Landscaping Update – A reply to a homeowner’s inquiry

The Fan Palm dropping are a challenge. If they are trimmed too early the flowers will re-bloom and more droppings will occur.  For this reason, they are the last palms to be trimmed annually.  The city of Indian Wells requires that they all be trimmed by July 31. In 2018, the schedule for trimming will be moved up a little from this year.

Leon’s gardeners don’t work as many hours in the heat of the summer as they do during the rest of the year. We have a monthly contract with a fixed amount for maintenance that spreads the cost evenly.

We will discuss with Leon’s after the summer about our past tradition of planting annuals in our development and then pulling them out after six months leaving us with bare dirt. We might entertain using flowering perennials where possible (maybe with some annuals) for us to have some color for half the year. Our landscape committee has already begun using that concept at the Cook/Fairway corner and inside and outside the gate.

As to leaf blowing, we have requested Leon’s gardeners not to blow leaves toward the garage doors leaving us with garages to sweep out manually.

How we selected The Management Trust

We have selected a new management firm, The Management Trust. You should have received some material from them already and you will be receiving more from them soon. We’ve had a few questions about our selection process, so we wanted to share how we came to a decision.

There were several steps to get to the final selection of The Management Trust. We started with a list of over a dozen qualified firms from the association of property managers. The list was narrowed to seven by eliminating ones that were not in good financial standing or were having other difficulties, etc. We reviewed our prior selection process and asked other HOA leaders about their feedback. Two members of the Board were on point to screen the seven firms. They met with all seven to make their evaluation. One example for not choosing a firm was that they couldn’t take on any new business for several months. The entire Board met with four firms and got it down to three, all of which we felt would do a good job. Each firm had their strengths and weaknesses.

To get to the final selection, references were screened and we all talked with our own HOA contacts who use these firms but were not on their referral list. Our attorney was consulted as he deals with all of the management firms. Of the final three, we decided that a bigger firm (The Management Trust) had the needed management skill set with people who could back each other up. Their structure of having a manager and assistant manager for each HOA seemed like a good strategy. Back up is in place and they have more than one person who can help our homeowners with any issue. They also have strong financial systems which was a key factor for us and were willing to work with us to get a good property manager fit. The other two firms were smaller or newer to our market.

We did look at social media, such as Facebook and Yelp.  All of the firms had a limited number of positive and negative reviews. Management Trust has hundreds of accounts throughout the west, exponentially more clients than all other firms. While Management Trust was not the least expensive, we did find them flexible in working on the contract regarding many issues.

We are looking forward to working with Shawnna Carr and Toni Fogh-Andersen at The Management Trust.