February Lunch & Learn Focuses On Time Management

Many Home Owner Association Board members attended the February Lunch & Learn where they were able to learn principles of Time Management and how they relate to their role.  Focus and discussion dealt with practical ways to balance board members volunteer roles with life.  Attendees also enjoyed a complimentary lunch and one on one time with Community Association Managers and other Ghertner associates.

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Two Lunch & Learn seminar opportunities will be available in March dealing with Community Standards, Rules and Regulations. Find out more by emailing or calling Theresa Savich at theresa.savich@ghertner.com or 615.277.0346. 

Building Industry Relationships

The Tennessee Chapter of CAI (Community Associations Institute) met on Friday, January 25th allowing many opportunities for networking with industry professionals.  Several managers, on-site personnel and members of the leadership team were present.  Ghertner & Company encourages involvement in the association through attendance, committee involvement and by serving on the Board.

CAI is dedicated to enhancing the quality of Community Association living through education, legal advocacy, professional development and networking opportunities. Learn more at www.caitenn.org.

CAI is dedicated to enhancing the quality of Community Association living through education, legal advocacy, professional development and networking opportunities. Learn more at www.caitenn.org.

Winter Freeze Precautions

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We cannot emphasize too much or too often the precautions to be taken to prevent frozen or burst water pipes during cold weather. These bursts not only cause you as the homeowner inconvenience and damage, they also cost you money. This is because the insurance deductible for water bursts is high, and you will be responsible to pay the deductible for any cold weather-related burst in a water line serving your unit only. This may include the outside faucet, depending on your Community Association.

In late fall:

  • If applicable, close all foundation vents.

  • Outside hoses: Disconnect all hoses from outside connections, and then run water for a few minutes to be sure pipes leading inside are not still holding water from when the hose was connected. This is the most common cause of bursts in the water line for outside faucets, and often the damage is not discovered until the faucet is used again in the spring.

During extremely cold weather (20 degrees or below):

  • Leave some water running in faucets farthest away from the water heater, or where the faucet is on an exterior wall. The colder the weather, the more water should flow. Open all cabinet doors beneath sinks, wet bars, etc. so warm air from the room can circulate around the pipes. This is very helpful.

During warmer weather (you do not have to wait until spring):

  • Turn on the outside faucets to be sure they are working properly. While they are on, check the wall and carpet at the inside wall nearest the location of the outside faucet. Water could indicate that the line is broken inside the wall. If you see water, call your Plumber or if applicable your Community Association Manager, and do not use the outside faucet until it has been inspected and/or repaired by a qualified technician.

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If you have a burst water line:

  • Turn off the water at the inside cut-off, if you have one – or at the outside cut-off.

  • Call your plumber to make repairs or if applicable to your type of community the Community Association Manager at Ghertner & Company during normal business hours of Monday-Friday from 8:00-4:30 at 615-255-8531. The after-hours maintenance emergency number is 615-255-4736.

General recommendations:

  • If you are going out of town, even for a short time, please consider leaving the heat set at a minimum of 65 degrees. You may choose to leave a key with a neighbor, in case of an emergency.

  • Know the location of your water cut-off, and how to turn off all water. This information is also helpful when you make plumbing repairs or change plumbing fixtures.

Feed America First Provides Solutions to the Hungry

With the vision of ceasing hunger in America by refusing to let neighbors go hungry, Feed America First, takes on the role of receiving large scale food donations and then distributing them to 200 partner agencies in the region.   This non-profit organization’s from “truck to trunk” mindset allows them to distribute over 950,000 pounds of food every month.  For every $1 donated, Feed America First is able to provide 10-15 meals.  Learn more about how to offer support or volunteer at www.feedamericafirst.com.  Ghertner & Company continues to give back to the Middle Tennessee community by supporting meaningful organizations with financial support and donations. 

Receiving the check on behalf of Feed America First is Tom Henry, Founder and Co-Executive Director and Dave Speer, Board President. Jan Speer, Dave’s wife, is the board president at Willow Springs, a Ghertner & Company managed property. Ghertner & Company team members pictured are Deborah Wallace, Jaye Kloss, and Michael Ryckeley.

