By Rafael Aquino

Published July 29, 2020  


As design styles and resident types change, the common area may need to change with it, so the property stays relevant. For instance, a lobby area for a building built in 1950 may not be fitting for 2020. Other scenarios could be that it doesn't make sense to have a pink building because it makes the building feel dated. While many Boards feel overwhelmed with the thought of getting 75% of the owners on board, to make such a change, it boils down to the strategy and approach you put together.


Communication is key to any project's success, so before you dig yourself into a rabbit hole, I would suggest you send a survey to the residents.  In the study, you can ask questions that will give the board an idea of the interest that exists.  Something as simple as "The Board is considering changing the color of the building, would you like to see the color change?


"As a tip, I would strongly urge you to do the online survey with an online voting platform.  Most online voting companies provide the survey feature at no additional cost. One of the significant benefits is that as the owners complete their survey, they can opt into online voting.  Hence you will be prepared to take the votes online should the material alteration idea come together.


"A picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a one point eight million words." As an example, we recently took on an association in Ft. Lauderdale, where the committee and board did a fantastic job presenting all the changes. They wanted to change the color of the building, and they decided to upgrade all the common areas and lobbies as well.  They obtained the buy-in by presenting the owner with storyboards of the materials they would be using. They even created a YouTube video that reflected what all the upgrades would look like once completed. Because of these efforts, they obtained the votes needed to make these significant changes.   


Do keep in mind that Section 718.113(2)(a), Florida Statutes, requires 75% of the total voting interests to approve a material alteration unless the declaration provides an alternative approval method/standard. Many condominium association declarations contain a provision that explicitly establishes a unit owner approval standard for material alterations to the common elements. However, other documents allow material alterations to be approved by the board as long as it doesn't exceed a specific dollar amount.  You must consult with your attorney throughout your process and have them prepare an opinion letter outlining the steps your association must take to have such material alterations approved.


In closing, projects take time for them to come together, and you must understand that.  You can't allow the small obstacles to get you tripped up because the long-term benefits will outweigh all of that.  As such, it's essential to have the right partners in place, so the board's objectives are accomplished. 

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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 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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