While serving on your homeowners’ association’s (HOA) board of directors can be rewarding, it’s a significant commitment with a lot of responsibility. To ease the burden, stress, and liability, many boards hire professional management companies to oversee operations and offer continuity through access to procedures, personnel, and business equipment. Although hiring a management company comes at a cost, and each contract is different, partnering with a reputable one can help you save time, effort—and money. Read on to learn how.
A management company’s financial services allow you to improve your accounting measures and decrease the likelihood of paying fines.
Maintaining the financial health of an association is a key board responsibility, but it can be a task beyond the board’s professional capabilities. Whether or not board members have an accounting background, ultimately, mismanagement of funds can have detrimental consequences to your bottom line.
Luckily, many management companies have skilled accounting personnel and employ the latest software to accurately represent your association's finances and align with the highest security and safety standards. A management company can also handle most day-to-day financial responsibilities, develop a solid annual budget, keep records, and share recommendations to prevent special assessments. This professional oversight helps the board avoid paying fines and fees they may encounter when personally administering the financials.
Some management companies leverage advanced technology solutions to provide greater efficiency and cost savings on community operations.
Residents expect their HOA to deliver digital solutions that make their lives easier. By adopting a management company’s advanced technology, you stay competitive in the market, maintain resident satisfaction, and work more efficiently within your organization. A management company’s technological solutions, like an operations management platform, community app, or community website, might also help you cut costs. You’re most likely to see savings in these areas:
- Postage. Instead of sending notifications through the mail, distribute them digitally for free.
- Printing. Save paper and money by communicating events and updates via email.
- Website development. Don’t pay someone to build your community’s website when many management companies offer this service.
- Payments. Automate payments to vendors so you won’t incur late fees.
Many management companies have connections with dependable contractors and vendors that may render services at a discounted rate.
A major component of completing a job on time and under budget is knowing the right vendors and contractors to hire. HOA management companies typically include a staff of seasoned, well-connected industry professionals. Their experience has afforded them the time to vet essential contractors, like plumbers, landscapers, roofers, and electricians, to identify their qualifications, licensing, insurance, professionalism, and follow-through.
These established relationships create a strong negotiating position for the management companies, allowing for vendor contracts to be written with better, more advantageous terms for clients. Always ask your management company about its partners and whether they provide discounted services or service guarantees.
Management companies offer free board member training to help you make more informed decisions for your community.
Community management can be complex. While it’s important to have a network of experienced professional advisors and service providers to ensure your community is protected and prepared for the future, management companies often host educational sessions where these same professionals share their insight for free. Generally, you can get free advice about:
- Legal updates
Board members can trust that the guidance they’re receiving is accurate and lawful, and they can leverage this expertise to stay abreast of the latest industry developments and access cost-effective resources that may not be available to self-managed communities. You don’t have to spend money on courses or expensive partnerships to ask questions and get the valuable information you need to set your community up for success.
Management professionals have a better understanding of relevant industry laws so you might avoid spending money on attorney fees.
Every HOA must operate under a specific set of legally-binding guidelines, including a community’s governing documents and local, federal, provincial, and state laws. Among the potential challenges, detailed governing documents must be adhered to correctly, contract negotiations may require legal intervention, HOA rules change frequently, and established laws must be followed.
Although professional community managers aren’t licensed legal professionals, they do typically hold certifications that require specialized training and education. That certification permits community managers to offer guidance within their scope of expertise and identify when a licensed attorney would benefit the board. A community manager’s legal expertise can save your HOA from paying attorneys just to receive general advice and help you avoid spending sparked by potential lawsuits.
HOA management companies review supplier and service contracts to ensure you’re getting what you paid for.
In an effort to lighten the board’s load, many community managers take on the responsibility of overseeing contractors, checking in on projects, and reviewing service contracts to confirm each vendor delivered on their services. If there are inconsistencies or unsatisfactory services, or the current contract prices aren’t competitive, the management company can assist in finding an alternative vendor. A management company may work to solicit bids and RFPs and interview potential candidates, vetting them to select the most appropriate provider for your needs.
Find the HOA Management Company That’s Right for You
Partnering with an HOA management company can have many benefits, but finding the right one for your community can be tough. To discover if a potential management partner is a good fit, you should ask several questions. Download our ebook, “Top Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Next HOA Management Company,” and learn what we suggest asking to identify if the company is a perfect match.