As a property manager, we're sure you've experienced it all — managing, customer service, community emergencies, community events, HOA budgets, and much more. As we all know, HOAs come in many different types, sizes, and needs. Property management companies that struggle to find the best manager for their HOAs will often have high turnovers and dissatisfied communities. Let's break down the differences between an on-site and off-site manager to explain them better.
On-site managers often manage communities that offer extensive amenities and higher service levels. This includes communities that are large and often deal with complex operations. An on-site management structure usually contains two positions — the general manager (or executive director) and an administrative assistant. You will often find on-site managers in communities such as large apartment communities, townhomes, high-rise buildings, or condos.
Just like off-site managers, on-site community managers come with many perks.
The responsibilities of an on-site community manager are much like those of an off-site manager, except that their workload is more strenuous and contains a large scale of planning.
An alternative option to utilizing an on-site community manager comes with the opportunity to have an on-site management team. This option is geared toward large communities and has multiple responsibilities that two or more people must manage.
Also known as a portfolio manager, off-site managers usually oversee multiple communities (accounts) vs. just one community. These communities are often unrelated and are smaller in size. Managers that oversee a portfolio community are often not present in the community and do not engage physically with community members.
Off-site managers come with many perks but are limited in the amount of time they spend with the HOA.
The type of property management solution that works best for your community depends on the kind of community you have.
works as a solution for communities with many amenities and projects — they also require a high service level of attention.
caters toward smaller communities that do not have enough day-to-day responsibilities for a full-time manager.
HOA communities are often limited to only using the annual or monthly fees provided by the individual properties. Communities with a lower HOA fee may not have room to have an on-site manager in their budget. In addition to the manager's cost, the HOA board must also consider the cost of services needed to maintain the community.
On-site management services often come with a higher price tag because they oversee communities that are large and provide more personalized services. This also includes managing projects that require strategic planning with an extensive amount of dedication. Since the community is more prominent in size, the fees of an on-site manager are often divided between a more significant number of units.
Off-site managers work as an alternative option for smaller communities with a limited budget. They are more cost-effective and are known to offer lower prices for maintenance tasks because of their relationship with service providers.
Off-site managers: Although an off-site manager may have many of the same general responsibilities as an on-site community manager, HOAs tend to forget that their duties are scaled down to a lesser maintenance level. They are generally focused on specific areas that impact the HOA most, such as accounting and payment support. Not to say that they cannot focus on other projects — it would be beneficial to the HOA to utilize the off-site manager for more priority and more urgent matters. This is strict because they are only available to work for a limited amount of time per week.
It is important that an HOA analyze their budget and needs before determining what type of community manager or management company they hire for their community.