Whether you are starting a new HOA, self-managing your HOA, or are unhappy with your current association management company, there are certain qualities to look for and questions to ask when searching for an HOA management company for your community.
Differences Between Community Management and Property Management
First of all, community management and property management are different. Property management is typically for rental type property. Community management requires skills and knowledge of rules, laws, and procedures specific to HOAs. Any HOA management company should have the staff, expertise, resources, and education to handle the challenges that communities face.
Regardless of the type of experience your Board of Directors possess, the staff of an association management company will complete the checklist of necessities for a successful HOA.
Your HOA management company should be educated, experienced, informed, and have a focus on customer service.
A Well Educated and Experienced HOA Management Staff
An educated manager is constantly learning, retraining, and staying up to date on all pertinent information in regards to their field. Changing laws are also a focus for any good manager. Having an HOA manager that has proper education and certification will allow your Board to be confident in trusting the management company to direct and support the HOA. Whether you have single family homes, townhouses, or condos, experience with your type of neighborhood is an imperative quality. There may be similarities, but each neighborhood is unique and requires an experienced HOA manager.
Informed and Resourceful HOA Manager
Informed management companies can’t know everything, but they should have the resources and responsibility to respond to and solve any HOA related issue. An informed HOA manager must have excellent communication skills, and keep in touch with the Board, residents, vendors, and law-makers. They can answer questions quickly and study constantly on issues that affect their communities.
Customer Service is Key Quality for Your HOA Management Company
Unfortunately, unpleasant people are part of an HOA manager’s tasks. A superior HOA management company has a strong emphasis on professional customer service. The manager is a representative of the Board, therefore, must treat all residents with respect and professionalism. Homeowners are the HOA, so the management company technically works for the residents. It is a partnership and should always be respectful. Responsiveness is a key characteristic to look for in your community manager. This is part of quality customer service. Emails, phone calls, and letters should be responded to immediately. This applies to residents, Board members, vendors, and local lawmakers. A great HOA manager will take care of business swiftly and efficiently.
Other Important Qualities to Look for In an HOA Management Company
HOA management companies are also very helpful when it comes to neighborhood finances. Collection of dues, overdue payments, budgeting, and special project funding are all aspects of association management that can cause concern for Board members. Bank liens and foreclosures are a specialized aspect of HOA management that requires working directly with banks. An HOA management company is usually more experienced than Board members in dealing with these concerns.
Maintenance and improvements require advanced planning, bidding, hiring vendors, and project coordination that an HOA management company can provide. These jobs require additional man-hours, attention to detail, and planning that most Board members do not have the time or the expertise to handle. This is another reason to look for depth in experience…a quality highly appreciated in an HOA management company.
Are you getting the level of service you need from your current HOA? Are you just setting up your Homeowners Association? Or, is time to stop running your HOA on your own? Contact Goodwin & Company for a quality expert HOA management service and skills you and your community desire.