Southern Community Services’ Charleston, S.C. Office Announces New Hires And New Community Management Clients In Lowcountry

Southern Community Services’ Charleston, S.C. Office Announces New Hires and New Community Management Clients in Lowcountry

July 26, 2017 (Charleston, S.C.) – Southern Community Services (SCS), one of only six AAMC-accredited homeowner association management firms in South Carolina, recently announced several new hires and community management clients in the Charleston, S.C., area. Staff and community details can be viewed online on the SCS website at http://www.trustscs.com.

SCS manages close to 180 communities across the Carolinas and is staffed with accredited professionals who work to maintain efficient communities ranging in size from small neighborhoods to large, master-planned developments like Lake Carolina in the Midlands, the Reserve at Lake Keowee in the Upstate and Park West, Dunes West and I’On in the Charleston area. SCS has grown its portfolio steadily since its founding in 2000 by principals Chuck Munn and Larry Ridlehoover; the firm now employs 45 accredited professionals across North and South Carolina.

New SCS Communities in the Charleston, S.C. Market

McKewn Plantation North, a large neighborhood of single family homes located in Summerville, South Carolina, is joining the SCS community. It will have an exceptional amenities complex, to be completed in 2018. Close to downtown Summerville, with easy access to I-26, McKewn Plantation North connects residents and visitors to downtown Charleston, local beaches and the surrounding tri-county area.

Another new SCS client is Snee Farm, an 890-home neighborhood conveniently located close to the beach, with large lot sizes, county parks and retail stores near the heart of downtown Charleston. A private country club with a full-service restaurant and bar, tennis courts, multiple pools and numerous social events can be found in the Snee Farm community.

Also new to the SCS family is The Bridges at Seven Lakes, a new-construction, waterfront community by DR Horton located in Huger, S.C., expected to have 150 homes with resort-style amenities and a 60-acre lake, including a kayak storage area and access to Berkeley County Schools.

Inside of Park West in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., new SCS clients include Salterbeck at Park West, Wheatstone at Park West, Avian at Park West, and Center Park South. Wassamaw Plantation, a 97-home community in Monck’s Corner, S.C., rounds out the new arrivals to the SCS portfolio.

Returning to the SCS family is Berkleigh at Park West in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., a 75-home community with a common area island tucked nicely in the center, surrounded by three ponds throughout the neighborhood.

“Southern Community Services is excited about the opportunity to expand the communities it serves,” said Ken Tamsin, CEO of SCS. “Charleston, S.C., is one of the most rapidly-growing markets in the country and affords us the opportunity to compete at the highest level.”

Information on community management services and 24-7 online services for homeowners can be accessed online via the SCS website at http://www.trustscs.com.

New SCS Staff in the Charleston, S.C. Region

In the Mount Pleasant area, Mark Fitzpatrick is the new on-site manager of The Battery at Park West. Fitzpatrick is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He has been professionally managing community associations for four years, specializes in overall community enhancement with a focus on protecting residents’ investment in their homes and is a Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA). Fitzpatrick’s goal at The Battery at Park West is to raise it to the status of a premiere condo community in Mt. Pleasant by working closely with the SCS board of directors.

John Eysen is the new administrator at Lower Dunes West in Mount Pleasant. Eyson was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, has a degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina and currently lives in the Tri-County area where he enjoys working for SCS.

Chris Barclay is a new Park West community association manager. Chris Barclay was born and raised in New Jersey, graduated from Cornell University in 2000 and has a business background in data and business analytics. After moving to Mt. Pleasant in 2015 and becoming active on his HOA board, Barclay was interested in joining the SCS team.

Jesse Johnson is a new community association manager. Jesse Johnson was born and raised in Augusta, Georgia, holds degrees in fine arts and business management from Charleston Southern University and is currently preparing to receive the Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate later this year. He has lived in Charleston for 15 years with his wife and daughter.

Emily Simpson is a new community manager at the Bridges at Seven Lakes in the Berkeley County school district. Emily Simpson has lived in Charleston for seven years; prior to settling in the South, she lived in Philadelphia, Virginia and spent 12 years living overseas. In the Charleston area, she worked at the Kiawah Island Community association before becoming an SCS team member.

