Thinking of Self Management for your HOA?
In the homeowner association industry, there are two distinct approaches you can take when it comes to management. You can either hire an HOA management group to handle the day-to-day affairs of your organization, or you and your other board members can attempt to manage the HOA by yourselves—a practice known as self-management. Both have their merits and—at the end of the day—it might be tempting to go the self-management route. After all, hiring an external management group can be costly, and if your neighborhood isn’t exceptionally large, why spend money doing what you can do yourself for free? Good question. However, expense is not the only consideration when evaluating your options.
I recommend self-management only if your HOA has minimal financial, administrative and maintenance responsibilities. If you do make that choice, then you must educate yourself on the best practices, risk mitigation and legal applications of community management. Start by joining your local chapter of the Community Associations Institute, the professional organization dedicated to our industry. CAI members have access to information on the trends in this rapidly changing industry—with practical knowledge and insights from leaders in the field, best practices, research and tools you can use every day. CAI provides information, resources and education programs—whether you’re a board member, manager, CEO or professional service provider to community associations.
If you decide that self-management is just too much work, then begin by searching for the right management company to help you.
The questions below are important to ask when interviewing a Property Manager.
- Are they proactive rather than reactive in their communication?
- Is your Property Manager easily reachable in the office or via mobile phone?
- Is your Association receiving the benefits of volume purchasing?
- Is your Property Manager knowledgeable in construction and facilities management?
- Does your management company have the technology to forecast building maintenance issues before problems occur?
- Does your Property Manager have extensive knowledge with Insurance and Risk Management?
- Educated in Directors & Officers coverage, Fidelity Bond, flood insurance, property and personal loss assessment (for fire, liability etc.) and other policy coverages?
- Is your Property Manager informing the Association’s insurance agent of various safety features in your building that can significantly contribute towards a lower premium (i.e. fire sprinkler system, security system, building retrofitting, no filing of claims (especially water claims) within the past three years, etc.); which in turn can maintain or possibly contribute towards a reduction in your monthly homeowners dues?!
- Has your Property Manager received the proper education and certification to manage your Association in compliance with state law?
- Do they have the Association’s best interest when performing their duties?
- Spending Association funds prudently without sacrificing quality and workmanship.
- Vigorously pursue delinquent HOA dues (late fees).
- Improving the standard of living expected from home ownership.
- Striving to maintain and improve the value of your home or building?
- Do they have any conflicts of interest with vendor performance?
- Do they obtain several estimates for large improvement projects?
- Do they use licensed (and insured) vendors and contractors?
- Do they profit from service-related contractors, vendors or suppliers (at the HOA’s expense)?
- Does your current management company charge additional fees beyond the scope of the management agreement (i.e. messenger services, deposit services, fax transmissions, additional fees for impromptu meetings, etc.)?
- Are you getting complete financial reports on a monthly basis (or when requested)?
- Is your manager thoroughly prepared for Board and Association meetings including thorough knowledge of all governing documents of the HOA?
- Do they attend continuing education programs to keep informed on changing local, state and federal laws pertaining to property and association management?
Make sure you’re satisfied with the answers to all these questions before making a final decision. Professional managers are dedicated to serving your community. Put them to work for your Condominium or Homeowners Association and your board should benefit accordingly.
For more information on how Beacon Management Services can assist your Homeowners Association or Condominium Association in the Atlanta area, please call: (404) 907-2112 or email Lisa Simmons at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our complete list of services is available at: www.beaconmanagementservices.com.
Thank you for your time!
Posted on November 10, 2014, in atlanta, atlanta property management, brookhaven, buckhead, Community management, condo management, condominium, condominium help, dunwoody, fulton county, HOA, hoa management, Homeowners, marietta, property manager, real estate, roswell, sandy springs and tagged atlanta condominium, atlanta hoa, atlanta hoa management, beacon management services, community management, condo management, hoa management, homeowners association. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.