Receiving the check on behalf of Feed America First is Tom Henry, Founder and Co-Executive Director and Dave Speer, Board President. Jan Speer, Dave’s wife, is the board president at Willow Springs, a Ghertner & Company managed property. Ghertner & Company team members pictured are Deborah Wallace, Jaye Kloss, and Michael Ryckeley.

6 THINGS TO ASK YOUR COMMERCIAL PAINTING CONTRACTOR

Know when to call

for help!

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First impressions are everything in business. When potential clients pass by a place of business, a positive first impression from a quality paint job done by a commercial painting contractor is key to grabbing and keeping their attention.

Curb appeal includes investing in quality work, done by quality contractors who have proven results. When it comes to finding your next commercial painting contractor, know what to ask when you begin your research.

These following six questions are a great place to start when identifying who will be doing the next painting project for your shopping center, multi-family complex, or retail store.

  1. Is your company licensed?

    1. Is the company properly licensed to perform commercial painting? Does each of the contractors working for the company have a valid, up-to-date license for themselves? If the answer is not Yes, move on. You are not protected in maintaining a quality of work with an unlicensed worker. 

      Each commercial painter and company has a lot to lose if the job is not completed to terms as noted and signed in a contract. 

  2. Does your company have the proper insurance?

    1. Is the company bonded and insured in case of any problems or accidents while they are working at your business? While you may have insurance for your business, they should be responsible for any mishaps or problems which occur during their work. 

      Go the extra mile and request their insurance information and contact them to ensure the insurance is correct and valid. You will want to ensure they have comprehensive business liability and workman’s compensation insurance in place.

  3. Does your company have references reviews and warranties?

    1. Many commercial painting contractors will have a list of references from previous projects and often times contacts at those locations who have reviewed the quality of work which was completed. 

      If you are able to speak with past customers, they may be able to share any positive or negative feedback. If there has been problems, it will help you identify them and potentially avoid future issues. 

      Always ask about warranties offered. If there is a warranty, it can help save you money in the long run, rather than have to pay more to have something fixed, which wasn’t your fault in the beginning.

  4. How long with the project take and who will be my point of contact?

    1. You will always want to get as detailed a report as possible when it comes to the time it will take to complete a project. Owning a business, you must have commercial painting contractors who are up front and honest about project timelines. 

  5. What type of products will be used on our building?

    1. The types of products are always a concern when investing in a commercial painting contractor. At Renovia, we identify the best products based on the type of project.

      Never assume the contractors you speak with are planning on using the highest quality of products. Often times you will get a low quote and if you accept and the job is done with lower quality products, you will be back redoing the project much sooner than needed. 

  6. How much experience does the commercial painting contractor have?

    1. Begin the conversation with questions around the company’s background to learn more about them, how long they have been in business. Commercial painting contractors who build quality teams with experienced workers who love what they do, great results will follow. 

      Don’t be afraid to ask how many jobs they have completed, if there have been any high profile jobs or how many years of service they have in the industry.

Finding a quality commercial painting contractor can at times present a challenge. Having a list of questions to start will help you narrow down, eliminate and hopefully identify the top one to three candidates for the job. Once you have narrowed down your search, then ask for a quote so you can do a full comparison based on the job at hand.

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Blog posting provided courtesy of Renovia - https://renovia.com/

First Lunch & Learn of 2019 Is a Success!

Home Owner Association Board members participated in the first Lunch & Learn of 2019 by brainstorming solutions for the challenges faced by many communities.  With the emphasis on Strategic Planning and Board Dynamics, many board members took advantage of the opportunity to work in small-groups on specific issues.

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The February 12th Lunch & Learn seminar will explore the topic of "Time Management". Complimentary lunch will be provided and the event starts at 11:30 a.m. Reserve your place by emailing or calling Theresa Savich at theresa.savich@ghertner.com or 615.277.0346. 

Take advantage of the busy dormant season!

