Homeowner Association (HOA) Boards are usually made up of volunteers who don’t always have the time or expertise to professionally manage your community. A property management company specializes in providing a broad range of administrative services to associations. That’s why sooner or later almost every HOA decides to hire a property management company.
Whether you’re just getting started with a management company or you’ve been working with one a long time, a few small things can help you build a positive relationship and put you on the road to success. Here are some key tips to get you started.
Identify your needs. The Board needs to determine the type of services needed, but be flexible and open-minded as you talk with potential management companies. For example, companies can offer complete oversight of administrative tasks or assistance or guidance with infrequent tasks. Keep in mind that some tasks can be linked in a way that it may be more cost-efficient and effective for tasks to be managed together. Talk through the details with your community association manager to understand what will work best for your association.
Sign a contract. When you have selected a property management company, make sure that the scope of services, responsibilities, reports and the associated fees are addressed in a contract. Clear expectations are essential to a mutually beneficial long-term relationship.
Contact the manager. Property managers may not be in a position to field calls from residents about every issue (depending upon the scope of service). Clearly define which calls go to the Board and when to call the management company. Then, communicate the responsibility list to the Board members, the homeowners and the management company.
Develop a positive relationship. Always be professional with all the employees at your management company. Conflicts can arise due to differing perspectives and opinions. You can work through the issues the majority of the time. If you cannot reach a comfortable resolution, consider requesting a new manager.
Control over your funds. Even if a management company has complete oversight for your association, the Board should actively review and understand financial reports.
Having the right expectations and documentation in place is critical when you work with a management company. Take your time. Ask questions and carefully evaluate each part of the contract. This provides the best foundation to work with the management company that will serve your association well for years to come.