At SCS’ Lowcountry headquarters on Rivers Ave., Sue Shunk is a new community association manager. Sue Shunk recently relocated to the Charleston area from Northern Virginia, where she worked in community management and is a Certified Manager of Community Associations. She enjoys the exciting offerings of life in HOA management, as each day yields new experiences, and looks forward to working on the SCS team.

“Our organization is successful because we have a remarkable team,” adds Tamsin. “Our staff are motivated to be the best in the industry, and we reinforce this with training and accreditation to ensure that our clients receive the most effective, efficient community management services available in the Carolinas.”

Learn more about SCS and view staff bios at http://www.trustscs.com.

About Southern Community Services

Founded in 2000, Southern Community Services (SCS) specializes in the management of homeowner associations across the Carolinas, with a longstanding reputation as the leader in its industry. Staffed with accredited professionals who work diligently to accommodate the unique needs of each community, SCS provides turnkey solutions, state-of-the-art technology and decades of association management experience to boards, with senior-level involvement in every aspect of the business. Learn more about SCS at www.trustscs.com.

 Media Contact: Meg Parker, Flock and Rally, 704-942-0742, meg@flockandrally.com

 

Southern Community Services Announces New Hires And New Community Management Clients In Columbia, SC

Southern Community Services Announces New Hires and New Community Management Clients in Columbia, SC

July 26, 2017 (Columbia, S.C.) – Southern Community Services (SCS), one of only six AAMC-accredited homeowner association management firms in South Carolina, recently announced several new hires and community management clients in Columbia, S.C. Staff and community details can be viewed online on the SCS website at http://www.trustscs.com.

SCS manages close to 180 communities across the Carolinas and is staffed with accredited professionals who work to maintain efficient communities ranging in size from small neighborhoods to large, master-planned developments like Lake Carolina, Wildewood and Cobblestone Park in the Midlands, the Reserve at Lake Keowee in the Upstate and Park West in the Charleston area. SCS has grown its portfolio steadily since its founding in 2000 by principals Chuck Munn and Larry Ridlehoover; the firm now employs 45 accredited professionals across North and South Carolina.

New SCS Communities in the Columbia, S.C. Area

Regatta Forest, a 75-lot community located in Irmo, S.C., joins the SCS family, along with Coatbridge, Windermere and Governor’s Hill.

Coatbridge is located in Blythewood, South Carolina and serves the award-winning Richland School District Two.

A gated community of 320 mostly custom-built homes, Windermere is interspersed with golf course easements and private neighborhood roads.

Governor’s Hill is located in the capital city of Columbia, South Carolina with 29 single-family lots situated on Gadsden and Laurel Streets, close to the Governor’s Mansion.

“Southern Community Services is excited about the opportunity to expand the communities it serves,” said Ken Tamsin, CEO of SCS. “The Columbia, S.C., market offers not only new construction communities, but also well established, distinguished clients as well.”

New SCS Hires in Columbia, S.C.

Stephanie “Stevie” Johnson is a new community association manager at SCS’ Midlands regional headquarters on Rice Bent Way, and Teresa Rignon joins the Lake Carolina team as an administrative assistant. Teresa has been in the customer service industry for over 20 years, was most recently with United Way and lives in Columbia, South Carolina, while serving on her HOA board.

“Our staff are the lifeblood of our organization,” notes Tamsin. “Our team has a drive to be the best, and we support their training and accreditation to ensure that our customers receive the most efficient, industry-leading community management services available in the Carolinas.”

Learn more about SCS and view staff bios at http://www.trustscs.com.

About Southern Community Services

Founded in 2000, Southern Community Services (SCS) specializes in the management of homeowner associations across the Carolinas, with a longstanding reputation as the leader in its industry. Staffed with accredited professionals who work diligently to accommodate the unique needs of each community, SCS provides turnkey solutions, state-of-the-art technology and decades of association management experience to boards, with senior-level involvement in every aspect of the business. Learn more about SCS at www.trustscs.com.

Media Contact: Meg Parker, Flock and Rally, 704-942-0742, meg@flockandrally.com

 

Southern Community Services Welcomes New Management To Park West

Southern Community Services Welcomes New Management to Park West

Kim Hurd, Emily Simpson bring vision, experience to new roles at Mount Pleasant community

Sept. 18, 2017 (Charleston, S.C.) – Southern Community Services (SCS), one of only six AAMC-accredited community association management firms in South Carolina, has named Kim Hurd general manager and Emily Simpson assistant general manager of Park West, a 1,700-acre master-planned community in Mount Pleasant.

