When’s the last time you “googled” a topic? Consumers rely on Internet search results to solve medical problems, home improvement projects, recipes, starting a business and everything in between. So, it’s no surprise that condo and homeowner association Boards also rely on Internet information for do-it-yourself (DIY) management issues. Unfortunately, not all Internet articles and guidance are reliable. When it comes to researching community issues on Internet, “let the surfer beware.”
Every association wants to reduce legal expenses. That’s why some Board members research legal issues online. Information you read in reputable blogs, newspaper and magazine articles can be helpful. But, it’s not good to rely on that information alone. State laws and other nuances that are unique to your situation come into play, so you need to seek attorney advice for legal issues. Instead of surfing the web, ask your community property manager to help you identify questions that you need to pose to your legal counsel.
Vendor research is another area that some self-managed associations choose to do online, especially for routine maintenance tasks. Online reviews and websites are not reliable methods for selecting vendors. Despite the simplicity of the task you want to outsource, you must take appropriate steps to ensure that the community is protected from potential liability and that you are working with an insured professional. Take your time to do due diligence when assessing vendor(s).
Some association Boards find templates online for meetings, reports, communications, governing documents, etc. Many of these templates can add efficiencies and professionalism for a DIY community. But, there’s a watch-out for smaller communities —your governing documents can’t follow the same pattern as a large association without creating unnecessary burdens. It’s worth spending the money for professional advice upfront to optimize your Board’s management practices.
With Internet at our fingertips, we’ve all contributed to the do-it-yourself trend. Depending on the topic, surfing the web can range from good to bad. That’s why your Board needs to know where to draw the line between DIY and seeking professional advice. Cutting a few corners today can end up costing your community more tomorrow.
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