Do you found yourself discussing the idea of an HOA management company? Or in fact, you may even work alongside one right now. Yet, for some HOA communities that aren’t as familiar with the dynamics, a property management company can sometimes be misunderstood. The idea of change, a shift in responsibility, or the cost can sometimes intimidate an established HOA. The idea of someone else taking their role can be a deal-breaker. “Why pay a management company to do something that your HOA has been doing the same way for 20 years, right?” Sound familiar? The purpose of a property management company isn’t to repeat what the HOA has been doing; it’s to turn those tasks of 20 years into efficient and quicker processes so that the HOA can minimize its workload and provide better services to its community members.
To better understand, let’s review:
An HOA management company works as a third party that can cover the financial responsibilities of billing and collecting payments from residents. Given the potential for an unstable economic situation, a management company can also buffer an aggressive collection policy and delinquencies. They also superhead tasks such as:
Besides being thoroughly knowledgeable about the HOA’s CC&R (covenants, conditions, and restrictions), the management company is also responsible for implementing its policies and guidelines. This is so that the HOA can ensure that all residents comply with their CC&R policies and procedures.
When decisions are made on behalf of the Board of Directors, a management company is responsible for ensuring all community members comply and adhere to the board's decision.
Managing vendors is a significant responsibility of a property management company. Having the expertise of a management company also comes with the perk of having your very own HOA agent — or for better words, the HOA sales rep. A management company wants to see its community thrive — to make this happen, they must ensure that the community is maintained financially.
Another primary responsibility comes with mitigating risk. To better explain, a property management company will regulate potential risk by thoroughly assessing possible liabilities that could follow down the road. A management company will also assist in ensuring that the HOA’s insurance coverage is adequate and up-to-standards.
In most situations, the property management company will act as the primary on-site resource for the HOA. They will support the HOA by managing the daily operational office duties that are often needed in an HOA.
No homeowner wants their neighborhood to look as if a wild group of animals came charging in. Over the past 14 months, residents have spent more time in and around their homes more than ever! As a result, HOA’s are receiving a higher number of maintenance requests and need to inspect for any on-site violations. Other tasks may include:
There are two essential aspects of communication regarding community members; sharing information with the community and providing easy access to information for residents to see. With health and safety protocols constantly changing due to Covid-19, maintaining accurate and timely information from the community is just as important as providing an accessible and readily available platform.
A property management company should assign an in-office (or virtually available) resource for administrative office duties. This person is responsible for:
An accounts receivable is mainly responsible for assessing and collecting fees. They also play a prominent role in managing the association's funds and transactions.
In addition to a resource for managing and assessing AR, a general accountant is employed to maintain the accuracy of the community's finances. They also oversee the budget, which plays a significant role in the financial health of the HOA.
A site manager is crucial to a well-run community. A site manager can ensure that grounds, facilities, and other projects are well-maintained.
It’s pretty standard for community members to assume that the property management company is the one making all the decisions. That’s far from being true. The management company may have the ability to enforce the community's policies. Still, any decision to do so is strictly created by the Board of Directors on behalf of the HOA.
In short, yes, there have been changes in the responsibilities of property management companies since the onset of COVID-19. However, it’s not necessarily that there have been added responsibilities — more accurately, there has been a shift in priorities. For example, before the pandemic, creating and hosting community events was a high priority. Due to Covid 19, many management companies have had to cancel gatherings and develop alternative ways of gathering people together by using virtual community spaces. Other significant impacts include:
In most cases, it’s dependent on the company. Some management companies may offer that they utilize software as an added benefit, while some HOA boards may already employ software that they prefer the management company to operate.
The management company may have the ability to enforce the community's policies. Still, any decision to do so is strictly created by the Board of Directors on behalf of the HOA.
In short, yes. It’s not necessarily that there have been added responsibilities — more accurately, there has been a shift in priorities. A few examples include:
It’s dependent on the company. Some management companies may offer that they utilize software as an added benefit, vs. others who may already employ software they prefer the management company to use.