Every fall, HOAs throughout the country vote on issues touching on the upcoming year. During this period, most if not all HOA management contracts end and are subject to renewal. If your contract is subject to renewal, then it’s surely the best time to analyze your management situation.
Numerous HOA board members frequently get frustrated with their existing management companies for an array of reasons. Have you watched your management company services decline over time? Has it reached that point where you’re ready to change your HOA management company? If yes, then it’s time to make the switch.
Unfortunately, community associations in America aren’t run by a professional homeowner’s association management company. Is your association self-managed? If yes, then it is ample time you hire a trusted and reputable HOA management company.
Switching HOA Management Companies: Signs It’s Time to Do It
Ineffective communication weakens the relationship between homeowners associations and their management company. One red flag in this regard is when a community manager fails to reply or return phones or emails within a reasonable time frame. A community manager should never take ages to respond to issues. He or she should be prompt.
Communication is highly essential in HOA management. Quality management companies strive to maintain open lines of communication with their clients.
Failure to complete projects
This is another sign that you need to switch your HOA management company. Whether the board needs an investigation commenced against water leakage, or a street light to be replaced, a community manager should be up to the task. He or she shouldn’t put off projects frequently. Doing so makes the board feel stuck because no progress is made.
Inconsistent handling of compliance
Compliance walks and drives ought to be handled consistently. Additionally, violation letters must always be sent to the right homes. Simply put, a HOA management company should handle compliance in adherence to the board request.
Unavailability of important documents
HOA’s financial reports must always be available on demand and/or online. Furthermore, community managers should present complete financial documents to boards. As a board, if you request for financial reports and never get them or they come incomplete, know that there is something very wrong somewhere.
After looking at the above challenges, it is also important to shed some light on some of the best attributes that make a good community manager. Knowing them helps you find the right fit and ultimately avoid the above problems.
What Constitutes a Good Community Manager?
Community managers can bring success or failure to a HOA management company. A community manager is the person that differentiates the exceptional companies from the less-than-stellar ones. This professional is the reason you either love your current engagement or just can’t wait to make the switch.
Here are some of the attributes that characterize a great community manager:
Great community managers care about their communities. They strive for their communities to be safe and look good. What is more is that they work hard to have a great vendor-board member’s relationship. Incredible community managers normally get upset by exactly the same things that upset homeowners or board members.
Rather than escalating situations, good community managers defuse them. They try their best to calm any tensions, frustrations, or anger. They are great at putting people at ease. With these managers, your team enjoys a kind of leadership that creates goodwill, confidence, and trust with homeowners compared to a confrontational relationship.
Great community managers are adequately trained. From their effective training, they’re able to answer any question from board members and homeowners. Simply put, these kind of managers aren’t novices. They have extensively studied local laws. Such managers boast vast experience under their belt. As much as no individual can know all answers, these managers will always come back with a concrete answer to a question that he, or she doesn’t know.
Unfortunately, some HOA management companies employ part-time employees as their community managers. You should never settle for a part-time community manager. A part-time arrangement does not offer ample time for the HOA board and the manager to accomplish all the necessary tasks efficiently.
Love and enjoys the job
Excellent community managers work for incredible companies. They don’t have time with companies that overload them with work. Such managers don’t work in an unhealthy environment. Ideally, they enjoy their work and know their worth.
How to End your Existing HOA Management Contract
The agreement between your HOA management company and the association holds crucial information including how to end your exiting contract. You should never miss the chance to make changes especially at the end of the year. Together with other members of the board, you should review your management contract carefully to know what are your options in terms of ending your existing contract.
Primarily, you must consider the period of the contract. Make a determination of how long it lasts. Find out the exact stipulations that can inform the ending of a contract. Must there be 90 days, 60 days, or 30 days’ notice? All these are pertinent questions you need to ask yourself.
Additionally, establish whether the contract termination attracts any penalties. In case of premature contract termination, will you need to pay the remaining management fees?
The basic thing is to know exactly how the HOA management contract works. Doing so helps board members make informed decisions concerning the association.
No HOA should be paying their management company for unresponsiveness and incompetence. The ability to identify main differences between low-quality and high-quality community managers as well as homeowners association is very important. It helps both you and your HOA to make informed choices for the needs of your community. It doesn’t matter whether the decision entails maintaining your existing HOA management company or not. You surely have to make the decision.