“Both Kim and Emily are extremely talented and have an impressive amount of experience between them,” said Ken Tamsin, CEO of SCS. “We are greatly looking forward to seeing what they bring to the Park West community.”

General Manager Kim Hurd has been with Southern Community Services since 2015 as the community manager for Hamlin Plantation. She came to SCS with 25 years of experience in property and office management.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to be GM of Park West,” said Hurd. “The neighborhood is near and dear to me because that’s where I live. I was involved so many years ago working for the developer, and now for SCS as the manager. Park West is a wonderful community, and I am looking forward to working with the advisory board and the homeowners.”

Emily Simpson is currently a portfolio manager in the SCS North Charleston office. Simpson came to SCS two years ago with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management from College of Charleston and experience in managing communities. Specifically, she has overseen maintenance and safety projects, maintained common areas, and worked with boards and communities on governance and other issues.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to continue to grow within SCS and become the assistant general manager of Park West,” said Simpson. “I began working at SCS two years ago as a front desk receptionist, and rapidly became a portfolio manager.  I am excited for this next step in my career to continue to expand my knowledge. I am looking forward to working with Kim Hurd and learning more about the Park West community.”

Park West focuses on preserving the natural environment, fostering a family-friendly lifestyle and making a meaningful difference in residents’ lives. This vision has been the controlling factor in the creation of each element of the Park West community.

SCS manages the HOA boards of nearly 180 communities across the Carolinas, from multi-tiered master-planned communities to small, single family neighborhoods. Learn more about SCS and view staff bios at http://www.trustscs.com.

About Southern Community Services

Founded in 2000, Southern Community Services (SCS) specializes in the management of homeowner associations across the Carolinas, with a longstanding reputation as the leader in its industry. Staffed with accredited professionals who work diligently to accommodate the unique needs of each community, SCS provides turnkey solutions, state-of-the-art technology and decades of association management experience to boards, with senior-level involvement in every aspect of the business. Learn more about SCS at www.trustscs.com.

 Media Contact: Meg Parker, Flock and Rally, 704-942-0742, meg@flockandrally.com

 

Snipers & Terrorists

Snipers & Terrorists

Out of the blue, an irate homeowner launches a smear campaign aimed directly at the board. It’s relentless and focused. The motivation may be some personal grievance, hatred of a board policy, disagreement on how the board does business in general or loathing for the whole HOA concept. Rather than seeking redress in an orderly and open way, however, often it takes the form of poison pen letters, back alley rumor mills or a terrorist-like assault at a board meeting.

Board meeting terrorism is designed to hold the board hostage to relentless rants and demands. This form of HOA terrorism is designed to directly challenge board authority and to disrupt the orderly process. As with any terrorist attack, the board’s initial reaction is usually disbelief. But, the cold reality of the assault soon becomes clear and the need to act urgent.

How should the board deal with this kind of attack? When presented a list of demands, should the items be discussed point by point? Should they be recorded in the minutes? What should be done?

Rule #1: Never negotiate with terrorists. The board is not obligated to discuss anything off the agenda. And it’s unreasonable to expect informed answers to firing line questions. The response should be, “Thanks for making your points. We’ll review them and give you a response in writing or consider them at the next board meeting.”

Rule #2: Don’t record a list of demands.

Minutes are intended to discuss in broad terms the business accomplished by the board. Specific motions should have enough detail to describe them and the outcome of the vote. It is not a forum for soap boxing, editorializing or where items are entered into “evidence”. It’s enough

for the minutes to state, “Mr. Sniper asked that the board consider issues relating to (general description).”

Rule #3: Control the Owner Forum. To encourage owner input, an Owner Forum before the meeting should give each speaker owner up to, say, 5 minutes to speak, so the board can get on with its business. Letting someone hold the board hostage should never be allowed and it’s up to the president to control such actions. An abusive person should not be allowed to continue for any length of time.

Rule #4: When attacked, respond quickly and firmly. When the attack becomes apparent, it’s the president’s job to interrupt and, if necessary, ask the attacker to leave the meeting. If the attacker refuses to comply, the president should adjourn the meeting and advise that such conduct will not be allowed at future meetings.

HOA terrorist attacks are designed to fan the flames of emotion and to promote rash response. The board needs to walk the high road and refuse to “dance”. While this isn’t easy when the attack is intense, the directors outnumber the attacker and with a unified response, should be able to defeat the challenge and even help point the terrorist toward a better way.

