‘Tis the season to deck the halls!  The Christmas season is upon us! Homes, stores and offices are decking their halls with boughs of holly, ornaments, lights and poinsettias. During this joyous season, property maintenance often takes a back seat to property décor. Here are 10 quick and easy, holiday and winter tips from your property management expert!


Masterkey Management Ltd. wishes you and yours a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

A home is typically the most expensive purchase a person will ever make. Because of this, as much as you may like that property you recently found, it’s critical to get it inspected before finalizing the deal. An inspection gives you an idea of the home’s physical condition, including the plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic space, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation, basement, tank and structural components.


A home inspection addresses what needs to be repaired now and what might need to be repaired in the future. If you have a property inspected before signing a contract, you might be able to negotiate a lower price that reflects the inspection’s findings. Simply because a house needs repairs does not mean you shouldn’t buy it. The buyer must decide how much to spend and how much work he or she is willing to do after the purchase.


Home inspections do not cover everything, though. Inspectors are not required to identify conditions that are hidden or could be considered latent defects. They don’t have to move personal property, plants, or debris to inspect an item, and they are not liable if they miss something. Inspectors also don’t have to evaluate systems that are not easily accessible, they do not have to note whether termites or mold are present and they do not assess for zoning or planning code compliance.


It’s not possible to know everything about a house before buying it, but an inspection should give you a good idea about its condition. The cost of a home inspection is typically based on the size and complexity of the property but that money spent could mean fewer negotiations and surprises, a lower sales price, better knowledge of the property, a decrease in the likelihood of litigation for improper disclosure and an increased chance of closing the deal.

December, January and February are the deadliest months for home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). And, heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires and home fire deaths. That’s why it’s important for you and your loved ones to take extra precautions during the winter.


Thinking of buying a space heater? The NFPA recommends that you make sure it carries the mark of an independent testing laboratory. Install it according to the manufacturer’s instructions or have it professionally installed. If you have an electric-powered space heater, plug it into an outlet with sufficient capacity. Never use an extension cord.


Turn off space heaters whenever the room is unoccupied or when manufacturer’s instructions say they should be turned off. Portable space heaters are easy to knock over in the dark. Turn them off when you go to bed, or at least make sure they’re placed in lighted areas or out of high-traffic areas.


If you use a fireplace, use only dry, seasoned wood to avoid the build-up of creosote, an oily deposit that easily catches fire and accounts for most chimney fires and the largest share of home-heating fires. Use only paper or kindling wood, not a flammable liquid, to start the fire. Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room. After the ashes are cool, dispose of them in a metal container, which is kept a safe distance from your home.


Make sure fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside, that the venting is kept clear and unobstructed, and that the exit point is properly sealed around the vent. This is to make sure deadly carbon monoxide does not build up in the home


Other reminders from the National Fire Protection Association include:

Whether your property is an investment vehicle or ‘home-sweet-home’, as a property owner your ultimate desire is for your property value to increase over time.  In order to maximize your property value, repairs and maintenance are key.


“Repairs and maintenance” is often used as a general term for any work that is required at a property, but it can actually be broken down into categories.


The first category is emergency repair work, which occurs as a reactive response when something goes wrong.  An example would be a blocked pipe or a leaking roof.  These repairs don’t improve the value of a property; they are just the bare minimum requirements to maintain the property in adequate condition.


Emergency repair work, on its own, is not sufficient.  If you want to see real increase in value, you must move beyond repair into maintenance.


The routine maintenance category is the regular, recurring upkeep that must be done, for example cutting the grass, cleaning the tank or repainting.


The third category is preventative maintenance.  These are items which ideally should be regularly addressed to ensure the number of emergency repairs are kept to a minimum.  Checking the roof for cracks, removing invasive plant growth, regular pest control, clearing gutters and drains and scheduled air-conditioning servicing all fall into this category.


The next category, investment maintenance, is the planned replacement of any item in the property that depreciates in value.  Examples would include upgrading flooring, light fixtures or cabinetry.  This pre-planned maintenance provides a level of control over the standard, and value, of the property.


The last category includes the addition of new elements to the property, or capital works.  You may choose to add a dishwasher or install an air-conditioning system.  These types of projects assist in increasing the value of the property and the rental return.


If a property owner only attends to emergency repairs, over time the property will be worth less, however, with careful consideration of the full maintenance spectrum, the property can experience less aggravating emergency repairs, be more efficient, achieve more rent, attract a better quality tenant and the value of the property is likely to increase.

