Condo Connection is dedicated to maintaining healthy, vibrant common interest communities (CICs) by curating practical, sensible information for the common good with content for COAs, HOAs, Co-Ops, and everything in between. We strive to emphasize great governance, best practices and consistency, empathy, honesty, integrity, reason and transparency.
Condo Connection wants CICs to succeed by helping ensure that the over $103 billion in estimated 2020 CIC annual assessments is value added to each and every community. We accomplish this by providing opportunities for education and engagement to homeowners and Board members about their rights and responsibilities and by providing practical, actionable examples.
If you were to analyze a massive number of questions posted in online Q&A forums, you will find two truths: 1) similar questions are asked repeatedly and 2) people appreciate examples. An overwhelming majority of the time, public responses deliver opinions that fall far short of providing the answers sought and the answers change simply based on who is willing to respond.
Our Seattle network of condominiums experienced the same challenge. While we networked on a somewhat regular basis, it was disheartening to hear and see the same questions appear in discussions and email threads literally every month. Interested, invested volunteers clearly weren't getting the answers they needed.
Condo Connection was founded in 2020 and is still maintained and operated by a homeowner volunteer to enhance networking and the availability of quality, on-demand information for condominiums, HOAs and all other CICs not only in Downtown Seattle, but anywhere with access to the internet.
Condo Connection is an information resource that makes dozens of examples free to view. This website is NOT a business and does NOT directly sell any products, offer any services for compensation, provide legal advice or generate revenue in exchange for publishing information that favors any product or vendor. Operating this website is not free, so we ask for your support. 99.9%+ of visitors to this site are "view only." Thanks in advance for your support by donating and/or downloading material.
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ABOUT CAI & FCAR
The Community Associations Institute (CAI) is an industry trade organization that primarily represents the interests of businesses and individual professionals that derive revenue from common interest communities (CICs), thousands of which pay membership dues and/or receive credentials from CAI and/or CAMICB related to practicing law, managing properties, providing insurance, and conducting reserve studies. CAI founded the Foundation for Community Association Research (FCAR). While CAI and FCAR produce some noble and respectable advocacy, documentation, recommendations and research related to certain common interest community concerns, the myriad conflicting interests inherent in their business model and business practices risk undermining these outcomes.
CAI derives the majority of its revenue from the following sources:
1) trade advertising and seminars (example 2022 law seminar registration: $599 to $849)
3) educational catalog courses and webinars ranging from $69 to $699
4) credentialing and required continuing education for management companies, managers, reserve specialists and insurance brokers
CAI's business model disregards some of the most basic concerns of the over 350,000 common interest communities and millions of homeowners and volunteer leaders who paid an estimated $103 billion in annual assessment funds in 2020. These concerns include service delivery failures and ethically suspect practices of businesses and individual professionals who pay CAI for advertising, education and credentialing. This fatally flawed approach is incapable of adequately representing the best interests of common interest communities and their homeowner members because doing so would mean alienating the largest segment of CAI's revenue base. In addition to the foregoing, a lack of transparent communication and feedback systems for CICs and homeowner leaders and the overall paucity of homeowner leader positions on committees, councils and Board positions creates an opaque operating environment for CAI and its state chapters.
Learn more by reading Listening to our Homeowners from the Common Ground magazine November/December 2021 edition. Also read WSCAI Opportunities below.
CAI - by the Numbers (2022)
15 member CAI national Board of Trustees: 1 Trustee is a homeowner leader (6.7%)
12 member CAI national Business Partners Council
12 member CAI national Association Managers Council
7 member CAI national Homeowner Leaders Council (HLC)
The HLC is controlled by the CAI Board and a CAI staff liaison. The HLC's most notable contribution in the past 24 months is the Homeowner Leader Survey of which no results were released save for a half page summary in November 2021.
There is no functional conduit for homeowners and volunteer leaders to connect with the HLC or any other CAI councils or the Board.
18,282 "Homeowner Leaders" = $919,266 annual membership dues
Combination of individual members ($130), two-person memberships ($240) + 15 person memberships ($305)
14,438 Community Managers = $2,151,262 individual memberships ($149 each) + $647,030 company memberships ($445 each)
Combination of individual managers + 1,454 management company members as of July 2022)
4,213 Business Partners, Students & Honorary Members = ~$2,600,000 annual membership dues ($625/business)
IRS Form 990 Tax Return for FY 2018
$13,334,168 TOTAL (excluding investments)
$6,317,558 -- Membership Dues
$3,112,141 -- Educational Courses
$2,287,049 -- Conferences, Seminars and Workshops
$858,125 -- Affiliate Management Fees
$759,295 -- Designation Program Fees
WSCAI (Washington State Chapter) - by the Numbers (2022)
9 member WSCAI Board: 2 Board members are homeowner leaders (22%)
None of the committees are chaired by a homeowner leader
1 of the 12 committees lists a homeowner leader as a Board liaison
Zero committees dedicated to CICs and/or to homeowner leaders
Everything is for sale: WSCAI traditionally hosts zero free homeowner leader education sessions. As a result of advocacy, WSCAI began offering sessions for homeowner leaders at no cost starting in July 2022 (through December 2022). Despite that offering, WSCAI has a long journey in order to provide meaningful engagement opportunities for CICs and homeowner leaders to network and learn as part of their annual membership.
An "emergency preparedness" session hosted by King County emergency management personnel (government taxpayer resources that normally present information for free) was sold to members in Fall 2021.
A March 28, 2023 "community policing and safety" program is being marketed to members who can attend virtually or in person for $15 and $30, respectively. This program involves publicly funded resources from the King County Sheriff's office and Bellevue Police Dept.