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Association Reserves New eBook & online tool help HOAs safely tap their Reserve Fund in times of financial shortfall

Association Reserves New eBook & online tool help HOAs safely tap their Reserve Fund in times of financial shortfall

To survive temporary disruptions to cash flow, planned communities may want to consider their Reserve Fund as a resource.

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Oct. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As the Coronavirus pandemic drives unemployment to a record high, Association-governed communities are bracing for higher than normal delinquency rates among their homeowners. Volunteer Boards across the country are all asking the same question: “Can we use our Reserve Account to cover an Operating Fund shortfall?” This includes Boards of Condominiums (Condos), Common Interest Developments (CIDs), Cooperatives (Co-ops), Community Associations (CAs), Homeowner Associations (HOAs), Property Owner Associations (POAs), Planned Unit Developments (PUDs), Townhome Associations (Townhouses), and Vacation Ownership Resorts (VORs).  Robert Nordlund, PE, RS, and Founder/CEO of Association Reserves, Inc. advises that relying on Reserves to help manage a temporary cash flow disruption must be done with great care. His eBook & online tool help Boards facing operating fund shortfalls make wise decisions about Reserves.

Boards across the U.S. are all asking the same question: “Can we use our Reserve Account to cover an Operating Fund shortfall?”

Reserves to the Rescue? eBook

Nordlund outlines four steps to take before an association-governed community even considers tapping into Reserves to fund operations:

  1. Assemble Financial Information (i.e., Bank Balances, Delinquencies)

  2. Review/Adjust the Operating Budget

  3. Maximize Communications & Collections

  4. Confer with legal counsel regarding Governing Document or state-level restrictions

If the Board elects to tap Reserves, that decision will come under intense scrutiny. It will be vitally important that a proper process of decision-making be both followed and documented.

uPlanIt- online Reserve Funding tool

uPlanIt gives Boards a way to forecast various “what-if” scenarios related to their most recent Reserve Study, such as:

  • What if we re-prioritized our Reserve expenses?

  • What if we temporarily reduced Reserve contributions?

  • What if we borrowed money from Reserves?

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The polls are wrong. The U.S. presidential race is a near dead heat, this A.I. ‘sentiment analysis’ tool says

The polls are wrong. The U.S. presidential race is a near dead heat, this A.I. ‘sentiment analysis’ tool says

An analysis of the emotions being expressed on social media indicates that the upcoming U.S. presidential election may be a much closer contest than many commentators and pollsters believe.



Donald Trump standing in front of a crowd: Photo of President Donald Trump speaking at a recent election campaign rally.


© Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images
Photo of President Donald Trump speaking at a recent election campaign rally.

That’s the conclusion of Expert.ai, a company with offices in Modena, Italy, and Rockville, Maryland, that uses an A.I. technique called “sentiment analysis” to understand the emotions being expressed in social media posts.

The company’s analysis puts Democratic candidate Joseph Biden ahead of President Donald Trump, 50.2% to 47.3%, a margin that is much narrower than the double-digit lead that Biden has over Trump in most national opinion polls.

Based on these polls, many political analysts and commentators are expecting that Biden may win a historic landslide. But Expert.ai’s A.I.-based analysis indicates the race may be much tighter than these human experts are expecting.

Expert.ai’s political forecasting model was successful in predicting that the U.K. would vote to leave the European Union in 2016. And academic research has shown that similar social media sentiment analysis would have better predicted Trump’s victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election than polling data.

Trump was the focus of far more social media activity than Biden, accounting for almost 60% of all the posts Expert.ai analyzed, compared to slightly less than 17% for Biden. But Biden ranked higher in terms of positive emotions such as “success” and “hope,” while Trump scored higher on negative emotions such as “fear” and “hatred.”

The only positive emotion on which Trump scores better than Biden, according to a statement from Expert.ai, is “action.”

Expert.ai’s system looked at 500,000 Twitter posts and other social media comments made over the past week. It uses natural language processing, a form of A.I. that

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Yelp’s new consumer-alert tool about racist businesses gets mixed reactions

Yelp’s new consumer-alert tool about racist businesses gets mixed reactions

Yelp is taking a stand against racism with new consumer alert. (Photo: Yelp)
Yelp is taking a stand against racism with a new consumer alert. (Photo: Yelp)

Yelp is taking a stance against racism with the introduction of new consumer alerts in response to heightened activity around Black-owned businesses and those accused of discrimination.

The website dedicated to crowdsourced reviews of businesses announced the Public Attention alert and Business Accused of Racist Behavior alert on Thursday in a blog post that sparked mixed reactions — including from those expressing concern over the site’s trust in reviews written by anybody with an account. Yelp tells Yahoo Life that its new developments will help to improve the reliability of published reviews by investigating dramatic increases in activity and even accusations of racist behavior.

“Our top priority is to ensure the trust and safety of our community and provide users with reliable content to inform their spending decisions,” a Yelp spokesperson tells Yahoo Life, “including decisions about whether they’ll be welcome and safe at a particular business.”

In order to do so, the company has put consumer alerts in place to allow Yelp to do the necessary vetting in response to spikes in reviews that can come from people who haven’t even had firsthand experience at the business, but instead are reacting to attention that it has received in the media. Hence, the installment of the Public Attention alert, which will inform any visitor on a particular business’s Yelp page that the reviews may be a result of increased attention instead of specific firsthand experiences.

Users will receive a Public Attention Alert when businesses experience increased activity. (Photo: Yelp)
Users will receive a Public Attention alert when businesses experience increased activity. (Photo: Yelp)

“When a business makes the news, people often come to the business’s Yelp page to express their views. We have signals in place that will flag if a business page is seeing an unusual increase in activity,”

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