An HOA will hire a property management company if the workload is simply too much for them to handle – after all, board members for the HOA are usually also residents in the community who do HOA work on a volunteer basis, and there are only so many hours in their day.
Depending on the community, the board members, and the specific circumstances, an HOA may choose to hire any combination of services from a property manager, or request a full HOA package. HOA management company duties can be roughly divided into these categories:
There is a lot of planning and paperwork involved in the day to day operations of Homeowner’s Association management, as well as customer service and communications with the residents.
Some duties that an HOA may delegate to their management services include:
- Responding to all homeowners questions, complaints, and suggestions in a timely manner
- Scheduling, attending, and facilitating board meetings
- Preparing reports and assisting the board with the annual budget planning
A professional HOA management company will be more than capable of managing accounts receivable and financial reports as part of their community management support. Some of their services in this area might include:
- Managing the community’s bank accounts
- Keeping expense reports and updated financial statements
- Providing estimates for maintenance and improvements
- Follow up with late payments and escalate according to the Board’s instructions
This is definitely the most visible part of the work an HOA management company does, since they will be doing it out and about in the community. From maintenance and upkeep of pools, gyms, and walking trails, to creating a sense of community and enforcing the rules, a good property management company will become the long arm of the law for the HOA, while keeping residents feeling happy and cared for.
- Supervising vendors: from requesting bids and selecting a vendor, all the way to following through to ensure quality service was delivered. These vendors may include landscaping companies, pool services, sports equipment maintenance and repair, and even security services.
- Site management includes regular walks through the community’s common areas to ensure all neighbors are following the rules and regulations, and following up with reminders and reports where needed. Having a third party carry out these inspections helps ensure the neighbors that rules are being applied equally to all.
- Risk reduction may take several forms: from inspecting potential hazards to advising the HOA on insurance coverage.
Socializing and Communication
We’re all acquainted with the old school HOA boards full of announcements and lost pet signs, but nowadays communities expect more. While the HOA may not have the time or tech-savvy to manage modern communications, a professional HOA management company can innovate and keep the community informed, while at the same time receiving questions and complaints and resolving them efficiently.
- Establishing communication channels such as a mailing list, Facebook group, or the like, to inform neighbors of relevant news, invite them to events and remind them of duties and rules.
- Some communities like to build good relations among neighbors, and this is an aspect in which a professional property manager can shine. With lots of experience in resident relations and PR, the HOA management company can organize events for the residents to meet and bond, while at the same time showcasing the work of the HOA.
- Resident management can take a lot of time: reserving social areas for events, managing reports and complaints about pools and gyms, fielding resident suggestions for improvements or repairs. All of these can be managed effectively by a property manager, who will resolve what they can and relay the rest to the board in an organized and timely manner.