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C.I.A Services, Inc.
Systems. Structure. Stewards.
Professional Community Association Management Since 1984
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Archived Newsletters

Every month, we issue an electronic newsletter, eNews Monthly, to keep clients informed about Association items, spotlight clients, and 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. 

March 2013
eNews Monthly
Hockey Night
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Houston Wins Again

Houston wins again at C.I.A. Services’ 15th annual Hockey Night with the Houston Aeros.  The Aeros are now officially a dominant 13-2 when playing on our Hockey Nights. We’ve let the front office know our fans are available for rent for the playoffs!

It was another exciting game with Houston taking an early lead over the Oklahoma City Barons.  It was a tough defensive game with a 2-1 final score.

Our 773 guests again made an impact by cheering behind the opponents net.  Our cowbells are always a hit with the 6th edition of the collectible series.  This year the cowbells were pink in honor of breast cancer awareness.

In appreciation of our continued support, the Aeros presented Rhonda Culbreth with a team jersey signed by all the players.  Rhonda has been an important part of our Hockey Night team since the beginning.  Rhonda was thrilled to receive the signed jersey but her night became even more memorable.  As she was on the big screen, her long time boyfriend, Lonnie Duffield, came up behind her, grabbed the mike and popped the question.  She sobbed "yes" and the crowd roared!  Congratulations Rhonda and Lonnie.

Click here to see photos of our 15th Hockey Night with the Houston Aeros.  See you next year!

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San Antonio & St. Patrick

Our 5th annual Hockey Night with the San Antonio Rampage will be on St. Patrick’s Day.  It will be a Sunday afternoon game on March 17th and we really need the luck of the Irish.  Unlike the Aeros, the Rampage have only won 1 of the last 4 Hockey Night games.

But this year will be different when we take on the Abbotsford Heat.  Our fans will be cheering behind the Heat’s net as we toast with green soda and beer.

Click below to see photos of the fun from the last four years.

2012     2011     2010     2009 

Payment Plans
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At the beginning of last year, a new law went into effect which required property owners associations to offer payment plans to owners who have past due amounts owed to the association. C.I.A. Services has offered payment plans to owners since we started our company in 1984 so we are pleased this practice is now required across the state. The law also required Associations to adopt a Payment Plan Policy and file it in the county public records. The policies for all of our Associations are posted here on our website.

Since we began sending out statements for the 2013 assessments and thru the month of February, our staff has assisted 1,775 owners establish written payment plans in compliance with the adopted policies. Those payment plans involve over $1.2 million in assessments which will be paid in more than 5,000 installments.

We have made the process very easy for owners. Each past due statement includes information about payment plans which can be started with a phone call to a Community Specialist in our Customer Service Center. We explain the payment options and provide the monthly payment amounts for any length plan. Once the owner selects the length that provides payments they can manage, we mail or email the agreement to the owner for signature. When the signature is returned and the first payment made, the plan is in place.

We even have a mechanism in place if owners would like to automatically schedule their payments instead of writing a check each month. Owners can visit our website and, through our interface with Mutual of Omaha Bank, set up their payments by drafting their checking account or using their credit card. The owner specifies the payment amount, payment date, number of payments and method of payment. Everything from that point happens automatically - the payments start and end when the owner specifies.

It is important that we monitor owner compliance with the terms of the payment plans. It is not unusual for an owner to miss a payment or pay less than the agreed amount. At the beginning of each month, we analyze the status of every active payment plan. If an owner has not made the required payments, we send a letter describing what was expected and what was actually received and provide an opportunity to bring the plan current. If the owner does not comply, they will receive a letter voiding the plan and requesting the full balance be paid. We have been successful in helping owners abide by their plans by our timely reviews and follow-up letters as soon as a payment is missed.

Payment plans are a good option for owners who are facing financial challenges. We are very happy to offer this easy and convenient program to assist owners who have a need to make installment payments on the assessments.

Seminar Series
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Understanding Collections & Financial Reports

The first half of this seminar will cover all the steps involved in successful assessment collections.  Since not everyone pays on time, we’ll get into late fees, liens, payment plans, bankruptcy and all the legal remedies.  The second half of the seminar deals with reading and understanding your financial reports.  We’ll trace the flow of money throughout the reports so you’ll never be in the dark when staring at all those numbers.

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

03/06/13 - Wednesday

6 – 8 pm

Bandera

03/13/13 - Wednesday

6 – 8 pm

North

03/14/13 - Thursday

6 – 8 pm

Southwest

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Board Member Orientation

This seminar is a must for all new Board members and a great refresher for seasoned veterans. It will help you get up to speed quickly by understanding your responsibilities and authorities. We’ll review each of the documents that govern the way you do business. We’ll give you an overview of the governing documents, basis of authority, conduct of meetings, elections, collections, deed restrictions, architectural control and many other important topics.

04/10/13 - Wednesday

6 – 8 pm

Bandera

04/15/13 - Monday

6 – 8 pm

North

04/18/13 - Thursday

6 – 8 pm

Southwest

Practical Deed Restriction Management

Deed restriction management is one of the most difficult tasks handled by homeowners associations because it involves subjective decisions, homeowner’s property and emotions. This seminar covers the steps in deed restriction management and how a process can contain “intelligence” and common sense. We discuss the relation between deed restrictions and architectural guidelines and give you examples of well crafted guidelines. Practical deed restriction management requires clear communications and reasonable requirements.

