Traditionally, small to medium size homeowner associations have tried to go the self-management route. Unfortunately, a smaller association increases the likelihood that you’ll have more limited resources and fewer volunteers. In addition, it’s also a challenge to find volunteers with the skills that you need to keep the association running smoothly. If your Board is walking in these shoes, don’t give up! Explore your alternatives.
All Board members are faced with finding a way to handle a wide array of services for the association—from financial and administrative to legal and architectural. Plus, they need to manage the day-to-day maintenance and homeowner issues. It’s little wonder that self-managed communities struggle to stay on top of everything. Take a little time to identify your knowledge and skill gaps, tasks that take a lot of time and other association issues that need some help. Then, brainstorm ways to overcome the obstacles.
If your Board members lack association skills, take advantage of association training to help you get up to speed. Community Associations Institute is a tremendous resource for Board members and volunteer leaders. Blogs are another good resource, especially blogs that cover laws and regulations that are specific to your area. A property management company may offer local training too. Gaining industry knowledge requires a time commitment, but it opens up a world of efficiencies and effectiveness that saves you time and money in the long run.
You may think that engaging a property management company is all or nothing deal, but most companies offer multiple service options. If you lack financial skills on your Board, consider outsourcing that area. Or, perhaps vendor selection and management is taking an enormous chunk of your time. Many property management companies have resources and systems in place that could even save you money when you outsource. It’s something you need to explore.
Engage professional consultants when needed. For example, your Board may not need a full-time attorney or CPA, but you occasionally need their services. Identify professionals that you’ll need over time and discuss how you can tap into their knowledge. Many consultants are willing to work with you on a quarterly or annual basis if they know that’s what you need at the onset. Professional support can keep you on the right track as well as boost the confidence of Board members.
It’s challenging to find the resources and the volunteers to run even a small homeowner association. Collaborating with the right people, knowing when to outsource and training your volunteers will boost your success.
Wise Property Solutions is a property management company serving East Tennessee with offices in Knoxville, TN and the Tri-Cities, TN-VA. Specializing in Condominium Association Management, Home Owners Association Management, HOA Management and Gated Community Association Management.
Tri-Cities, TN-VA: 423-926-7373
Knoxville, TN: 865-643-8989