What are the benefits of an HOA Management Company?
When it comes to Community or HOA Management there are usually two types – professional management companies or self-managed. Both have their benefits. Let’s take a look at what these types of services provide an association.
First up, let’s look at the professional manager. This person will have extensive knowledge and depending on your state, they may be licensed to preform their duties. A manager will have many of the day-to-day management down to a science, cutting out the need for extensive billing for time. They’ll be able to assist the association with items such as:
Annual & Capital Improvement Budgeting
Bill payment, Financial reporting, and Checks & balances
Dues or Assessment Collections
Board Training and planning, including secession planning
Resident Communication Guidance
and the dreaded Violations & Enforcement
Now, this list isn’t all inclusive but rather a list of more common services provided. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these items:
Managers will also help with your association’s finances. In these technological times they’ll use an online platform to allow ease of billing, dues & assessment collections, approvals, reporting, and checks & balances. These items are one of the largest reasons associations choose to partner with a professional management company.
A professional manager, much like a REALTOR, will come with an extensive list of vendors they’ve worked with in the past. That said, don’t feel obligated to work with these individuals. But this list can be a starting place when setting up particular services, bidding projects, or the like. Your manager SHOULD disclose any perceived conflicts of interest in other vendors brought before the HOA Board. A professional manager can also help create a request for proposal – RFP or Request for Quote – RFQ, review, contracting, etc.
Board Training, Planning, & Succession Planning
Boards have an interesting way of adopting the past practices of previous boards – not always sticking with the outlines provided in the association’s founding documents. Managers can help Boards get back on track with proper motions, voting, minutes, & elections.
It’s no secret that every HOA Board will have change over. Board Member’s priorities change or they may move outside the community – either way, change is inevitable. Professional Managers should schedule time with the HOA Board to create a multi-year plan and budget. This document should be updated quarterly or yearly depending on its depth and how promptly actionable items can be accomplished. This plan can also include succession planning to ensure the passing of knowledge, skills, and leadership roles within the organization.
Resident Communication Guidance
One of the most overlooked and neglected responsibilities of HOA Boards is communication. Newsletters, e-mails, meetings, resident gatherings and get-togethers help foster the community feeling within the organization and help breakdown the feelings of secrecy and/or wrong-doing. Professional managers can help create a communications plan and even execute it for the Board!
Violations & Enforcement
One major draw of HOAs is the common interest in creating a positive community where homes, landscaping, streets, etc., are cared for – increasing the value of the homes for all property owners. Now, we’ve all heard those stories of overreaching tyrannical HOAs. Yes, they exist. But there’s a better way to manage!
Treating your community residents as a neighbor and working with them should be the first steps to creating a better community. Any enforcement or violations should be the last effort used by the HOA Board to seek compliance. A professional manager should work with the Board to create a fair set of rules and policy for enforcement, including due process, allowing ample opportunities to improve along the way.
Self Managed Associations
Let’s look at some of the reasons to self-manage an HOA:
Keep unique community, unique
By far the main reason most HOAs and planned communities decide to self-manage is cost. Property management companies can be a large annual expense. The ability to keep those funds in-house may allow for capital improvements to be completed faster or for the community to maintain lower HOA dues and assessments.
It’s no secret that every community is different – actually, every block in your community may be different! Management companies have a bad habit of treating every community and everyone the same – as just another call or email – not as a person. Self-management allows for neighbors to support neighbors.
One common problem with non-profits today is volunteer fatigue. With more and more people shying away from volunteerism and community involvement there is less people to share an ever growing amount of work. From finances, to budgeting, vendors to planning, the job of self-managing can become too much for individuals on top of their everyday responsibilities, jobs, and family.
In closing, I hope you’ve found this blog post useful and better understand the benefits of an HOA Management company. Check out our Learning Center for more information.
If you have any questions about your association, need recommendations of items, or just want to say hi, send us an email at hello( at) pineapplebrand.com – we’d love to hear from you!