Last week we had the pleasure of attending the CACM 2022 Norcal Law Seminar, where we celebrated their 30 years of serving community association management companies in California. We had a blast connecting with industry partners, getting to know new professionals, and building our TikTok presence! Best of all, we teamed up with AvidXchange to give away a hot air balloon ride across Sonoma Valley!
In addition to giving away free excursions and becoming social celebrities (okay, not yet, but we’ll get there!), we also learned a lot about what community managers need from their property management software in 2022 and beyond that, in some cases, are unique to California. Here are our key takeaways from the Norcal Seminar:
Homeowners need to see innovation in their HOAs and COAs
While all homeowners across the country are vying for better technology through their homeowners associations, California residents have a tendency to have higher expectations in the tools provided to them. Mobile apps, multiple ways to pay, and real-time communication are must-haves, and many community managers were excited to see our custom-branded homeowner and board member app. Software that isn’t built mobile-first for the homeowner and board member, as far as we’re concerned, simply won’t stand the test of time for the rest of the 2020s.
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California homeowners need to opt in
GDPR rules and regulations upended the digital world in 2018, and these laws lead to very strict communication guidelines in Europe. While the United States is a bit more lax in regulation, California residents are more acclimated to GDPR than other states. This is likely because they are living in the global tech hub, which has to address privacy laws across all countries.
So what does this mean to you? In California it’s important that homeowners are able to determine their method of correspondence (digital or physical mail) and have the ability to opt in and out of communications. If you are sending homeowners communications via email, you need to be sure that they have consented to receive such communication – this may be completed, for instance, through a flagged notification on your website. It’s important to discuss with your software provider opt in and opt out capabilities and ensure that your homeowners are able to determine for themselves whether they’d like to receive electronic or physical communications.
Flexibility in address delivery is key
Many homeowners in California utilize secondary addresses for different types of correspondence, and these secondary addresses need to be utilized by the association management company. This is especially true for collection letters, in which mailed correspondence must be sent to multiple addresses when requested. Not every software provider has a secondary address option, which can be very cumbersome for community managers. Be sure you’re working with your software provider to improve flexibility for your homeowners in a manner that’s easy and efficient for your teams to manage.
EDD reports are a must
EDD reporting is extremely important in California, as businesses and government entities are required to report to the Employee Development Department (EDD) on all independent contractors. Independent contractors must be reported if: 1) You’re required to file a 1099-NEC or 1099-MISC for the services performed; 2) You pay the independent contractor $600 or more or enter into a contract for $600 or more; 3) The independent contractor is an individual or sole proprietorship. We suggest connecting with your lawyer and your software provider to ensure your EDD reporting is being completed appropriately.
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Time management continues to be a hot topic
This isn’t unique to California, however it’s still very important to keep at the forefront of our minds. We had the pleasure of hosting the educational series “Do More, Stress Less,” where professionals openly discussed their challenges in managing their to-do list on top of all the other urgent needs that occur at a moment’s notice. A solid scheduling management system is key within your organization – one that automates reminders for routine maintenance, provides owners a big picture glimpse into their teams’ workload, and makes it easy to schedule time on and off the clock. CINC’s Portfolio Manager is one tool that we’d definitely recommend. It serves as your virtual assistant, managing your tasks, ensuring essential manners are handled, and helping you alleviate yours or your teammate’s workload.
We’d love to know what you learned at the CACM Norcal Law Seminar! Reach out to us to share your insight, and if you’d like to learn more about our product wows that support California management companies and the whole U.S., check out our Top Wows of CINC.