January 2019 - The Sharper Focus

Thank you for reading our newsletter to all homeowners in Associations managed by Sharper Management. The goal of this newsletter is to touch on general ideas and helpful topics as they relate to living in a common interest community. We hope you find this information useful.
Advertising Directory

We strive to continually add valuable content and resources in our newsletters. Starting this month, you will see promotional ads from local businesses within the newsletter and on our website. Click the ads to view more from each business or view other promotions on our website, by clicking here. We will be adding to the list throughout the year. 

Selling in 2019?
Are you thinking about selling your townhome or condo this year? If you are, here are some important things you will want to keep in mind moving forward:
You will need to order resale documents
When selling in an HOA, there are a few special considerations to remember. The Minnesota State Statute that governs homeowner associations (Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act - 515B) states that the unit owner must furnish to a purchaser before the execution of any purchase agreement the following documents: [MOU1]  the complete set of Governing Documents including the Articles of Incorporation, Declarations, Bylaws and Rules & Regulations, and a release disclosure certificate. To help you gather all of these materials, we have your Association's Governing Documents on your Association's website. The important resale documents you need can be found here. https://secure.condocerts.com/resale/

Look for a realtor with HOA experience
Hiring a realtor with HOA experience will make the selling processeasier for both you and your buyer. HOA-experienced realtors understand the steps needed to sell a condo or townhome and other important information like why resale documents are necessary.

Don't Forget to Stage Your Home
  • Get rid of clutter.
  • Aim for a light and bright look.
  • Stage important rooms first.
  • Remove and/or rent furniture.
  • Rearrange furniture.
  • Add little extras. The finishing touches are always in the details.
 If you need further information about your property, contact us.
Snow Removal Reminders

It has not been a typical snowy Minnesota winter, yet. However, we would like to take a minute to remind everyone about factors that may come into play during a snow event.

Trigger Depth
Most HOA contracts will state an accumulation total that must be met before snow removal services will commence. For most places, the trigger depth is between 1-2 inches of snow.

Your contract's definition of "trigger depth" is extremely important. Depending on the wording, trigger depth can be met when all of the snow on the ground is at or above a certain amount. In other cases, trigger depth might only apply to "single-event" storms; this method disregards how much snow is already on the ground and only measures how much new snow has fallen. If the amount of new snow is less than the trigger depth, snow removal will not occur. It is important to know the difference between these plans and which one you have; if there are 5 consecutive snowstorms where less than 1-inch falls and you have a single-event contract, snow removal services will not be triggered. Most contracts are written "by event."

The second most important clause of your contract is when the snow removal service must be completed. In most cases, "final cleanup" is required somewhere between 6 - 12 hours after the snow has stopped falling. In some cases, the timeline can change based on how much snow has accumulated. The more snow that falls, the more time is allowed for cleanup.

Open-ups are another clause in the snow removal contract that is put into action after the snowfall exceeds a particular total. For example, if 4 inches of snow has fallen and there is still a forecasted 4 inches, the snow removal company will perform an open-up. They will perform a single pass through the roadways with a plow so that vehicles can enter and exit the complex. One important section of the open-ups clause to look over is whether open-ups include driveways or just the main roadways. Typical language will state that an open-up will occur prior to ___ AM and/or after ___PM.

While we hope we don't get any major snowfalls, it is always good to be prepared.
Winter in Minnesota

Now that we're nearing then end of January, Minnesota's winter is roughly halfway over. Whether you love the cold or hate it, it is part of everyday life in the northland.

If you've recently downsized into a smaller townhouse or condo, you might be dealing with a worse case of cabin fever than normal. To help cheer you up, here are some fun ways to get through the rest of winter.

Stay Active
While it might not look like it, there are tons of fun outdoor activities that you can enjoy in the winter. For the thrill seekers, Afton Alps has skiing, snowboarding, and downhill tubing. If you like to run, visit Theodore Wirth Park at 1301 Theodore Wirth Parkway, Golden Valley, MN. Located just 10 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, this expensive park has miles of trails ranging from flat and paved to steep and winding; it is perfect for every type of runner. Theodore Wirth Park is also pet-friendly, so your favorite pup can get in some exercise too.
While helping your pet get exercise during the winter can be challenging, there are a multitude of pet-friendly parks in the area. Also, remember to pick up after your dog. While no one likes to be out in the cold for longer than necessary, parks and the common areas of your association are used by all.

Get Organized
While a single-family home has room for anything and everything, condos and townhomes traditionally have less square footage. Especially around the holidays when people are getting gifts and buying sale items, it is very easy for the clutter to build up. One way to help stay on top of it and keep from being buried in a pile of stuff is to stay organized. For some great tips, check out this blog entry we did called "Simplify Your Space." https://sharpermanagement.com/2017/04/simplify-your-space/

Taking a Vacation?
A vacation to somewhere warm is always a nice change. If you do decide to leave town for a while, remember these important tips:
  • Always leave your heat ON, set no lower than 55 degrees.
  • Inform your management and neighbors that you will be leaving, and give someone emergency contact information and/or instructions to get into your unit in case of an emergency.
  • Contact us about doing winter maintenance checks if you're planning to be gone for an extended period of time.

We hope these tips will help make the rest of your winter more enjoyable.

Sharper Management's Associate Director of Community Management, Josh Reams, Earns PCAM

Sharper Management is pleased to announce their Associate Director of Community Management, Josh Reams, has earned the Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) designation. The PCAM is the highest designation possible awarded to community management professionals.

Earned by only an elite group of community professionals nationwide; the PCAM is a pinnacle achievement for community management professionals.

