Many people think that it’s the size of an HOA that determines the need for a professional property management company. Others say that a committed group of volunteers can run small to medium size condo or homeowner associations. Size shouldn’t be the deciding factor on hiring a professional community association management company. The right property management can be the difference between success and failure for a community, regardless of the size.
First, just finding enough volunteers to keep your community running well is difficult. Many HOA Board members don’t have the background or the time to learn about everything that is needed to run a successful homeowners association. But, it’s not just about being qualified. There’s constant change in HOA rules and regulations, so someone needs to be aware of the latest changes and how they can affect the association. In addition, volunteers usually have a high rate of turnover due to family and work issues, moves, health, etc.
Running a community with only volunteers is challenging at best. Your association is like a business, with financials, communications, vendors, legal issues and more. Regardless of the size or industry, every successful business requires some professional services because the owner(s) can’t be an expert in all areas. This is also true in an HOA. Board members can’t be experts in every area, and they need to rely on the advice experts to make the best decisions.
Choosing the right HOA management company can help your association save money. When a company specializes in property management, they have a list of approved vendors that probably will charge less than you can negotiate on your own. Because the company represents many associations, they can often obtain volume discounts.
A property management company typically manages financials – collection of dues, paying invoices, reconciliation, etc. This means that paying invoices and collecting dues don’t rely on Board member’s memory until they have a chance to update the records. Management companies have systems in place that automatically update records and prevent overlooking invoices. This efficiency in notifying owners of dues and on-time payment of invoices can improve the association’s overall financial position and save money.
If your HOA can cover some but not all of the jobs on your list, think about engaging a property management company to handle some of the tasks as well as for some advice. You would still manage the association because a management company takes direction from the Board.
Think like a business owner, and explore the advantages that a property management company offers. At Wise Property Solutions, we specialize in understanding the unique needs of your community and recommending solutions to maximize the time and value for your Board and your association.