Used with permission from Richard Thompson of www.Regenesis.net. From Regenesis Aug. 2017 newsletter.

Misconceptions Of Community Associations

Misconceptions of Community Associations

“Community association” is a generic term that encompasses many names used around the world to describe common-interest housing. A few examples include:

  • Common-interest community (CIC) is used by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.
  • Common-interest realty association (CIRA) is the term preferred by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
  • Common-interest development (CID) is used by the California Department of Real Estate.
  • Condominium association refers to units like apartments, townhouses or other private units that are part of a single structure or group of structures.
  • Homeowners association (HOA) is often synonymous with “common-interest community” and usually describes a community of single-family homes.
  • Property owners association (POA) can refer to a residential community or a group of offices or other non-residential property.
  • “Strata title” is a term used in Australia, New Zealand, and British Columbia that describes individually owning part of a property, such as an apartment, and sharing ownership in the property’s common or public areas.
  • In France and some parts of Quebec, condominiums are called “copropriété divisée” (divided co-property).
  • The traditional term in Spanish-speaking countries for a common-interest community is “propiedad horizontal.”
  • Condominio” is the term used in Italy.

Regardless of the name, most community associations in the U.S. are incorporated and subject to state statutes that govern nonprofit corporations. Remember, membership in an association is not voluntary; you become a member when you purchased a home in the Carolina community.

Expected Upkeep Enforced By The Community Association Management Firm

Expected Upkeep Enforced by the Community Association Management Firm

The staff or volunteers you see occasionally walking around the community with clipboards or tablets, are the association’s covenants enforcement officers. They’re inspecting the property to ensure that everything is working properly, that conditions are safe and that nothing is reducing property values or your quality of life in our Carolina community.

In short, they’re making sure policies and rules are being followed—from pet behavior, parking and unkempt lawns to improper exterior modifications and more. They field complaints from fellow homeowners and, if necessary, remind you (or your neighbor) when a rule has been overlooked.

The officers report their findings to the Carolina Home Association board with photos and detailed notes. Most violations are easily resolved without board action. If not, the next step is a hearing before the board—we want to hear your side of the story. Those who continue to ignore rules may be fined, or worse. The most serious cases may end up in court, though we try very hard never to get to that point.

The association’s covenants enforcement officers perform a vital function; please treat them with courtesy and respect. If you have any questions about the rules, the officers should be able to explain them. The association manager and board members also are happy to listen and respond to your concerns.

When you purchased your home in our common-interest community in the Carolinas, you became contractually bound to abide by the covenants that protect the association. Please review them and ensure you are in compliance. You can find them on our website.

Precautions You Can Take Against Lighting As A Homeowner

Precautions You Can Take Against Lighting As A Homeowner

Warm weather usually means fun in Carolina sun, but summer heat also can bring severe weather. Threatening thunderstorms often loom large on summer afternoons so it’s important to be prepared for downpours and accompanying lightning, which can strike outdoors or indoors. Consider the following suggestions when planning both outdoor and indoor events this summer to reduce the risk of a lightning strike.

  • Watch the weather. Pay attention to your local weather forecast before participating in outdoor activities. If there’s a chance of thunderstorms, consider rescheduling or moving events indoors. If that’s not possible, have an emergency plan in place in case a severe storm rolls in and designate a sufficient nearby structure as an emergency shelter.
  • Stay inside. If severe thunderstorms are imminent, go indoors and wait until they pass. Safe, enclosed shelters include homes, schools, offices, shopping malls and vehicles with hard tops and closed windows. Open structures and spaces do not provide adequate protection.
  • Duck and crouch. If you’re caught outside during a severe storm, it’s important to crouch low on the ground, tuck your head and cover your ears to help protect yourself from harm. Do not lie down; lightning strikes can produce extremely strong electrical currents that run along the top of the ground, and laying horizontally increases electrocution risk.
  • Turn off faucets. During a thunderstorm, lightning can sometimes be conducted through the plumbing. Avoid any type of contact with running water, including bathing, showering, and washing your hands, dishes, or clothes.
  • Turn off electronics. All electrical appliances—televisions, computers, laptops, gaming systems, stoves, and more—that are plugged into an electrical outlet could carry a current from a lightning strike. Surge protectors will reduce the risk of damaging electronics.