Warwick, Bermuda – February 3, 2021 – Local entrepreneur, Sharika Tucci of Masterkey Management Ltd. has joined the elite group of community association managers who have earned the Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM®) credential from Community Associations Institute (CAI). Mrs. Tucci is one of just over 2,200 managers worldwide who have earned the highest level of professional recognition in the condominium management field.


To earn the PCAM credential, managers must have five years of community association management experience and complete more than 100 hours of course work. The final step is to complete the PCAM Case Study; a comprehensive examination of an actual community association.  PCAM candidates explore the community in depth; review its administrative procedures, legal documents, finances, governance and communications; meet with its manager, board members and key personnel; and learn about the local area and issues faced by the association.


Mrs. Tucci shared, “The journey towards the PCAM took a number of years due to the demands of running my business, raising my family and my community interests, however, the pandemic became a blessing in disguise as the lockdown allowed me to leverage the time to focus on further education. I am grateful to CAI for providing an opportunity for PCAM candidates to participate in the Case Study virtually and for welcoming me in their first cohort of virtual Case Study participants”.  Mrs. Tucci successfully completed a 12,000-word case study on a 1,132-unit homeowners’ association located in the United States, providing analysis, critiques, and recommendations to the association’s property manager.


“Professionals who earn CAI credentials maximize the value they can provide to their community association clients,” said CAI Chief Executive Officer Thomas M. Skiba, CAE. “Not only have these professionals demonstrated a personal commitment to self-improvement, but they have also elevated their practical knowledge and expertise. That’s what all community associations need, and what board members and residents deserve.”


“As an entrepreneur, my drive has been my passion for providing the absolute best service to my clients and customers through enhanced and competitive knowledge and skills,” said Mrs. Tucci. “Achieving this credential raises the bar and affirms my commitment to providing Bermuda’s condominium developments with condominium management at an international caliber.”


Mrs. Tucci established Masterkey Management Ltd. in 2012 and provides professional property management services to eight condominium developments in addition to residential, commercial and holiday home properties.


CAI is an international organization of nearly 32,000 members dedicated to building better communities. CAI and its 60 chapters work on behalf of the professionals and volunteers engaged in the management and governance of homeowner and condominium associations, cooperatives and other planned communities.


To learn more, please visit www.masterkey.bm or www.caionline.org.

Masterkey Management Ltd.’s Managing Director, Sharika Tucci, graces the cover of the Inspire Women magazine’s Fall 2019 issue along with 4 of the island’s female, real estate entrepreneurs.  Katrina Ball, Publisher and Founder of Inspire Women, said that in “this issue we recognize 8 incredible leaders, future female leaders and entrepreneurs.  Their commitment, perseverance, determination and passion are truly an inspiration, and there is much we can all learn from these exceptional women.  I hope you enjoy reading their stories and how women are giving their time to lift up those who follow after”.  Pick up your copy of the magazine on newsstands or find the digital copy here!

Seven years ago, I was sitting at my desk at a full-time office job, daydreaming about finding a more balanced life. A life where I could be more present for school and family activities, participate in volunteer opportunities, explore hobbies and interests while continuing to work in a career that I loved. That daydream became reality when I opened Masterkey Management Ltd. and became a work-at-home-mom (WAHM).  Becoming a WAHM is a lifestyle change, and like Dean Martin’s song ‘Wham! Bam! Thank You Ma’am!’, it could leave you quite dissatisfied if your expectations are unrealistic and you do not plan ahead.  Here are some tips to ensure that your WAHM experience is satisfying:

