Which Type of Management is Best For Your HOA?

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HomesChoosing a property management company is without a doubt one of the most crucial decisions that an HOA Board of Directors can make for their association. Some states now mandate that associations have a property manager, with a few even going as far to require that the property manager meet a certain certification. In most all cases, association managers guide the inform the Board of Directors which they serve. As we will see, the specific roles that come with managing a community can change with each scenario, but the manager always serves to assist the board.
Self-managed community associations utilize volunteers to do all the work. Everything from the management of the association’s daily routine tasks is done by volunteers from within the association. This is obviously much cheaper in the sense that the association does not pay a management company. The volunteers act as a manager working for free. However, board members often work day jobs and have a limited amount of resources to dedicate to the association. The responsibilities that come along with this type association management also tend to cause burn-out among officers.
Some associations with many members may choose to retain a property manager directly, meaning the association hires the manager as an employee. This is known as in-house management and is done because it is cheaper than paying for full-service management from a professional company. An in-house manager can also be a volunteer. However, in-house management can have its disadvantages. If your manager goes on vacation or gets sick, who will step up to fulfill this person’s responsibilities? Also, who is the manager accountable to? With all of the headlines in the news about in-house managers taking money from their associations, one must act with caution.
The next step up from this would be financial-only management, where the association’s Board of Directors makes the big decisions, but leaves the financial functions to a management company. Tasks such as pulling reports for financials, collecting and processing HOA dues, and the cutting of checks to pay bills are all handled by the financial management company. They can also offer guidance on decisions and direction for a Board of Directors.
Full Service Property Management removes as much of the burden off the Board of Directors as possible, making it the most expensive type of management. Will full service management, the management company does all the same things they would under financial management, plus much more. They usually help enforce violations, coordinate with vendors to complete maintenance issues, and help to establish reserve funds. As an added bonus, a professional HOA management company has a check and balances system that strongly inhibits theft from the association. If the community wants, the management company will usually perform drive-by inspections to ensure compliance with the association’s covenants. Each association is assigned a community manager who works directly with the Board of Directors and attends annual and regular board meetings. But just as important is the experience and guidance that a professional community manager can offer.
If you need help with your condo or homeowners association, feel free to use our search directory to connect with a local property management company. We never charge for our service, and we don’t require you to register or otherwise provide your information. A qualified management firm can help you determine which types of service may be the best-suited for your association. Many associations are able to self-mange and don’t have any significant problems. However, practically every association, regardless of their size, will benefit from utilizing professional management. This will also ensure that new volunteers are willing to serve on the Board of Directors each year.