Requirements for earning the PCAM include:
  • Five years of direct community association management experience.
  • Successful completion of all six M-200 level courses (with the last PMDP course completed within the past five years). These courses cover topics such as risk management, financials, and board members and their roles.
  • Completion of the PCAM application case study and earning a minimum total of 125 points. The case study consists of a two-day intensive experience learning about an example association and then completing an 80-100-page case study essay.
The PCAM is awarded by the Community Association Institute, an international membership organization dedicated to building better communities.

Congratulations, Josh!

Sharper Staff Recognized for Multiple Awards at Industry Event

Sharper Management is pleased to share that in November, seven nominations for the Community Association Institute - Minnesota (CAI-MN) annual Vision Awards were received by our staff .

The ceremony was held on December 6, 2018 at CAI's annual Vision Awards and Holiday Gala. This event is an opportunity for community association managers, business partners, homeowner leaders and other various industry professional to come together and celebrate with one another for a very special night. 

Sharper's seven nominations were received for the six categories that recognized individual efforts or collective community association achievements.

Nominees Included:
·  Miguel Pariona and Matthew Vitek (finalist) for Rookie of the Year
·  Sam Nichols for Excellence in Service (finalist)
·  Natalie Martynow for Excellent in Service  
·  Miguel Pariona for Financial Impact (finalist)
·  Michael Miller for Financial Impact  
·  Michelle Waldroff for Above and Beyond
·  Bearpath Homeowner Association for Outstanding Community Building by an Association (finalist)
"What an amazing honor to have so many nominees at this year's Vision Awards," said director of community management, Candy Lee. "The community association industry is not an easy career path. We work so hard to support our managers and provide them with the tools they need for success. But to be honored by industry professionals for these prestigious awards is a reflection of their hard work, passion for their field and their amazing content of character. We are so proud that these managers are getting the recognition they so richly deserve."

Miguel Pariona took home the award for Financial Impact. 

Things to Do Around Town

We've highlighted some of the things we think will be fun to do this winter. We've also included a link to the City of Minneapolis for upcoming local events. Enjoy!


Walker Art Center
Come visit the Walker Art Center on the first Saturday of the month for FREE family day! Every month there are performances, art-making, games, and kids' films from 10 am to 3 pm at no cost for the entire family. They also have family friendly food options, or you could pack your own lunch to enjoy in the lounge!
If night life is more your scene, every Thursday night is FREE from 5pm to 9pm. During this time there are exhibition-related events int eh galleries, art-making designed by local artists, lectures, film screenings, performances, and more! Bring anyone you want and immerse yourself into Minnesota's finest contemporary art center.
Address: 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Sea Life at Mall of America
Escape the cold and go on an underwater adventure at Sea Life in the Mall of America. Between feeding sting rays, getting a behind-the-scenes look of how the aquarium runs, and snorkeling with the fish there is something to do for all ages! Looking for something even more exciting? Spend a night in the Ocean Tunnel underneath sharks, sea turtles, and more! It is a great experience for your child's birthday party, or your next friends night out.
Hours: Opens at 10 am every day; closes at 6 pm on Sundays, 7 pm on Thursdays, and 8 pm on Friday and Saturdays

Singer - Songwriter Showcase
If you want to listen to great music by talented artists, look no further than Mystic Lake's Singer - Song-writer showcase. Starting at 8 pm on Friday, February 8 and continuing on Saturday, February 9, this showcase includes 5 performances by 4 talented artists. This FREE event is great for everyone who is looking for a good time.
When; 8 pm February 8 and 8 pm February 9
Where: The Lobby Lounge Stage, Mystic Lake Casino, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd.
Prior Lake, MN 55372

Now offering beer and wine, FlannelJax's is a perfect stop on a night out on the town. You can channel your inner lumberjack in three axe-citing activities: axe throwing, competitive crosscut sawing, or using a hatchet to be the first of your group to hammer a nail into a stump! Groups of 4 people or less can walk in for axe throwing, or else you can call to make a reservation for one of the best experiences you'll have all week.
When: Open Tuesday - Thursday from 2 pm - 10pm, Friday - Saturday from 12 pm to 11 pm, and Sundays from 12 pm - 10pm
Where: 755 Prior Ave N Saint Paul MN 55104
Contact: (612)-280-2783

Cross-Country Ski and Snowshoe and the Arboretum
Voted the best place to snowshoe and cross-country ski, the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities' Arboretum is a great place go for some outdoor exercise. With trails as short as 1 kilometer (.62 miles) or as long as 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles), it is a great experience for all levels. They have both skis and snowshoes that you can rent, so even if you don't have your own gear they have you covered! If you need a break, you can visit the Visitor Center, the Gift and Garden Store for a fun souvenir, or the Arboretum Café for something warm to drink.
Hours: 8 am - 3 pm Monday - Saturday, 10 am - 3 pm Sunday
Cost: $6.00 for the first hour and $4.00 for each additional hour
Address: 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska MN 55318

Need Help Renting and Managing a Townhome or Condo?

Think Advantage Home

A sister company to Sharper Management, Advantage Home helps homeowners and investors manage their single-family residences.

Since your Association is already affiliated with Sharper Management, renting your home through Advantage would have extra benefits you wouldn't find in another property management company. Those benefits include:
  • A thorough understanding of Associations
  • Information sharing regarding governing documents, rules, and regulations is efficient between Sharper and Advantage Home - Advantage is literally right down the hall
  • The Sharper Management maintenance staff is already familiar with your Association's property
  • Our emergency response team is fast and effective
If you or someone you know is interested in renting their townhome or condominium, have them contact jeff@advantagehomemn.com.

Learn more at advantagehomemn.com

Sharper Management | 952-224-4777 | SharperManagement.com