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C.I.A Services, Inc.
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Professional Community Association Management Since 1984
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January 2019
eNews Monthly
Year in Review
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2018 is now behind us and it was another busy year at C.I.A. Services. Great management flows from a foundation of doing all the small things well. Our dedicated staff members kept up with the thousands of daily details associated with managing communities. Here are a few statistics from the past year.

  • Our maintenance coordinators issued and tracked 5,858 work orders and projects for our communities. That is an average of 24 per workday. A work order can be anything from having a sign fabricated & installed to developing specifications & soliciting bids for a contract to having a new roof installed on a clubhouse. Each work order includes a large amount of communication with contractors in advance and as follow-up. That is an impressive amount of work.
  • Home improvement coordinators processed 9,070 home improvement and new construction requests for our communities. That is an average of 37 per workday. Many requests entail multiple communications with the homeowner to ensure that the request is complete before passing on to the committee for a decision. Each request finishes with a letter to the homeowner documenting the decision. That number includes 4,353 online submissions through our new online home improvement application system that was released in 2014. This high usage tells us the online system is as awesome as we wanted it to be!
  • Our accounting department prepared 16,400 checks and coordinated 33,815 bank drafts for our communities. That is an average of 202 per workday. It takes great organizational skills to coordinate that many bills, obtain reviews and approvals, and meet the due dates. All that while keeping impeccable records that CPA auditors love to see.
  • Our customer service staff helped 1,980 owners set up payment plans for their delinquent assessments. Throughout the year, our accounting staff monitored each payment plan and issued 1,491 follow-up letters to owners.
  • Our community managers, administrative assistants, and inspectors tracked and resolved 105,531 deed restriction violations by issuing 112,580 letters. Our deed restriction management efforts continued to be successful with 89% of all violations getting resolved before a certified letter was needed.
  • In December alone, our accounting and administrative staff received and deposited $13,646,676 in assessments in 21,814 individual payments.
  • We received 132,762 incoming phone calls in 2018! This averages out to about 529 per day!

All of these little details and small things equal up to great management. We pride ourselves in providing excellent service at every level. We look forward to another successful year in 2019.

News from the Capital
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The Legislature is in Session

The Texas legislature meets every two years and convenes its 86th session on January 8th and will be in session for 140 days until May 27th. Senators and representatives were able to start filing bills for consideration in November. The deadline for filing bills is March 8th (with emergency bills allowed until the end of the session).  

Things have been quiet for property owners associations (POAs) so far with only one bill directly related to POAs. A few others have been filed which would indirectly affect POAs (firearms in common areas, annexations by cities, leasing protections, etc.).

  • SB 923 (Bettencourt - Houston) - This bill would amend section 202.018 of the Texas Property Code which was originally passed in 2011 to protect an person’s right to place an item of religious significance on the entry door to the home. That law was narrowly written to protect the ability of a person to place a small mezuzah on the doorframe in the Jewish tradition.
  • This proposed amendment expands the right to any religious display on the home or property. It does allow the Association to create reasonable guidelines for displays of more than 30 days.

Texas has a great online resource for reading and following bills through the legislative process. Visit http://www.legis.state.tx.us/ to follow your favorite.

Holiday Giving
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Bandera Office - Nursing Home Gift Bags
by Debra Bearden

For the second year in a row, the Bandera Office delivered over 130 gift bags to the residents of our two Bandera area nursing homes.

Employees from both the Bandera & San Antonio Offices donated treats for the gift bags. Using these treats, beautiful gift bags were assembled with homemade cookies, brownies, and candy for most residents and pudding cups, apple sauce and jello cups for those residents requiring soft food. Cookies were also provided for the nursing home staff’s enjoyment.

A total of 12 employees and family members made up our delivery team. The nursing home residents really enjoyed visiting with them and receiving the gifts.

It was a great honor to be able to serve our Bandera area nursing home residents!

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Houston Office - Adopt a Family
by Ed Barnett

The Southwest Houston Office volunteered to sponsor a family in need for our annual Christmas donation.

The Field family experienced a break-in and had their Christmas gifts stolen, so the office stepped up and donated hundreds of dollar’s worth of presents for the family.

Margi De La Cruz, Patrick Sheffield, and Ed Barnett delivered the presents to the family.