05/15/13 - Wednedsay

6 – 8 pm

Bandera

05/22/13 - Wednesday

6 – 8 pm

North

05/23/13 - Thursday

6 – 8 pm

Southwest

Customer Care Corner
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Customer Service Spotlight
by Megan Bennett, Community Specialist

You hear their voices when you call, now it’s time to put a face to that friendly greeting you receive on the other end of the line in our “Meet Your Customer Care Team”.

Following years of training and growth our Community Specialists are highly knowledgeable in providing solutions to our residents’ concerns or questions. They help you with issues that may arise in your subdivision whether it be trash left in a park or a broken sign at your entrance.

As our company continues to grow with new clients, you can only imagine how busy our Community Specialists are.

In January alone, we received 28,514 incoming and outgoing “follow-up” phone calls.  This number is exceedingly higher than previous months. In fact that is 6,000 more phone calls than we received in October, which reached 22,518.

With our members becoming more aware of our online functions and email capability, our Customer Service Email Team have their hands full as well.  On an average month we receive and responded approximately 2,500 to 2,800 emails.

As our client feedback states, our Community Specialist Team is top notch!

“You are doing a great job at C.I.A services and it is not going unnoticed. I am proud to see my HOA dues are going towards a management company that is doing a lot to make my community safe."

"Thank you for really getting on the ball with the trash that was dumped in New Forest community. The trash is no longer here and that makes me happy." 

Did You Know?
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Better Business Bureau
by Deniece Reyes, Community Manager

The Better Business Bureau many times referred to as the BBB, like many of our clients, is a non-profit organization whose focus is to provide a marketplace where businesses and consumers can trust one another.  The BBB serves as a “middle man” between consumers and businesses as well as alerts the public to scams, reviews advertising and assists when donating to charity.

Being a member of the Better Business Bureau brings forth many advantages such as, credibility – shows potential customers and business partners that a business is legitimate and respectable. Dispute resolution – customers use the BBB to pursue grievances against member businesses which is actually a more cost effective way to handle the situation. Attracts business – potential clients will use the BBB to research companies doing business in a particular industry and if the company has a great reputation it can make the difference in the client’s decision-making. Lastly, it opens the door for networking opportunities – the BBB has members throughout the local and national business communities so many businesses that aspire to make business connections with potential clients, suppliers and collaborators can make those connections and increase and/or improve their own business.

The BBB recognizes local companies and non – profits for overall excellence in the work place. All entries are judged by a panel of Silver Fox Advisors, a group of former business owners, entrepreneurs and CEOs dedicated to assisting business owners to improve their enterprises through mentoring and consulting.  In 2012 we were pleased to have been awarded with an Award for Excellence as a “Winner of Distinction.”  The BBB awards companies with this award who demonstrates a superior commitment to ethics, overall excellence and quality in the workplace. We take pride in this accomplishment and aspire to continue on this great path.

Community of the Month
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Cinco Ranch Southwest Community Council

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:

  • March - Cinco Ranch Southwest Community Council
    Southwest Office - Candace Look, Community Manager
  • February - Copper Creek Civic Improvement Association
    North Ofce Office - Brenda Ellington, Community Manager
  • January - Marina Bay Park
    Southwest Office - Deneice Reyes, Community Manager
  • December - Cinco Ranch Residential Association II
    Southwest Office - Candace Look, Community Manager

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

On the Light Side
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I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.
 
I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
 
Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.
 
Velcro - what a rip off!
 
Venison for dinner? Oh deer!
 
Earthquake in Washington obviously government’s fault.
 
I used to think I was indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.
 
Be kind to your dentist. He has fillings, too.
 
Energizer bunny arrested - charged with battery.
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 February.

  • Park Place Townhomes Homeowners Association— 23 years
  • Hunterwood Village I Homeowners Association— 16 years
  • Colony Grant Homeowners Association— 13 years
  • Fairfax Village Homeowners Association— 10 years
  • Summerwood Commercial Property Association— 7 years
  • Cross Creek Ranch Community Association— 5 years
  • Brays Forest Patio Homes Maintenance Fund — 4 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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Welcome

We are pleased to have two new employees join our team. Catina Hunter joined our team in December as an Administrative Assistant at our Southwest Office and Kelly Newmark is an Administrative Assistant at our Southwest Office. It’s great to have you on board.

Career opportunities are always posted on our website (About Us > Careers). We are currently looking for our next great community manager for our Bandera Office and a super customer service specialist at our North Office.

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Anniversaries

Congratulations to Paula Lunsford, a maintenance coordinator and stockholder at our Southwest Office, on her 9th anniversary with the company. Paula has worked in several positions for us and provides valuable support for our communities.

Also congratulations to Dan Barr, a multi-faceted support staffer and stockholder at our Southwest Office, on his 9 year anniversary with C.I.A. Services. Dan has extensive experience in the commercial insurance industry and coordinates insurance matters for our clients.

And congratulations to Piscilla Aleman on her 5 year anniversary.  Priscilla is one of our newest stockholders and serves our Southwest Office as Support Staff wearing many hats.

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.