Monday, February 27, 2012

Protecting Your Neighborhood: How to Form a Neighborhood Watch Group

There are multiple advantages to forming a neighborhood watch group. Neighborhood watch groups have been described as one of the most effective deterrents to criminal activity. They are a cost-effective and valuable tool in reducing crime and blight within your neighborhood. A successful neighborhood watch program can deepen bonds between neighbors and establish a greater sense of community as well as increase the desirability of your community.   

Neighbors: Your Most Valuable Resource
Your first steps in developing a neighborhood watch program will be to contact your neighbors and recruit a group of interested residents. You can call or talk to them in person about becoming a member. As organizers, you can now schedule your first meeting to discuss your community’s objectives and goals.

Your local police department will often work in tandem with neighborhood watch groups to provide training in home security. In addition, the police department or your local government can provide Neighborhood Watch signs and decals for your residential areas.   

Putting Your Best Step Forward 
Once you have organized your first meeting and coordinated with the police department to provide training, take the opportunity during this first meeting to become better acquainted with your neighbors. Nominate a secretary to record names and phone numbers.

Use this first meeting as a sounding board to address residents’ concerns about crime and other activities within the community. During this meeting, residents will also select a block captain. The block captain serves as a leader in coordinating meetings, relaying information, and recruiting new members. A block captain will also serve as a go-between with law enforcement.

Now that you have formed a neighborhood watch group, it will be necessary to assign roles to each resident. During the meeting, concerns should have been noted and particular attention can be directed at areas where teenagers gather or if there have been instances of loitering. The same is true about any incidents of home robberies. Neighbors should be assigned specific areas to watch and know who to call if there is suspicious activity.

Keep it Active
Promote your neighborhood watch group and hold regular monthly meetings. Consider publishing a monthly newsletter to promote your activities and provide any pertinent information to residents.  

Making your presence known can be one of the most effective deterrents to crime. Posting neighborhood watch signs serve as signals to potential criminals that this neighborhood looks out for itself and will immediately report any suspicious activities or individuals to their local law enforcement.

The Choice is Yours
Take control of your neighborhood and develop your own local neighborhood watch group. The benefits you reap will be substantial. You will forge friendships with your neighbors based on a common goal, you will improve your community feel and value, and you can take satisfaction in knowing you are being a positive force within your community.

You are not in this alone. Once you get started in organizing a neighborhood watch group, you will be surprised by how many like-minded neighbors you will find.    

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Preserve Your House and Condo Values through Proper Maintenance

Everyone is interested in maintaining their home’s value. In most cases, your home or condo is your largest financial investment and any tool you can find to maintain or increase its value is worth its weight in gold.

Proper maintenance can stabilize the value within your communities and can provide continued interest with new home and condo buyers. Now more than ever with home prices declining nationwide, any edge you can give your properties and surrounding communities the better off you will be in the long run.

A Name You Can Trust in Association Management
A professional management service can provide associations with the proper tools to uphold their homes’ values. A main component to supporting property values is the enforcement of community standards to ensure the proper care is given to common areas and parkways. That means a community’s appearance goes along way is establishing a neighborhood’s feel and desirability. Any neighborhood that consistently shows freshly mowed parkways and properly pruned trees and shrubs as well as a sparkling pool and inviting recreation room will outperform one that neglects its maintenance.   

A Cut Above the Rest
By engaging a professional firm to handle your association’s community maintenance, you fulfill your fiduciary duty to your members by providing them with a firm who will ensure regular grounds and facility repair and care. By providing regular scheduled maintenance, home and condominium associations help stabilize and increase property values.

Well-manicured grounds and buildings convey a sense of pride in community and establish a baseline for community standards. A professional company will ensure community standards are being continually met and assist with any compliance issues that arrive.

Upholding Community Standards
With a professional firm handling your association’s maintenance and financial responsibilities, property owners are allowed the luxury of relaxing and enjoying their community. Property owners will be free from the responsibility of managing their communities to ensure uniform compliance. And, this is an important factor in maintaining and increasing property values.

With consistent maintenance and proper financial management, associations enjoy the following benefits:

·         You have a strict adherence to regular care of common areas, including parkways, recreation rooms, and pool areas. Tennis courts and playground areas receive regular attention to ensure equipment is free from damage and clean. Parkways are well-groomed and free from litter.
·         Regular financial audits and careful bookkeeping assist associations with establishing a strong reputation for financial accuracy and transparency, making your neighborhood attractive to potential buyers and current owners.    
·         Scheduled maintenance helps associations from common areas falling into disrepair and decreasing property values. Regular maintenance also ensures problem areas are addressed before an accident occurs which could leave the association libel. 

Proper maintenance and repair to make your neighborhood look good will go along way in increasing your property values. People want to leave in attractive neighborhoods that are clean and free from debris and litter. Engaging a professional firm to oversee your association business can help you maintain and increase your property values. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Together We Can Accomplish Anything

Access Management Group is proud to be a 2012 Corporate Sponsor of Young Survivors Coalition (YSC). We chose this amazing Atlanta metro area organization to be the first recipient of our “Giving Back” program. YSC is focused on providing support programs and educational events as well as caregiver networking to provide a community resource for local young women facing breast cancer.

