60 pounds. But she is faster than any boy on her football team. Nicknamed “Sweet Feet”, she scored 35 touchdowns, made 65 tackles and had nearly 2,000 rushing yards in her first season. The only girl on her team, she certainly is a game changer. But if you ask Sam how it feels to revolutionize her sport and break through stereotypes, she will tell you she simply wants to play ball. And play ball she does. To watch her in action, CLICK HERE.

So, what does her story have to do with community association management? Well, like Sam, CCMC has discovered our passion – taking care of neighborhoods and the people who call them home. We’re not your typical player in this game. We don’t follow the industry stereotypes. We simply want to play our best game and deliver unexpected, remarkable, exceptional results. We want to be your game changer.

Desert Mountain Security Team Helps Save A Life

Pictured from left to right: Officer Aaron Baackes, Lt. Sean Yonts, Desert Mountain Community Safety Coordinator Bill Fultz, Sgt. Andrew Olson and Officer Daniel Moreno.

Desert Mountain is a serene, exclusive golf community tucked in the foothills of Scottsdale, Arizona. CCMC has managed Desert Mountain since 1990. Featuring six Championship Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses (the largest collection in the world), this is anything but your typical neighborhood. Its resident directory reads like a who’s who list of business and industry. And recently, one of those residents invited one very lucky guest over for dinner…

As with most private communities, security is a top priority at Desert Mountain. In fact, CCMC employs a full-time community safety coordinator for Desert Mountain, Bill Fultz. It is Bill’s job to provide training and guidance to all the guards and patrol officers from Anderson Security, the community’s contractor. Last week, two of those security officers used their training to help save a life. Read more

Owning Our Customers’ Challenges

At CCMC, our systems are sound, our reports are timely and our employees are knowledgeable. But those things don’t make us special. What sets us apart is heart. It’s the fact that our team members put people first, bringing them together as communities, as neighbors, as friends…and eventually, as family. This means we approach our customers’ challenges as if they were our own. Last weekend, 8 CCMC employees showed up to demonstrate exactly this. You see, for over 15 years CCMC has served Grayhawk Development. A few years ago, one of their leaders was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s. In response, he organized an event to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation. This event, which has already raised more than $20,000 for Parkinson’s research, challenges co-ed teams to compete in an obstacle course race. On April 22, two CCMC teams of four employees each showed up to compete. The reason? They know our client. They own his challenge. They want to be part of his solution. It’s personal. It’s family. That  is the CCMC difference. CLICK HERE learn more about this spectacular event and this important cause.