By Rafael Aquino

Published May 4, 2022  


Problems are part of life and business; however, it's how we deal with the problems that separate those that move on to other challenges and those that continue to repeat the issue. The best way that I have found to solve simple and or complex problems is to dig at them until you find the root cause.


I believe that most Board Members would take the necessary steps to maintain their properties properly and do the required preventative maintenance and repairs if they had the money. However, so many associations in Florida struggle to maintain their properties because of the lack of financial resources. Unfortunately, I've seen firsthand how necessary repairs or preventative maintenance get pushed off because money is limited or non-existent.


The root cause of so many issues within associations is their ability to waive reserves. If we took that away from developers, board members, and members, we wouldn't be having this discussion. In addition, to the ability to waive reserves, another root cause is associations not being required to conduct reserves studies every few years, so board members are up to date on the expected cost in future years.


Businesses worldwide are successful when they make decisions based on their data. It is no different for our associations... if you have the data that tells you this is what you can expect to spend in the next few years, and this is where you stand today, the decision should be easy, and emotions wouldn't be involved.


I've heard the argument many times before; if I didn't live in an association and my roof was deteriorating, the law wouldn't require me to save a reserve fund.   I can decide to sell my home right before, and the new owners will need to deal with it. That statement is somewhat valid; however, you have to keep in mind that you decided to move into an association with its own rules. In most cases, your sale price will reflect a discount because of such deterioration. However,  in an association where roofs impact more than one family, the new buyer rarely ever knows the actual conditions of the building when they purchase because most associations don't have these reports available or are not required to provide them. 


If reserves and reserve studies are not mandated for associations, we will continue to play this same tune for years, and nothing will change. Board members and managers will have to deal with the ramifications of the decisions made by prior boards. The sad truth is that if they took the time to understand the data points in front of them and took away the emotions, the decision would be easy... we will either fully fund our reserves or prepare a sliding scale to fund over the next five years.


While many will disagree with my opinion, that's ok. I've seen the impact of not having reserves for fifteen-plus years now and, unfortunately, continue to live it, so I speak from experience. I've also seen many associations with proper reserve funding, and the challenges still exist and may still be complex, but they are much less charged and emotional.

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As the Co-Founder and CEO of Affinity Management Services, Rafael P. Aquino leads his team to redefine excellence. They serve community   associations   efficiently

and effectively with dedication and passion. Rafael’s energy and positive spirit is the foundation of Affinity Management Services’ company culture, which instills enthusiasm and excitement when providing expert advice to its board members and relieving the day-to-day burdens of running a community association.


Since 2007, Rafael has developed a work culture that values responsive and high-quality services. He has led his team by following a proactive vs reactive philosophy. The same approach Rafael instills in the day to day operations of each association. Today, Affinity Management Services maintains its success and benefits as a result of the foundation Rafael has built and continues to foster by providing educational seminars, continuing education classes for association managers and board members alike.

Rafael and his team help condominium and homeowners’ associations save money and improve their communities. His calm, personable, and service-oriented nature helps him to establish strong relationships with ease. Rafael is known as a sincere and honest leader who looks out for the best interests of his clients and communities, and he strongly advocates for their needs. His role requires coordination and communication, as such he takes logical and intelligent steps to approach challenges head-on.

As a graduate of Florida International University’s electrical engineering program and a licensed community association manager, Rafael’s education and skills equip him with unique insights to tackle complex problems through critical thinking. He understands how each component within a system works together in order to effectively arrive at solutions, techniques, and conclusions. Therefore, as he manages the multiple challenges of running a community association management company, he understands how each property is its own unique system and tailors’ specific services to assure that all their needs are met.

For more information about Rafael P. Aquino and Affinity Management Services please visit www.ManagedByAffinity.com or call 1-800-977-6279

Doral Office: 8200 NW 41st ST

Suite 200

Doral, FL 33166

Broward Office: 150 S Pine Island RD Suite 300

Plantation, FL 33324

O: 800-977-6279 ● F: 305-325-4053

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