What is an HOA Community Association Manager (CAM)?
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April 13, 2021
What is a community association manager? If you're familiar with the show The Office, you’ll be familiar with the many unique and memorable characters. One character, in particular, Michael Scott, the funny, quirky office manager of Dunder Mifflin, always had a passion for being the “World’s Best Boss.” In fact, you may be surprised to know that many of the scenes featuring Michael Scott actually came with an invaluable lesson. Although Michael had a reputation of being the goofy troublemaking manager, his team always had the best earnings and ratings out of all the branches of Dunder Mifflin.
As an HOA community manager, a manager's role is critical to the community's overall function. Think of a good HOA community manager as someone who carries Michael Scott's GOOD qualities. Friendly, approachable, and always having his team members recognized and rewarded, listening to their thoughts and concerns. To better understand, let’s start with the basics by asking the key question, what does an HOA community manager actually do?
The responsibilities of an HOA manager include:
Answering community questions via phone and email.
Ensuring implementation of policies and guidelines.
Collecting and tracking accurate fee assessments.
Maintaining common and shared amenities.
Enforcing Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs)
Fielding questions to provide answers that align with the rules and regulations of the community.
Acts as liaison between the board of directors and the community.
Managing lawn care, pool cleaning, and other various tasks completed by vendors around the community.
Maintaining community site spaces, including coordinating routine maintenance checks.
What makes a good community manager?
Although being a community manager comes with many responsibilities, the most important role of a manager is to provide a positive and supportive environment to all community members. It is required that the manager be social, friendly, and a strong listener.
The day-to-day responsibilities of a community manager can vary depending on the day and location. In most cases, a manager usually takes on handling the daily minutes that apply to their shared community. They are also responsible for ensuring that vendors execute all tasks, which include delivering their SOWs. Other day-to-day operations may include:
Paying the utility bills for their HOA association.
Walking the grounds for needed repairs and maintenance.
Working with vendors to schedule repairs after receiving approval from the board of directors.
Updating the HOAs social media newsfeed.
Providing the HOA with any new announcements on both social media and the community’s website.
Who hires the community manager?
In most cases, a community association manager is hired by the HOAs board of directors or the property management company. Due to their importance in the community, an HOA manager can also guide the board and administrative support.
Can an HOA community manager create events?
Absolutely! An HOA community manager is encouraged to create events to provide a sense of community and encourage HOA members to take advantage of common areas such as the community’s amenities. The community manager will plan and execute a schedule of community events that help to facilitate a strong and connected community.
Examples of events may include:
Meet and greets
General small gatherings
Can an HOA community manager hire vendors?
When it comes to hiring vendors, a community manager can coordinate vendors from bid to project completion. A community manager is also responsible for determining which vendors to employ to complete community projects, along with overseeing the process of bidding, hiring, and ensuring that the vendors complete projects in a timely and satisfactory manner.
What are some major challenges that HOA community managers may face?
Collecting HOA fee assessments - due to the nature of this task, dealing with finances can be a touchy subject. Ensuring timely and full payment is key to keeping up the HOAs CC&Rs commitments.
Managing all aspects of the HOA community is a big challenge. From general administration, community events to following the community bylaws and finances, many of these day-to-day operations can be a lot to juggle for just one person.
The HOA Community Manager's role is to plan community events, which can pose many challenges — getting the community involved with events. Many managers find that it can be difficult to plan events conveniently to attend and appeal to most of the community.
HOA community manager job description
The primary responsibility of an HOA Community Manager is to supervise the association's administrative and support staff. The Community Manager also helps oversee and support the various departments within the HOA, maintenance, custodial, landscaping, and lifestyle of the HOA. They also work as a liaison between the community and board of directors.
Duties include but are not limited to:
Oversees the general operation of the community.
Provides oversight of all staff and contract service providers.
Performs daily walk-throughs of the interior and exterior parts of the building.
Communicates to the Board of Directors every week with issues involving the community, residents, and the building's operations.
Enforces the rules and regulations of the association as outlined in the community governing documents.
Works with Association's Counsel to ensure the Association's compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and Local laws.
Informs the Board of Directors of any violations related to the law, rules, or regulations of the association.
Prepares or oversees notices, ballots, and meeting packets for all association and board meetings.
Attends monthly board meetings, annual member meetings at the invitation of the HOA board.
Prepares RFP's and secures proposals relating to day-to-day operations.
Provides recommendations to the board as needed.
Approves staff schedules, along with monitoring attendance and process for payroll.
Conducts a yearly formal performance review on all direct reports.
Conducts regular departmental meetings to ensure continual progression of staff and to highlight areas of the desired improvement.
Assists in the preparation of the annual budget.
Manages the decision-making process effectively and works with both short and long-range objectives.
Knowledge of typical HOA business correspondence (grammar, structure, punctuation, spelling, etc.) at a proficient level.
Knowledge of conflict resolution techniques at a proficient level.
Strong time management skills.
I prefer five (5) or more years of experience in association management or the hotel industry with CMCA or equivalent certification.
PCAM is preferred.
Must be willing and able to respond to emergencies on a 24/7 basis.
Excellent leadership and communication skills.
Working knowledge of federal and state laws, association CC&Rs, bylaws, and other governing documents.
Comprehensive knowledge of management practices, accounting procedures, personnel practices, contract management, facilities and association maintenance, association communications, and risk management.
Minimum of 2 -3 years experience of being in a homeowner association management position or equivalent combination of education and experience.
Industry designation(s) strongly preferred.
Microsoft Office proficiency.
Valid driver's license, current liability insurance, and reliable transportation.