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Humble Office - Adopt a Family
by Deirdre Giampietro

I have always been a big believer in giving back to those in need. I grew up poor and understand how difficult that can be. This year, in the season of giving, I was happy to be asked to help organize the annual drive to gather items for families in need. I was thrilled to see that I work at a place that promotes generosity. The Humble Office wowed me when items started pouring in: canned food, shampoo, conditioner, feminine products, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, towels, etc.

The plan was to give to the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, but that plan expanded when we heard about a foster family with many kids needing some Christmas cheer. A beautiful angel tree was created and 50 tags with needed items were put on the tree.

The response was amazing! All of the tags were pulled and items purchased. Gifts for these sweet kids started piling up. We had clothes, toys, school supplies, and even beds donated! People chipped in to help wrap, and gifts were boxed up. It truly was a beautiful sight to see! Clearly the staff understands that the best part of Christmas is giving to others. It is an honor to work at a place, and with people, who have such magnanimous spirits.

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San Antonio Office - San Antonio Pets Alive
by Valerie Flinn

This Holiday season the San Antonio Office chose to help those who could not speak for themselves, and selected the San Antonio Pets Alive facility as the office charity this year. This is the San Antonio no kill facility and they put out a call for help as they were low on supplies and volunteers. The San Antonio Office, with some help from the Bandera Office, collected food, blankets, and towels for the facility. 

On December 21, 2018, after 4 weeks of work collecting for the local charity, the much-needed supplies (which almost filled a truck bed) were delivered to the Pets Alive Center at 1017 N. Main Avenue, in downtown San Antonio. The team selected items to donate such as:

  • Baby bottles designed for puppies and kittens
  • Supplemental baby milk formulas for kittens and puppies
  • Training pads for baby areas
  • Canned dog and cat food to help the young and those suffering with Parvo
  • Chicken broth and rice, also for the parvo pups along with special syringes to help them take in the nourishment
  • Medicinal wound wash for those injured animals
  • 50 lbs. of dry dog food 
  • Dry cat food
  • Lots of clean, used towels and blankets for use in the cold weather

With others in the city also donating, the facility looks as though they will make it through the winter, but will reach out through the year as they have needs so that we can assist. It is hoped that this will be a year round project to help the animals in our community, while they await their “Furever Home”. Just a note to remind folks, ‘Don’t shop, adopt.’

San Antonio News
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New Branch Manager

We are very pleased to announce that Brandi Brack has been promoted to Branch Manager for our San Antonio Office.

Brandi is a stockholder of C.I.A. Services who has worked in several positions. Brandi started in our accounting office handling client financial activities. When we acquired Management Professionals of Texas in September 2014, Brandi moved to our new San Antonio Office and coordinated the transition of clients. She trained and mentored our new staff and was promoted to Community Manager.

As Branch Manager, Brandi oversees our overall office operations and works with our Community Managers, Maintenance Coordinators, and Office Manager to handle the business for all of our San Antonio communities.

Our San Antonio Office has a strong team of employees dedicated to our clients and our core values. We are all looking forward to Brandi’s expanded leadership role with C.I.A. Services.

Executive Vice President Tina Jameson had managed our San Antonio Office since our acquisition of Management Professionals of Texas in September 2014. She will continue to manage our Bandera Office, which provides accounting and technical support for all of our offices.

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Hockey Night 2019

Each year, we invite our community volunteers, employees, families, and friends to join us for Hockey Night with the San Antonio Rampage. We spend a fun-filled evening watching a great sport.  

The 2019 Hockey Night will be on Saturday, January 26th when the Rampage will take on the Stockton Heat. Please ask your community manager for details on how to reserve your tickets.

In celebration of our 35th anniversary, we’re making this hockey night extra special. We’ve reserved the two luxury Super Boxes at the AT&T Center for our guests. You will enjoy a unique and intimate entertainment experience with premier viewing of Rampage Hockey! We also have the ice for a post-game skate! Free skates are available so you can skate like a player and get photos on the bench or in the penalty box. Haven’t skated for years? Not a problem – it will come back the moment you touch the ice.

Hockey is a cool, fun, and fast-paced game. If you’ve never seen hockey in person, you are in for a treat. We’ll give you a nice guide to hockey that explains the rules. We’ll have a bunch of door prizes including the 11th in our series of collectible cowbells with the Rampage logo.