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We recommend utilizing the short winter season to prepare for a successful landscape experience in 2019. It may sound odd, but there are many tasks that should be performed during the dormant season that will benefit the landscape. It is important to accomplish these tasks sooner than later to prepare your grounds for Spring, before Spring arrives. Here are a few suggestions:

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  • Develop a master landscape plan for your community. Your service provider can help create this plan, which will act as a guide and resource tool for the community moving forward over the next 1-5 years, helping you prioritize projects, make educated decisions, and budget accordingly. A plan will remove the haphazard guess-work from the equation, which typically results in a mediocre final product. A master plan for the community will typically cost extra, but may be the best money you ever spend on the community’s behalf, as it will reap good returns on the investment. You will need to engage a competent service provider for a project of this caliber, likely one with a landscape architect or experienced designer.

  • Engage your service provider to perform a site ‘Audit’ that lists items that need to be addressed such as safety concerns, enhancement projects, plant replacements, etc… This audit can help guide you in regards to more immediate spending needs and short term planning. An audit of sorts, depending on its complexity and scope, is usually offered by service providers at no extra charge. Conducting such an audit during the dormant season is beneficial, because many landscape related tasks are best performed in the winter season.

  • Perform any major tree work or tree pruning during the winter season, as trees respond more favorably to such cutting when performed while they are dormant and not actively growing.

  • Conduct ‘Rejuvenation’ type pruning of tired & overgrown shrubs and hedge rows during the winter season too. This type pruning refers to a significant cut-back of the shrubbery (usually removing ½ or more of the existing foliage) to re-shape and/or re-size the plant material. This service will promote the health and vigor of the plants resulting in an extended life-cycle, and create a safer environment while delivering a newer and fresh aesthetic.

  • The dormant season is also an optimal opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with your service provider about the expectations and goals of the community, while scheduling all the work early in the year to ensure a smooth start for the upcoming growing season and minimize any surprises.

The dormant season is actually a busy time of year for your qualified landscape service provider.

Spring is less than 60 days away, so start preparing now!

Written by: Scott Oldham

Landscape Services, Inc. (LSI)

Our Kids Center and Ghertner & Company - A 20 Year Partnership!

Every December, over the last twenty years, Ghertner & Company has supported the Our Kids Center with financial and material donations.  This organization provides expert medical evaluations and crisis counseling in response to concerns of child sexual abuse. Our Kids is dedicated to increasing community awareness of child sexual abuse, conducting research and offering education and training about the issue. In 30+ years, over 26,000 children have been evaluated with free 24/7 service for 47 Middle Tennessee counties.

Helpful resources are available for families and individuals at www.ourkidscenter.com.

Receiving the check on behalf of the Our Kids Center is Hollye Gallion, Denise Alexander, Jill Martindale from Scott Ghertner, Co-President of Ghertner & Company. Others Ghertner & Company associates present are Jaye Kloss, Kerry Chapman and Mark Darden.

Receiving the check on behalf of the Our Kids Center is Hollye Gallion, Denise Alexander, Jill Martindale from Scott Ghertner, Co-President of Ghertner & Company. Others Ghertner & Company associates present are Jaye Kloss, Kerry Chapman and Mark Darden.

Sharing the Holiday Joy!

St. Luke’s Community House creates a community where children, families, and seniors from different backgrounds can easily access the resources needed to live fulfilling lives.

Deborah Wallace's team of Community Association Managers volunteered on December 7th, helping families shop for gifts at their annual Christmas House Toy Store. This was a fun opportunity to give back to the community and grow as a team.

For decades, the St. Luke’s Christmas programs helped deserving families and seniors have presents under the tree. Instead of accepting free gifts someone else chose for their children, parents can now purchase new toys for a very small amount they can afford.

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Holiday Vacation Safety Tips

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Many of you may be planning on taking a vacation away from home. If this is the case, don’t let a would-be thief know when your home is empty. Homes which appear to be occupied or lived in will have less chance of being burglarized.

Here are a few tips to give your home that lived-in look:

• Lighting is one of the most important and yet easiest ways to make it appear as if someone is home. Investing in timers for your lights is much better than simply leaving your lights on. Timers can also be used on radios and televisions.

