Layne Varney, General Manager
SunBird is a great place to be! February was full of recreational and social activities. March is scheduled to be even busier. The weather has been TERRIFIC, and we hope you are enjoying the many facilities and amenities of SunBird. This is a great time of year with everything in full swing!
The SunBird Marketing Committee was created several years ago after the Arizona State real estate market collapsed. The primary purpose of the committee was to promote and market the SunBird Community to people looking to buy homes in the area. Fast forward years later, as the real estate market began to recover and the efforts of marketing began to flourish, home sales dramatically increased in SunBird. Two years ago, the Marketing Committee charter was revised to include in the title “Welcoming.” SunBird had so many new people moving into the community; we wanted to make sure they were welcomed and able to feel comfortable joining and participating in the many activities offered. Now, SunBird homes are selling so quickly that some realtors are reporting they have waiting lists of people wanting to buy homes in SunBird. Further, several homes have been selling before the “For Sale” signs are even posted at the home. In the last three years, nearly 400 SunBird homes have been sold. With both of these important tasks of the “Welcoming and Marketing Committee” and its success, it was decided that this committee needed to be re-chartered into two separate committees “Welcoming” and “Marketing.” Now, each committee can focus more on these individual responsibilities.
The Welcoming Committee will be organizing personal visits to new owners like the “Welcome Wagon” concept of the past. They will also continue with the new-owner breakfasts and orientations. Additional ideas of also assisting renters and other visitors of SunBird feel welcome are being studied. The Marketing Committee will be updating marketing brochures, creating SunBird pass-along business cards for word-of-mouth advertising, creating an updated video of SunBird and publishing it on the SunBird website, YouTube and other social media venues. They are also investigating ways to promote SunBird through local public newspapers and media.
SunBird’s annual independent financial audit is nearing completion for the year 2017. The auditor visits several times and collects all financial data from the computer system, all annual bank statements, insurance statements, tax reports, finances records and meeting minutes and conducts random testing on several specific financial transactions for compliance. Having an annual financial audit is a necessary and proactive practice to ensure that accounting procedures are implemented and the accounting records and reports of SunBird are accurate. The auditor will be making the final report at the “Annual Meeting” membership meeting which we are confident will be a “Clean Opinion.”
The annual assessments of SunBird for the year 2018 are $920 payable from each home and billed semi-annually at $460 January 1 and July 1. At times, circumstances in life can change without notice or warning with medical expenses, health, living arrangements and other unexpected events. With 1,631 homes in SunBird, we have those who come across these difficult times and sometimes fall behind in their financial obligations. The Collection Policy of SunBird outlines the reminders, notices and enforcement of collecting these outstanding balances. After sending a first courtesy reminder notice of those who have missed payment, most immediately resolve the oversight. After the first reminder notice, the work begins of the few who have these unforeseen circumstances, and we begin the efforts of locating them and arranging payment. Our delinquency rate over the past two years has been excellent. Although we would prefer to not have any delinquencies, however, this is not the case. The delinquency rate for the years 2016 and 2017 each has been less than two-tenths of one percent; that equals less than the annual assessments for three homes. The low delinquency rate is due to following the established Collection Policy, making personal telephone calls of caring inquiries, and the unfortunate part of the tougher enforcement of suspension of facility use, fine penalties, collection agencies and other legal action. These past two years, we are happy to report we have not had to use the collection agency or the legal system for collections.
The professional structural engineer and architect for the clubhouse room addition have completed the official plans. The plans have been submitted to the City of Chandler building department for review and approval for construction. The start of construction is tentatively scheduled to begin May of this year and with a completion date by September. The project will be quite extensive with large steel beams and a concrete floor poured for the new room at the upper level of the clubhouse. As with any large construction project, we anticipate some inconveniences of additional contract workers in around the clubhouse, noise, dust and possible detours within the clubhouse. This project will be an excellent addition to the clubhouse, helping meet the demands of more space for growing activities.
It is exciting to be part of a vibrant organization that wants to meet the changing needs, keep updated facilities and amenities and continue to be progressive. SunBird is a great place to live!