A homeowners association manager must be able to wear many hats to be successful. The HOA manager often acts as the backbone of your HOA and provides vital support to the board. As such, it’s important to choose an HOA manager that demonstrates specific qualities and skills while managing your community. Here are some key characteristics you should look out for.
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Qualities and Skills of a Great HOA Manager
How do you know that you have a good HOA manager? One way is to see if they make an effort to go beyond the HOA manager job description. This shows that they truly care for your community and aren’t just doing the bare minimum. Here are other important qualities of an HOA manager.
1. A Natural Leader
A good HOA manager must be confident enough to voice their opinions and not let others step over them. Some board members will be very opinionated, and the manager should know how to respond to them in a helpful and constructive way. A manager should be able to act as your HOA’s leader.
2. Calm and Professional
There may be times when an angry resident will resort to yelling or treating your manager poorly, but a good manager will remain professional in any situation. They won’t show hurt or frustration, as that can only escalate the situation. You want an HOA manager that can handle these tense circumstances calmly. A manager with conflict resolution skills is a plus, too, since they will be able to resolve issues without needing legal interventions.
3. A Good Speaker
Communication is key, especially when it comes to homeowners association management. The manager communicates daily with your board, residents, and vendors, so they will need to be able to properly respond to others and clearly articulate what they are thinking.
4. HOA Knowledge
This one might seem obvious, but an HOA manager should be well-versed in the workings of your HOA and its rules and regulations. This includes staying up-to-date on federal and state laws regarding HOA communities, which is so important for ensuring the HOA is running according to the law.
5. Quick to Respond
Problems that are brought to the manager should be fixed quickly and efficiently. This can always be a challenge since HOA managers have a lot on their plates, but an effective manager will be organized and prepared for responding to problems in a timely manner. If community members see that their manager is quick to respond, they are more likely to approach the manager for their concerns.
6. Contractor Knowledge
It really helps to have an HOA manager with general contracting knowledge. Of course, they don’t need to have the same skills as a contractor, but knowing what the process involves will make communication more successful between manager and contractor. The manager will be able to understand the expected time period and rate for projects. Your manager may even provide valuable insights that positively influence community projects and timelines.
7. Open Communication
HOA managers should be able to communicate well with all types of individuals, including residents, the board, and vendors or contractors, despite any differences in background, opinions, or beliefs. If a manager has conflicting thoughts, they can still explain their side — but in a way that is neutral and respectful to all parties involved.
8. Accounting Experience
An HOA manager doesn’t need to have professional accountant skills, but it’s helpful to have general accounting knowledge. This goes a long way when maintaining the monthly, quarterly, and yearly HOA budget, which the manager handles. But if financial services are a forte of an HOA management company, financial expertise could be one of the skills of an HOA manager. You’ll be able to rely on your manager when it’s time to make important financial decisions for the community.
9. Mediation Skills
When running an HOA, the manager will have to deal with a diverse group of people. So, there will be butting of heads and disagreements on correct procedures. A successful HOA manager will know how to negotiate between these options and help all come to a compromise. No one will get everything they desire, of course, but proper mediation can leave people happy enough with the results and feeling like their opinion has been heard and considered.
10. Listening Skills
It’s crucial that your HOA manager be good at listening. After all, communication is one of the biggest components of community management. Many people will come to your manager with their concerns (sometimes angry concerns), and they should have the patience to listen and try to understand each member’s situation so they can help effectively.
11. A Multitasker
Having many tasks and responsibilities can be overwhelming for anyone. However, a good HOA manager will be able to handle multiple tasks at the same time — if needed. Attending to one matter at a time is still ideal, but you want an HOA manager that can multitask during peak or busy hours. They won’t collapse from the pressure of having to accomplish a never-ending list of tasks.
12. Always Willing to Learn
It’s impossible to have a perfect manager, especially if you’ve only begun working together. However, one of the best qualities to have in a manager is the willingness to learn. Even a good HOA manager will make mistakes from time to time, but a great manager will be one that can learn from their mistakes. An ideal manager also takes the time to expand their knowledge base, so that they can impart valuable information to their communities.
Look for an HOA Manager You Can Trust
The relationship between the HOA manager and the board members is crucial to the success of your community. That’s why you want to find someone who possesses these 12 qualities and skills. Apart from that, though, it’s important to find an HOA manager that you can trust. When there is trust, the HOA board and manager become more productive and efficient. Through this collaboration, you’ll be able to meet the needs of your community and its residents.
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