Stay away from windows. Not only is lightning a threat, but high winds and hail create flying debris that could be harmful during a thunderstorm. Close all windows and doors and keep away from them.

Our Association Management Group Practices Fair Debt Collection  

Our Association Management Group Practices Fair Debt Collection  

Our association makes every effort to work with homeowners in the Carolinas who are having problems paying their assessments. But sometimes people get behind on their payments. We want our homeowners to know that the association adheres to the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), and we do not harass homeowners for unpaid assessments.

Carolina Community associations are required to collect assessments, which many state and federal courts consider to be debts. The FDCPA requires those who collect debts from individuals—like homeowners in a community association—to refrain from tactics that might be considered invasive. The FDCPA prohibits the association from:

  • Harassing you
  • Threatening you with violence or harm
  • Publishing names of owners who are delinquent or refuse to pay
  • Annoying you with repeated phone calls
  • Making false statements about you
  • Misrepresenting the amount you owe
  • Depositing your post-dated check early
  • Threatening to take legal action against you when we don’t really mean it
  • Providing your personal information to anyone else without your permission

The FDCPA also requires the association to notify you in writing about your delinquent assessments. This correspondence must state that it is an attempt to collect a debt, include the amount of the debt and the association’s name, and it must state that you have 30 days to dispute the debt in writing. If an association violates any of these stipulations, it could be liable to the homeowner for damages, attorneys’ fees and court costs.

For more information about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act practices in the Carolinas visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information page at www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0149-debt-collection.

Why Are Quorums Important To HOAs?

Why are Quorums Important to HOAs?

A quorum is the minimum number of North or South Carolina homeowners who must be at a meeting before business can be discussed. State law tells us what that minimum number is for our association. It’s relatively low, but we still have a tough time reaching our minimum. This is a common problem in many homeowner associations.

Meetings that don’t have a quorum must be adjourned and rescheduled at a later date. This costs the association money and creates more work for their teams. Further, achieving a quorum at a second meeting—if we couldn’t get one the first time—is even harder.

So, why bother to try again? Because the Home Owners Association board is legally obligated to conduct an annual meeting. It’s an important part of conducting association business. During the annual meeting, new board members are elected and the coming year’s budget is presented to the Carolina homeowners for approval. No quorum—no election, no budget. This means the current directors will have to continue serving until an election can be conducted. It also means that last year’s budget will remain in effect until a valid meeting (one with a quorum) can be held to approve a new budget.

Good news: You can be “at” a meeting in the Carolinas and across the country at the same time by signing a proxy! That’s how you assign your vote, in writing, to another person. Proxies count toward the quorum, so they’re very important to the association.

We ask you to complete a proxy form, even if you plan to attend the meeting. That’s just in case something comes up that prevents you from attending. And, when you do attend the meeting, your proxy will be returned to you.

Because proxies are so important to achieving a quorum, you may find us knocking on your door, calling on the phone, or even stopping you in the common areas asking you to sign a proxy form. We’ll do anything to achieve a quorum. Without it, we can’t do business, and eventually that affects you, the Carolina homeowner.

Supporting The Efforts Of All Volunteers Of Community Associations

Supporting the Efforts of all Volunteers of Community Associations

Doing good may be its own reward, but most volunteers across the Carolinas would probably agree that it’s nice to be recognized for the time, effort, and commitment they’ve put into serving others—particularly in what can sometimes seem to be thankless roles.

Members of our community devote their energy and enthusiasm to making communities in the Carolinas the very best they can be. Most of the time they do this by serving in important board positions, in committees, and on neighborhood projects. Volunteers also help keep assessments down—every hour of volunteer work is an hour of labor the Southern Community Service Home Owners Association does not have to pay a service provider.

Below are some easy ways to show your neighbors how much you personally appreciate their hard work.

  • Keep an eye open for those featured in our newsletter’s Volunteer Spotlight. When you see them, introduce yourself and say “Thanks!”
  • Join us for our annual volunteer appreciation celebration. Help us honor those who have donated their time throughout the year, and have some fun.
  • Send an e-mail to a volunteer explaining that he or she is valued for stepping up.

As volunteers, your neighbors invest their time in projects that benefit you and the Carolinas. No association can thrive without them; so let them know you appreciate their efforts.

Have an idea for recognizing volunteers? Contact a board member and share!