• Ask your neighbor to assist you in collecting mail.

• Don’t leave notes to anyone that you are not at home or when you plan to return.

• Don’t leave a recorded message that you are not at home on any voicemail.

• Don’t make social media posts about your vacation public for anyone to see.

Smart Holiday Safety Tips

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Statistics show that crime will increase during the holiday season. Although the police department does everything they can to reduce crime, no one—not the police nor the association—can guarantee that it will not happen to you or someone you know. But here are some suggestions that can help reduce the chance.

• Leaving valuables in sight can tempt a would-be thief. Remove GPS devices, Christmas presents, wallets and purses, and even loose change or place them in the trunk. Keep purses, wallets and Christmas presents from being seen through windows in your home.

• Locks work only if they are being used. Keep the doors to your car and home locked at all times, even when you are inside.

• Using caution is your best protection. Be observant of everyone and everything around you. Have your keys out and ready to unlock your car before you come out of your home or any building. Before getting into your car, look inside and around your car.

• Would-be criminals prefer not to be seen. When going out at night, park only in well lit areas. Report immediately to management any lights that are not working in the community.

Snow and Your HOA!

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To plow or not to plow, that is the question. 

The cold winter months brings us many weather-related challenges, including how and when to deal with ice and snow.  Every community has a different set of conditions that need to be taken into consideration.  Are there hills, entrances, or intersections that are difficult to navigate under slippery conditions?  Are there common area walkways or stairs that could become hazardous? Has the snow stopped? Are temperatures rising or falling?  What is the short term and long-term forecast?  There are many factors that help to determine when plowing or spreading ice-melt is appropriate. 

This season we will more than likely see snow fall in Middle-Tennessee varying by region from less than 1” to more than 6”.  Ice melt is appropriate up to a couple of inches, but becomes less effective as the snow depths increase.  A good ice melt contains a blend of salts such as Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride which is effective as low as -15 degrees, works faster than traditional rock salt, and is safer for vegetation and concrete. 

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Snow plowing is often appropriate when snow depths exceed 2”.  Plowing is a great option for parking lots and roadways, especially when performed shortly after snow fall has ceased and before cars have an opportunity to create snow-pack.  Plowing without direct sun or the application of ice melt, however, can create icy, slippery conditions under the right conditions. Plowing with an application of ice melt is the quickest and most effective way to remove snow, providing a safe, clean driving surface. 

Written By: Ghertner Maintenance & Remodeling

https://ghertner.com/ghertner-maintenance-and-remodeling/

Trade Show Connects HOA Board Members to Service Providers

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The Seventh Annual Ghertner and Company Trade Show proved to be a great success with record attendance on Friday, November 9th.  Held at the Millennium Maxwell House, this event gave Home Owner Association board members the opportunity to visit with service providers that currently work with or could provide services to their communities.  Twenty-eight service providers were able to participate representing a wide variety of services from pest control, roofing, legal, restoration, banking, pool maintenance, insurance, landscaping, reserve studies, life safety, paving, construction, advertising and painting.  Many of the service providers gave away door prizes and a complimentary lunch was provided.  The Trade Show concludes Ghertner & Company’s year long celebration of their 50th Anniversary.

Tis the Season….to prepare for snow removal!

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As we are all enjoying the colors of autumn, we must remind ourselves that winter is approaching. One aspect of the winter season is the chance of snowfall in Middle Tennessee. We have already had 1 small snow event this year! Snow is typically exciting but can also bring anxiety if your community or property is not well prepared. Here are some helpful tips:

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1.)    Plan in Advance:  The sooner you prepare an action plan, the better. Late summer or early Fall planning is not too early, but rather beneficial. Pricing can be negotiated easier ahead of time, as opposed to when snow is predicted. Plus, your service provider will have ample time to prepare and stock materials & equipment.

2.)    Select a competent service provider… a company with enough snow equipment, knowledge & experience in providing snow services, updated and adequate insurance, and trained personnel.