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

2018    2017    2016     2015     2014     2013     2012     2011    2010    2009

Seminar Series
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Stay Plugged in with Webcasts

We now offer each of our seminars in the form of a recorded webcast on demand for you to watch at any time! If you have missed a seminar, our seminars are available on our YouTube channel. The following seminars are now available:

Just go to our website, www.ciaservices.com, and click on the Resources tab. From there, select our Library and you will see the links to each webcast and other training materials or you can simply click on the links above.

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Associations in Practice Series

If you missed it, our first video in the Associations in Practice Series covered Super-Budget ConceptsThis is a great introduction (or refresher) to The Super-Budgeting Process webinar offered in our Seminar Series. We hope you will find these videos useful, particularly as we are now in the midst of budget season.
 
Recently, we released the second video of our Associations in Practice Series: Short Term Rentals. In this video, we offer insight about short-term rental properties. We have an expert panel on board discussing everything from what a short-term rental is, to potential problems and possible solutions.
 
All of our Association in Practice Series videos will be available on our YouTube channel. We will send updates when new material is added. You can also subscribe to our channel for the news on the latest additions.
Community of the Month
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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:

  • January - Artesian Lakes Community Association - Humble Office - Jennifer Northington
  • December - Kendall Pointe Homeowners Association - San Antonio Office - Brittany Ashe
  • November - Treasure Island Homes Association - San Antonio Office - Brandi Brack
  • October - S.A. Remington Heights Homeowners Association, Inc. - San Antonio Office - Sebby Regalado
  • September - Aliana Community Council - Southwest Office - Deniece Reyes
  • August - Redland Ranch Estates Homeowners Association - San Antonio Office - Sebby Regalado
  • July - Community Association of the Highlands - Southwest Office - Libby Hodges

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

New Communities
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We are very pleased to announce the newest communities joining us this month!

The Southwinds Residential will join our Humble Office this January. This is a new development in Baytown that will have 400 homes.

The Southwinds Commercial is also joining us and will be managed out of the Humble Office. This is the "sister" development to the residential association located in Baytown. and has 40 acres of land ready to be developed.

The Lake House Community Association joined our Humble Office.  Lake House is a new development in Katy set to have about 350 homes.

We are excited to work with each of them!

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 January.

  • Hunterwood Village II Association — 33 years
  • Homeowners Association of Timber Forest — 22 years
  • Cumberland Community Association — 11 years
  • Eastpoint Section 4 Homeowners Association — 8 years
  • Subdivision of Spring Crossing Community Association — 7 years
  • Reserve at Clear Lake Community Association — 4 years
  • Hidden Arbor Community Association, Inc. — 3 years
  • Harper Oaks Homeowners Association, Inc. — 3 years
  • BGR Property Owners Association, Inc. — 2 years
  • Katy Pointe Community Association — 1 year

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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Employee Anniversaries

We love to celebrate special milestones with our employees. In the Employee Corner of each eNews issue, we will list all employees that have reached their first anniversary with our company. Additionally, once employees reach five years, we recognize them each year on their anniversary month.

Charlotte Bulcken has been a staple in our Humble Office for 23 years! Charlotte is a stockholder and the a go-to person for special projects using her document control background to dive into records.  Outside of work, Charlotte enjoys going to the theater and spending time with her 6 grandchildren and 4 great-children who refer to her as LaLa.

Kimberly Terry is a stockholder and the team leader for our Accounting Office in Bandera, and has been with the company for 6 years. She does a terrific job and is perfect for this position since she is very detailed in all things. She also is an excellent event planner. She recently planned our 2018 Christmas Party and is working on our 2019 Hockey Night!

Vina Evans is a stockholder celebrating 6 years with the company. She is the receptionist at the Humble office and a member of the customer service team. Vina is loved by the many residents who come into the office; she remembers most of them, can recall details about them, and makes them feel welcomed and valued. She has 3 kids – Jason (15), Larry (13) and Lailah (7) and Mega the dog that keep her very busy. She spends her spare time watching the kids in their sports.

LeAnn Bruton is the "Bookkeeper Extraordinaire" at the Bandera Accounting office.  LeAnn previously worked for us for over 4 years; however, left to spend some time with her husband.  She returned in January of 2018 and is now celebrating her 1 year anniversary back!  In her personal time, LeAnn enjoys spending time with friends and family, including her 2 adult children and her mother.  She is also quite the crafter and enjoys sewing, knitting and home improvement projects.

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.