What are the possibilities with a professional HOA management company? This is what one company had to tell us.

With a professional management company our community will receive a heightened approach towards safety/risk reduction, cost effectiveness, and operational efficiency. It will delete any personal relationships that may currently exist between our community manager and certain members of the board which results in failed management of our manager. 

Typical Job Description of Community Manager

Essential Duties of an HOA Manager

  1. General Administration – including but not limited to:
    • Maintaining the operation in a positive, effective forward path.
    • Providing a high level of customer service – timely answering of phone calls, responding to emails and other correspondence.
    • Answering questions and going the extra step to assist the client.
    • Documenting and maintaining records
    • Reviewing policy and making recommendations for policy generation and implementation procedures such as but not limited to the:
  1. Maintenance of Common Areas – The manager is responsible for overseeing all aspects of maintenance on behalf of the board including:
    • Knowing  the common areas like the back of his or her hand and work closely with the relevant service providers to insure all common areas are:
      • Safe
      • Well maintained
      • Properly insured
    • Ensuring contracts for services are appropriate, competitive and perform according to specifications
    • Completing special projects on time and within budget
    • Ensuring services get performed within budget.
    • Educating the Board ahead of time of forecasted budget overruns and given options on other ways to deal with expense variances
    • Implementing effective preventative maintenance schedule
    • Documenting and revising schedules when appropriate
    • Knowing who does what, when, where and why and have a schedule and associated costs so that you can:
      • Tracking compliance of contractual obligations
      • Overseeing expense forecasting and future budgeting
      • Assisting  when coordinating multiple contractors to work in the same area or project
    • Planning, communicating, implementing, evaluating, and adjusting accordingly
  1. Provision of Common Services – The association’s governing documents; management contract; budget; and Board of Directors are the drivers for this area.
    • The manager needs to fully understand what he or she is obligated to do:
    • The manager must understand that he or she has a moral obligation to uphold the association’s governing documents which have higher authority than any board of directors.
    • Conflicts in instructions or being asked to do something that is illegal or immoral is not a contractual obligation.
    • The manager has an obligation to honestly and legally perform services and should never do anything he or she feels is against the law or potentially liable to the association.
    • In providing common services, the Community Association Manager is responsible for several areas including but not limited to:
      • Developing or updating contract specifications to assist in bidding out contracted services.
      • Managing contracted services.
      • Communicating any deficiencies of services to the contractor, issues to be resolved and effects of non-resolution.
      • Researching more appropriate vendors, better services, better prices (low price is not always better service).
  1. Internal communications – The manager is responsible for:
    • Coordinating communications amongst Board members particularly when conducted via email; summarize results and ask Board to ratify at future meeting so it is read into minutes.
    • Compiling to-do and action items lists for Board, Manager, and Support Staff; with updates so all can track progress throughout the month.
    • Asking for clarification when he or she receives conflicting direction or doesn’t understand the information.
    • Managing Board communications point of contact(s):
      • A manager should not have five different ‘go to’ or ‘take direction from’ people on the board as this can create confusion
      • It is best when it can be agreed that, while the manager works with all the board members, he/she funnels his/her communication via the President and/or Treasurer.
  1. Financial Management
    • Understanding the association’s financial position
    • Reading and reporting on the financial statement
    • Monitoring the budget and forecasting the income and expenses monthly looking forward
    • Explaining the positive and negative variances of actual vs. budget as well as recommending how to deal with cost overrun
    • Managing affect accounts payable to insure invoices are paid correctly and only when services are verified, etc.
    • Implementing and managing a professionally aggressive assessment collection policy that adheres to the association’s documents yet provides results
    • Exhibiting sound budgeting finesse from a historical and forward thinking perspective
    • Conveying adaptability, flexibility and accountability
  1. Procurement of Insurance and Loans – no contract for insurance or loan should be secured without Board review and approval. However, the manager is responsible in:
    • Assisting in seeking viable insurance bids, preparing the applications, etc. and presenting the options to the Board
    • Recommending appointment of finance committee to work with treasurer and manager when seeking a loan
    • Looking to the association documents for the authority, obligation, and requirements first.
    • Knowing what maximum thresholds must be met.
    • Documenting the assets in a list, with values as well as photos.
    • Bringing competitive information and options to the Board in both arenas.
  1. Preparation of Tax Return and Other Reports
  • Ensuring that the board seeks and obtains insight and feedback from qualified, respected professionals.
  • Presenting a variety of experienced bids to the board based on his or her depth of experience and business association relationships.
  • Developing and presenting a monthly manager’s report with topics including (some large scale on-site communities request weekly reports due to the high walk-in traffic issues).
  • Knowing the deadlines for the state and federal required reports and working with the Board and their selected vendors to insure reports are filed accurately and timely.

Risks To The Community By Employing In House Community Manager

In house management is fine in theory, but what about when the infrastructure is too large for one or two people to oversee? It is the community managers role to oversee all maintaince, tackling the day to day challeges or effectively delgate work. Below are risks typically seen with in house management for HOAs.

  • Insufficient knowledge and understanding of the covenants and bylaws.
  • Inability to keep up with the bookkeeping
  • Infrastructure too large to properly manage
  • Failure to comply with federal, state, and local laws
  • Unwillingness to confront community members to avoid litigation
  • Failure to put controls in place

How Our Current Manager Continues To Put Our Community At Risk

Currently we see our community manager opening us up to loss of insurance and litigation while we are seeing the overall maintance of the community decline. The Board of Directors is her direct supervisor. 

  • Lack of proper accounting and financial reporting instruments (they do not keep a P&L for the event side)
  • Playground equiptment safety
  • Water quality control (large unexplained fish kills)
  • HR guidelines regarding job descriptions, performance appraisals, salary & benefit adminstrations
  • Unwillingness to confront community members to avoid litigation
  • Ahereing to federal, state, and local laws 
  • Adhearing to our CC&Rs and Bylaws 

Benefits Of Hiring Professional HOA Management Company

  • Increased clarity for your community. A management company can ensure that your rules and regulations are expressed and communicated in a way that makes sense to all members of your community.
  • Professional management companies can help you uphold standards of consistency—ensuring that all rules are enforced across the board, without favoritism.
  • A professional management company can also assist with vendor management, making certain that issues or disputes with vendors do not escalate, and that the community receives good workmanship for a good price. Indeed, a local HOA management company will surely have some strong, positive relations with local vendors, which can benefit your HOA.
  • The HOA management company wants to ensure that all community members are happy with their service, and as such, it will seek to facilitate open communication, safety, cleanliness, and other high standards for its residents.
  • A professional management company can bring valuable legal expertise, which is something many communities otherwise lack.
  • And of course, there are innumerable other fields in which management companies bring their expertise—in accounting, long-term financial planning, property management and upkeep, and beyond.

Various HOA Management Companies

Request proposals from all community management companies

Keeping what is best for our community in mind as well as cost effecientcy, but we will also need a board that is willing to manage the community manager. 

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