By Rafael Aquino

Published November 10, 2021  


It is irrefutable that the cost of living and goods have been going up the past couple of months and there is no end in sight. To add to the current challenge, we can expect changes from the state on the reserves requirement and the amount saved. However, as association leaders, it's our responsibility to communicate its impacts to our association and its membership.


Every year it's essential to take your time with your budgets and plan accordingly. However this year comes with challenges because no one knows what the cost of goods, supplies, insurance, etc., will be next year.  Every association should be having serious conversations with ALL its vendors to understand the potential increases. Further, with the recent increases in the minimum wage, ALL associations should be having conversations with their security guards providers and janitorial services providers, to name a few, to see how the minimum wage increase can potentially impact the association.


If you don't have reserves, this may be the year that you present a budget without the option to waive reserves.  Remember, a board does not have to give an option to waive reserves to the membership. It's better to open pandora's box now and start having serious conversations with your membership.  Further, you can express the changes coming to the law, and if steps aren't taken today, it will cost much more tomorrow.


Things will get more expensive in associations over the next coming year, even more so for condos. While it will be challenging to deal with, it won't be impossible.  You don't have to go at it alone; invite the association CPA, have a reserve study to present,  talk with your management partner, prepare a presentation of the current financial situation and what would happen if steps are taken.  My experience has shown that when you go the extra mile to communicate and prepare, most individuals will understand and support the Board.

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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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