3.)    Have a written contract in place which includes liability language, pricing, and scope of work. Having a contract in place, rather than a verbal agreement, solidifies your expectations and may outline liability details.

4.)    Develop a site map which highlights the areas of your community you want to be serviced, and share such with your service provider, so that there is no confusion. The map should convey any specific priority areas, and areas that are not to be serviced.

5.)    Stay in communication with your service provider when a snow event is predicted. Communication is key to a successful snow season, because every event brings its own challenges.

6.)    Meet with your service provider on site before the snow season begins, to walk the community while discussing pet peeves, safety concerns, obstacles to avoid, etc… A phone call is not usually adequate for this type of service request.

7.)    Budget your expenses for several snow events. The average snowfall accumulation for Middle TN is about 7 inches per year, which averages 3-4 events. Each of those type of accumulating events will require some level of service to keep your site tidy and safe. In addition, this area of the country gets multiple ice only events, which should be budgeted for as well. Snow & Ice service is expensive. Your property manager or service provider should be able to help with the budgeting process.

8.)    Unfortunately in today’s litigious society, lawsuits from slip & fall events are more common now than ever. As a result, it is critical that you protect your community by preparing for such snow events in every way possible, so that you are not held liable for negligence. Your property manager and competent service providers can help you through the planning process.

Early and proper planning will allow you to enjoy the beauty of winter without the concerns associated with keeping your community safe from old man winter!     

Written by: 

Scott Oldham - Business Development Manager with LSI. www.LandscapeServicesInc.com

Grow…Cook…Share - The Nashville Food Project

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The Nashville Food Project was recognized as November’s non-profit organization.  Their mission is to bring people together to grow, cook and share nourishing food, with the goals of cultivating community and alleviating hunger in our city.  The Nashville Food Project embraces a vision of vibrant community food security in which everyone in Nashville has access to the food they want and need through a just and sustainable food system.

The organization was featured at Ghertner and Company’s annual trade show with a $500 check.  Many associates and HOA members also brought donations.  Learn more about supporting The Nashville Food Project at www.thenashvillefoodproject.org.

Oasis Center Serves Middle Tennessee Youth

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Oasis Center annually engages over 3,500 youth and families with a wide variety of programs and services designed to help them reach their full potential.  Located in Nashville, Oasis Center has been positively impacting Middle Tennessee young people in areas of crisis intervention, youth leadership, community involvement and college/career services. Learn more about this meaningful non-profit organization at www.oasiscenter.org.  Ghertner & Company recognized Oasis Center’s success with a $500 donation as October’s “Giving Back” recipient.

Associates Celebrate Holiday with Team Building Event

Ghertner & Company associates enjoyed Halloween by dressing up and enjoying food and activities together to build camaraderie.  Contests were held for best chili and dessert prepared by volunteers.  The company provided sandwiches and drinks. Awards were passed out for a costume contest and best decorated team pumpkins.  Ghertner & Company greatly values its associates and regularly offers team building events as just one of the many benefits enjoyed by team members.  

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Puckett Station Project for Hurricane Relief

When Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas, Puckett Station neighbors put together twenty-two Flood Buckets in just a matter of a few days. Unfortunately, Hurricane Michael followed quickly with catastrophic damage to the Florida panhandle. In just a little over 72 hours, Puckett Station neighbors put together another fifteen Flood Buckets and arranged for them to get to the Panama City area. Several homeowners participated in both projects with each providing two buckets.  The buckets are filled with specific cleaning supplies to be given to homeowners with flood and water damage. Puckett Station neighbors donated just under $3000.00 worth of Flood Buckets to the victims of recent hurricanes.

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Ridgeport HOA Builds Community with Fall Fest

The Ridgeport Homeowner’s Association in Spring Hill, TN, kicked off the Fall season on October 20th, with a fun festival for all to experience.  Kids of all ages and their parents came out to enjoy bounce houses, balloon man, costume contests and games.  Food was brought in from Moe's Southwest Grill.  Board members and volunteers organized the event to allow the families a fun, safe event while also building a sense of community.

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