  1. Carve out your corner – Create a home office space that is YOURS. Keep it organized and keep it beautiful.  I opted to convert an alcove near my front door into an office space.  It is bathed with natural light and I have a view of the garden.  You might be able to carve out space in your living room, kitchen or a spare bedroom.  No matter what you choose, a dedicated space will help you keep focused and organized and a beautiful space will keep you inspired and motivated.  Photos of loved ones and favorite travel destinations, handwritten notes from inspiring friends, thank you cards from grateful clients and, of course, my children’s artwork make this a place I WANT to be every day.
  2. Keep it classy – Dress appropriately for your line of business. Whilst wearing your pajamas all day is tempting, I find that dressing for work keeps me focused and makes me ready at a moment’s notice to meet with clients and vendors when needed.
  3. Create a schedule that’s flexible – Manage your time wisely by planning blocks of time to complete various tasks in a way that suits you. I am a night owl and prefer scheduling administrative tasks later in the evening when the kids are in bed and I avoid booking client appointments mid-afternoons so that I am available for school pickups, extra-curricular drop offs or stops for a smoothie to catch up with my teen.  Schedule in time for your own well-being; a fitness class, massage or a beauty treatment helps you feel good inside and out.  As a WAHM being able to stick with your schedule is important, but having a flexible schedule is paramount.  Two paragraphs into writing this article, my daughter called me from school to tell me she was feeling ill (no lie!).  I am grateful to be a WAHM with a flexible schedule to allow me to attend to her needs without sacrificing the needs of my clients.
  4. Set boundaries – Ease into committing yourself to a list of obligations that you cannot keep. In an effort to do it all, you may not be able to do anything!  Learn to say ‘no’ if you are unable to help with that fundraiser or run that errand for your friend.  Others expect that because you are a WAHM, you are ‘free’ to fulfil the needs of their pet projects. Know your boundaries so that your time is focused on the things that are important to you.
  5. Never stop learning – As a WAHM, you should ensure that your business budget includes educational opportunities, whether it is an online course, local seminar or overseas conference. You shouldn’t limit your education to your line of business; expand your knowledge to ancillary skills that will help your business; accounting, marketing and IT skills are valuable in all fields.
  6. Mix & Mingle – One of the greatest downsides of being a WAHM is the limited (adult) human interaction. The peace and quiet leads to wonderful productivity in the absence of office banter and water cooler gossip, but humans were created to commune with each other!  Make the time to catch up with friends for lunch or discuss new business trends with industry colleagues over tea or coffee.  Create a tribe of WAHMs in other industries; they are great sources of inspiration, encouragement and fresh ideas.
  7. Go digital – In such a technology driven time, it’s easy to make many of the resources you need accessible through your smartphone. Going digital reduces your use of paper and allows you to work from virtually anywhere so that you are not tied to your desk.


Working from home can be rewarding in many ways, but it’s important to see beyond the daydream. Do your research and take the time to plan before you commit to a new lifestyle so that you are satisfied with the life you have created.

Sharika Tucci of Masterkey Management Ltd. received the coveted Best of Bermuda Award 2019 from The Bermudian Magazine for Best Realtor in the Shopping and Services Division.


The Bermudian Magazine stated “Sharika Tucci of Masterkey Management has over 15 years of experience in real estate, and has provided valuations for upwards of 2,200 properties throughout her career. As managing director and lead broker, her mission is to provide exceptional property management services that are customised, cost-effective and client-focused. In 2018 she was awarded “Woman of the Year” at BlackBook Promotions’ Women Empowerment Summit.”

Our community is fortunate to have a local farmers’ market. If you haven’t shopped there before, consider the many advantages of patronizing our local merchants. Visiting the local farmers’ market has certainly become an anticipated weekly event at our home.


Farmers’ markets have gained popularity in the last few years as more and more consumers have come to enjoy the very fresh, locally grown produce, baked goods, juices, eggs, dairy products, poultry and meats they offer. Farmers’ markets provide other benefits as well—to shoppers and local economies, as well as to the environment. Locally grown produce requires less fossil fuel to transport, which reduces pollution and noise, and less packaging—thus, less trash—than what is found in most supermarkets. And more often than not, farmers’ markets offer organically grown or pesticide-free produce, which is better for the environment as well as better for consumers’ health.


Farmers’ markets also stimulate local economies by providing a secure place for small-scale local producers to sell their products, and a regular cash flow to local farmers. And when local farmers and producers prosper, they are better able to support other types of local businesses.


Another advantage to having a farmers’ market in our community is the social interaction between local residents from different walks of life. A source of “information and inspiration on how to prepare fresh ingredients,” farmers’ markets can help consumers better understand nutrition and the value of fresh and seasonal food.


Bermuda’s Farmers’ Market is held weekly on Saturdays at the Botanical Gardens, JJ Outerbridge Building, from 8:00 a.m -12 p.m.

Thank you to our clients, customers and service providers. Whether you are a landlord using our rental agency service, a board member of a managed condominium development or a reliable service provider available to answer our many calls, you are the key to our success!


We have decided to share that success with others! Therefore, in lieu of Christmas gifts and cards, we have provided over $7000 in donations, sponsorship and aid this year to a variety of causes dear to our hearts:

Foster Parent Association – Sponsorship of 7 foster children’s Christmas gifts (as shown in above photo)
Bermuda Cancer & Health – Equal Access Mammogram Program
Women’s Empowerment Summit 2018 – Sponsorship
Anointed Steps Dance Ministry School – Student Scholarship


Wishing you and yours peace, love and joy this Christmas Season and a prosperous New Year!


To whom much is given, much is required. Luke 12:48