By Rafael Aquino

Published January 6, 2021  

2020 has been, without a doubt, a very challenging year for everyone. It was filled with so many unfortunate events that have grabbed headlines, our attention. It impacted our lives: coronavirus, unemployment, divisive politics, very active storm season, and more national and international events that make it easier to say goodbye to 2020 without hesitation. However, it is within these challenges and hardships that growth happens. If we look past the headlines, we can uncover some lessons learned and improvements made.


Everyone looks back and thinks of failures, goals yet to be met, and comes up with some resolutions to be better in the new year somehow. With that said, there are a few things we can certainly glean from the experience in 2020 and resolve to maintain these improvements or work towards them:


  1. Maintain a moderate effort towards education on what it means to live in a community association, governance, and operations. This blog is a great educational platform, and in addition, there is also this YouTube Page, which helps disseminate information to empower and educate its audience. 

  2. Rely on trusted professionals such as your management agent and attorney for advice on how to govern and operate your community association. These professionals were, in fact, key in tracking and reacting to the multitude of executive orders and guidelines from federal, state, county, and city agencies. They are also the key partners to board members, not just during a pandemic.
  3. Treat association employees with dignity and respect. Moreover, be thankful for their service as they are the ones in the front line of the lockdowns and most efforts to keep the community safe when we think twice about what we touch and the cleanliness of the areas we are in. Putting aside the pandemic, a dedicated employee will bring value to the community and go above and beyond for the community’s best interests. 
  4. Embrace technologies that improve operations and service. This means management tools like hosting meetings through video conference, approving vendor invoices/payments online, facilitating unit owner account access and payments online, storing and accessing association records online, providing unit owners access to services like applications, estoppels, account inquiries, architectural modifications, etc. In a time where reduced person to person interaction is a requirement and precaution, these are invaluable operational tools. However, they are also preferable to increase community participation, communication, and services.
  5. Implement a strong governance structure that includes preset regular meeting schedules, specialized active committees (finance, rules, projects, etc.), and a written management plan detailing operation for the year.

While we have certainly experienced a challenging year, if we can all commit to 2021 resolutions that would wholeheartedly embrace these five items, maybe 2020 wasn’t a complete waste.

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As the Co-Founder and CEO of Affinity Management Services, Rafael P. Aquino leads his team to redefine excellence. They serve community   associations   efficiently

and effectively with dedication and passion. Rafael’s energy and positive spirit is the foundation of Affinity Management Services’ company culture, which instills enthusiasm and excitement when providing expert advice to its board members and relieving the day-to-day burdens of running a community association.


Since 2007, Rafael has developed a work culture that values responsive and high-quality services. He has led his team by following a proactive vs reactive philosophy. The same approach Rafael instills in the day to day operations of each association. Today, Affinity Management Services maintains its success and benefits as a result of the foundation Rafael has built and continues to foster by providing educational seminars, continuing education classes for association managers and board members alike.

Rafael and his team help condominium and homeowners’ associations save money and improve their communities. His calm, personable, and service-oriented nature helps him to establish strong relationships with ease. Rafael is known as a sincere and honest leader who looks out for the best interests of his clients and communities, and he strongly advocates for their needs. His role requires coordination and communication, as such he takes logical and intelligent steps to approach challenges head-on.

As a graduate of Florida International University’s electrical engineering program and a licensed community association manager, Rafael’s education and skills equip him with unique insights to tackle complex problems through critical thinking. He understands how each component within a system works together in order to effectively arrive at solutions, techniques, and conclusions. Therefore, as he manages the multiple challenges of running a community association management company, he understands how each property is its own unique system and tailors’ specific services to assure that all their needs are met.

For more information about Rafael P. Aquino and Affinity Management Services please visit or call 1-800-977-6279

Doral Office: 8200 NW 41st ST

Suite 200

Doral, FL 33166

Broward Office: 150 S Pine Island RD Suite 300

Plantation, FL 33324

O: 800-977-6279 ● F: 305-325-4053

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