If your community has an HOA (Home Owners Association), you probably trust it to protect your property value. But would you really know if its management was ineffective? HOA members trust their HOA to use the right financial, administrative, and maintenance services to protect their property value and the social appeal of the community – things that go hand in hand. For many HOAs, the best way to accomplish these things is to hire a company that specializes in HOA management.
Often referred to as a property management company, this business supplies the management function that an HOA often lacks the resources to supply. If your HOA is considering hiring a property management company, and you wish to know how it could benefit your community, the answers below can help:
What type of control would the company have over community finances?
The company wouldn’t control community finances, per se. Instead, it would function as a financial manager, collecting assessment fees, depositing funds in the right accounts, and distributing funds in various capacities, such as administering payroll for maintenance workers and maintaining vendor accounts.
What would the company’s role be in developing the community?
It would depend on the role the community wanted it to have. Some communities hire a company whose property management services are aimed at developing, as well as maintaining a community. Such a company would have experts who specialize in community development, and could develop a community from various angles, such as value-added services, communal real estate development, and communal business development, to name a few.
Would the company’s representatives attend HOA board meetings?
Yes. A property management company would have at least one representative at scheduled HOA meetings. Because the company views its relationship with the HOA as a business partnership, it conducts the relationship as such. This relationship extends to community residents as well.
What capacity would the HOA board members serve in?
Board members would have their original rights and powers. But they would spend more time serving as community representatives. The company would perform most of the managerial duties that board members performed previously.
Could residents have direct contact with the company?
Yes. A good property management company allows community members to contact it at any hour to report emergencies, log complaints, request services, or receive information. The company also responds promptly to community member letters and emails. Instead of remaining distant from the community, the company takes steps to integrate itself with the community.
How would the company’s performance be assessed?
Common ways to assess the company’s performance would be to conduct periodic quality reviews of its services, perform surveys of HOA members to gauge their satisfaction level with the company, and have the HOA’s financial records audited annually.
A property management company assists HOAs by performing at least four functions of community management: financial, administrative and maintenance management, as well as community development. By using a property management company in this capacity, an HOA can improve the quality of its governance and services significantly.