A Message From Our CEO – Mark J. Quinn
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented experience for all of us. We are grateful to our Team Members, Board Members and Homeowners for taking command and responding with confidence and respect for each other to keep our families and communities safe. As we venture into the re-opening of communities and their amenities, it is important to continue to be diligent in practicing social distancing by following CDC guidelines. We can all contribute by avoiding large gatherings and limiting access to common areas such as pools, clubhouses, tennis courts and basketball courts.
The GRS Team is staying informed and distributing information as available to our communities.
We are thankful for your continued support and patience as we navigate our way back to an environment where we are all living harmoniously in community and breathing fresh air.
Thank you for your trust.
Mark J. Quinn
As a Florida based company, we’re closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19. In addition to those who are affected by the illness, many more are indirectly dealing with changes in their work, school and community environments. Here are some of the ways GRS Community Management is supporting customers, communities and employees during this difficult time.
Despite changes in our lives caused by this pandemic, Associations are not able to waive homeowner association fees. Associations have budgeted expenses for 2020 which are required to be incurred such as: landscaping, irrigation, tree trimming, pool maintenance, utilities and water, trash removal, cable & internet service, elevators, maintenance and janitorial services, gate access and security are just some of the expenses your Association might be incurring. All Associations are incurring insurance expenses and we all need to recognize that hurricane season and preparations are right around the corner, if not already underway. The business of your community must continue. Your Association does not have alternatives as an owner might have with forbearance of payments of their mortgage, to make up for shortfalls in maintenance fees – any shortfall rests on the homeowners to carry any delinquency. As a community association management company, GRS Community Management can only support Associations we serve by executing policies and procedures put in place by the Association’s Board of Directors. GRS does not have the authority to waive homeowner dues. As a homeowner, you may qualify for mortgage relief to help you during this difficult time.
To find out more, please visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau here:
Under the new Federal “CARES” Act, homeowners may be able to skip mortgage payments for up to one year. As a homeowner, you can contact your mortgage loan servicer and inquire about “forbearance” due to the financial hardship caused by the Coronavirus crisis. This is applicable to any government backed mortgage (FNMA, FHLMA or FHA). To find out if your mortgage is federally backed, please visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau here:
Serving our customers
GRS Community Management Corporate office is taking steps to minimize potential virus transmission to our team members. The Corporate Office lobby will continue to be open, but we are encouraging everyone to submit their questions and or applications in the following manner.
To limit exposure to residents, the front office of GRS has been reconfigured to create distance and avoid close proximity to employees.
- Mail your application via USPS
- Drop off the application or ARC in the mailbox that has been installed at the front door of the GRS Office.
- Drop off the application or ARC in the baskets provided in the lobby
Resident Questions to GRS:
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Go to the GRS Website (www.grsmgt.com) and use the chat feature
- Call the office (561) 641-8554
Caring for our employees
Administrative and Corporate Staff:
We have been asking all staff members who can work from home to be ready to make that move at any time. Some of the teams are already working from home. You should see no interruption in response or follow up. Emails will continue to be the preferred method of communication. At the same time, we have increased the cleaning of our facility, including regular sanitation of our office, door handles, phones, keyboards and desks. Our management team and staff are working hard to ensure that our clients have as seamless an experience as possible.
Empowering our customers
Board Members, Homeowners and Vendors:
We suggest you enact phone and email communication in order to maintain recommended distance from the general public. Non-urgent face-to-face meetings should be avoided. The review of applications or records are being done remotely as required.
- Onsite Offices: If you are open to homeowners, create a buffer between you and them. Association payments should be requested to be mailed in rather than dropped off, if possible (please have your payment lock box address available to all homeowners).
- Association Meetings: We recommend Boards review and consider postponement of meetings until further notice. Under emergency declaration, a virtual or call-in meeting, if needed is acceptable to conduct association business. Freeconferencecall.com is one of several FREE services that can allow you to set your own virtual meetings or conference calls.
- ARB and Sales/Lease Applications: If possible, have applications mailed to GRS rather than have realtors or owners drop them off. If you are onsite and receive applications, it is recommended that you establish an area away from you where residents can leave applications if they are not mailed. Some offices are setting up a drop off box or basket to avoid close contact if accepting applications. Applications can be processed the next day.
- Violations: Since service vendors may have limited ability with the ramp up of the virus, we recommend that boards consider limiting violations to homeowners except for those with the most egregious of violations.
Assessment Payments: Encourage homeowners to mail, not bring payments to you at the office. Also, don’t encourage conversation or loitering in your office from the public.
- Eblasts: Use electronic communication regarding steps being taken within the community especially regarding Board decisions about amenities and the clubhouse.
Clubhouses, Fitness Rooms, and Pools:
Having updates to facilities is important for residents to know. What communities may be accepting today, may change tomorrow. Board Members and Property Managers are ready to communicate changes to residents, as needed.
- Pools: Although chlorine is a good thing, congregation of people and use of the community restrooms may not be. For communities where pools are open today, we are prepared to communicate changes to communities via eblast. We are finding community pools are luring more people than usual due to closed resources such as schools, which is contributing to group gathering and should be weighed accordingly by Board Members.
- Gyms: Boards should consider that gyms, if not regularly cleaned and disinfected, can make transmission of the virus more susceptible. It’s a gathering place with very close personal interaction.
- Clubhouse: Many are simply closed to all meetings, events and leisure recreation such as libraries, card rooms and meeting rooms. Boards should consider options.
Maintenance staff should also be aware of personal space interaction with vendors and homeowners. Our maintenance staff are being instructed to wash their hands after coming in from the field and avoid close workspace with one another.
Information and Resources
Community Association Institute (CAI)
What to Know About COVID-19
Website Address: www.caionline.org/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
CAI COVID-19 Sample Letter to Residents
- CAI has developed the following letter to cover some of the steps your community may take or has taken to address the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Please see the CAI COVID-19 Sample Letter to Residents by clicking on this link: https://www.caionline.org/Pages/Forms-COVID-19.aspx
Health and Government
- Coronavirus: What to Know (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.html
- Preventing COVID Spread in Your Community (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html
- COVID-19 Information and Resources for Housing Providers (HUD) https://www.hud.gov/coronavirus
- Understanding Emergency Declarations, Taking Guidance from Health Officials (CAI) https://advocacy.caionline.org/coronavirus/
- Coronavirus Response: 5 Actions HOAs Take Now (CAI) https://hoaresources.caionline.org/coronavirus-response-5-actions-hoas-should-take- now/
- How to Minimize Coronavirus Risk in Fla. Residential Communities (Donna DiMaggio Berger – Becker Law) https://beckerlawyers.com/how-to-minimize-coronavirus-risk-in-fla-residential-communities-daily-business-review/
- Roberts, Markel, Weinberg, Butler, Hailey (RMWBH) https://www.rmwbh.com/coronavirus-and-our-communities-poa-preparedness/
Risk Management Recommendations
- Common Areas and Amenities
- Extensive cleaning, disinfecting, and/or wiping down of common areas and common area surfaces.
- Postpone or cancel all upcoming board meetings.
- Postpone ALL onsite social event such as Cards, Bingo, etc.
- Postpone any offsite social gatherings amongst residents such as the Red Hat Society or other related groups.
- Closing common areas and amenities such as the basketball court, bathing beaches, clubhouse, playgrounds, saunas, shuffleboard courts, tennis courts, etc.
- Installing hand sanitizer dispensers or wipes in common areas for owners’ and guests’ use.