2012 YSC Tour de Pink
This year has seen Access Management partner with YSC and sponsor their single largest fundraising event of the year. The Tour de Pink ride covers anywhere from a one-mile course to a 100-mile course and benefits breast cancer awareness. Ride alongside cancer survivors and their families and take in some fresh air while pedaling for a great cause. 

YSC is calling all volunteers who are interested in serving on their planning committee. Come on down and join them with your planning experience and expertise at their YSC Atlanta Office at 3825 Glenridge Drive, Building 3, Suite 101  on February 21st at 6:30PM.

Upcoming Events
YSC Atlanta is excited about its new pilot program that offers breast cancer advocacy updates via text messaging. This pioneering program will provide key information on breast cancer and how it affects young women as well as up-to-the-minute information on YSC upcoming events. To opt in, text to YSCINFO to 72727 and you can help be a part of the launch and success of this new national pilot program. 

Reclaiming your health and thriving are goals YSC embraces and this is why they are offering a workshop on Sensuality, Sexuality, and Survival this Wednesday, February 15th at 7:00PM. RSVP and learn how women can recapture their sensual and sexual sides through a combination of educational instruction and empowerment. You can learn more information at:

Head on down to New Orleans February 24-26 and join the 12th annual young women’s conference and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other breast cancer survivors and their supporters. Take the Big Easy by storm and register or apply for travel at:

If heading out of town is out of the question, check out the National Teleconference on Dating after Cancer on February 8, 2012 at 8:00. YSC Atlanta’s own Program Manager, Jean Rowe, LCSW, OSWC will discuss “Dating, Relating and Living Fully.” Don’t miss this exciting and informative lecture.

Thank You Very Much  
YSC Atlanta was honored by being chosen as a recipient of a $25,000 grant. Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation awarded YSC Atlanta this grant to enrich their EMPOWER! program. What a coup! It’s great to see other local organizations offering support and it empowers us to do more and ask the same of our member HOAs and condo associations.

We Continue to Grow
We are excited about all of the upcoming events YSC Atlanta has to offer. Our partnership is sure to grow, and we are pleased to be associated with this fine organization.  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Nine New Members Join the Access Management Group Family

Every time a new organization joins our company, we are excited about the potential possibilities. This past January, we were pleased to welcome nine new members to our organization. These nine homeowner and condo associations have put their faith and confidence in Access Management Group to manage their communities and assist them with carrying out their responsibilities.

Our partnership with these groups allows us the ability to do what we do best: Manage and facilitate open and honest communication with the association’s members to ensure compliance with bylaws and covenants and attend to financial documents as well as maintenance to promote community well-being.

Welcome Aboard    
The following communities have joined the Access Management Group team:
  • Kingsgate, an HOA with 495 homes in Woodstock;
  • Olde Vinings Park with 37 homes in Smyma;
  • River District at Berkeley Lake with 38 homes in Berkeley Lake;
  • Woodstock Knoll with 31 homes in Woodstock;
  • Notting Hill with 102 homes in Cumming;
  • Oaks on Charlotte with 2 homes (and more coming) in Alpharetta;
  • Ashland Park Condo Association with a 48-unit building in Ashland City, Tennessee;
  • Taylor Farm with 134 homes in Powder Springs; and
  •  Crest Ridge with 113 homes in Acworth.
Our Newest Communities
  • Olde Vinings Park residences are nestled in Smyma and have 37 homes under its HOA direction. Located conveniently to downtown and midtown, this community offers singles, couples, and families alike the opportunity to own beautiful quality-built homes.
  • Kingsgate is located in Woodstock and has over 495 homes within its communities. Kingsgate is comprised of multiple developments.
  • River District at Berkeley Lake is a gate guarded community of luxurious homes tucked along the riverfront.
  • Woodstock Knoll is a collection of single-family homes in Cherokee County.
  • Notting Hill in Cumming is comprised of 102 upscale traditional-styled homes and Oaks on Charlotte feature two distinct homes with building still being completed on additional homes.
  • Our newest condo association is Ashland Park Condo Association. Located in Ashland City, Tennessee, this 48-unit complex features a swimming pool and beautifully landscaped grounds.
  • Taylor Farm in Powder Springs is a collection of 134 homes.
  • Crest Ridge has 113 distinctively styled residences in Acworth.

Each of these communities requires the utmost care and attention to ensure they continue their high levels of standards. With extensive common areas, community swimming pools, recreation centers, websites and board management responsibilities, these communities have entrusted Access Management to provide extensive guidance and maintenance to ensure continued growth and value.     

Our Promise to You
Access Management Group is prepared to assist your association with achieving your goals for financial responsibility and smooth management. Contact us today at 770.777.6890 to see how we can deliver on your expectations.