If you’re on the board of your homeowners association and are in the process of selecting a management company there are a few things you should consider throughout the process. First and foremost, the duty of a HOA is to preserve and improve property values. If you are having issues with vendors, violations, collections, or long-term planning you know these can have an effect on the appearance and overall value of the community. These issues can be correlated as well.
Trusting vendors can be tough, as most board members are volunteers with day jobs. You can’t be there to see everything that they do, so you must trust your management company to oversee this properly. Say you have $5,000 put away in your pool fund for long term planning, but your vendor is overcharging for chlorine. Just one year of this could eat into your long term savings for future pool repairs leaving the HOA with a serious issue and possible special assessment if there are any major pool repairs needed. In this case, vendor management and accounting are correlated in terms of their effect on the HOA.
The first thing to consider when choosing a management company is financial health. In a community that is short on funds, the board may have to choose a base or financial management only option. This ensures the finances are being run correctly, but will also mean more work and oversight from the board. In this case, going with base management up front while putting in a few more hours every week as a board member can give way to financial security and stability in future years to come. Regular board meeting can help ensure things are moving along nicely as well.
If your community is doing fine financially, they key will be preserving value, day to day operation, and long-term planning. This means working with vendors to create trustworthy relationships. Ask your vendors about the products they use, pricing, and how their hourly rates are charged. Chances are, just asking these questions will help ensure the vendor is treating the community fairly.
Lastly, management fees vary a lot based on violations drive-throughs. If you in a secure place financially but have issues with violations, reporting and enforcements are a big priority. Ask your potential management companies how their prices differ from base to full service with regular inspections. Be sure to work out a plan for enforcement that does not contradict governing documents and holds all parties accountable.
If you’re looking for a HOA or condo association management company in Maryland, Delaware, Washington DC, North Carolina, or South Carolina HPS Management is here to help. We work with board members throughout the selection process to provide customized management packages catered to your HOA.