New HOA management coming in? Transferring to new HOA management company services can bring about big changes for your community. So take these steps to prepare for new HOA management, and help them hit the ground running. Hiring new management company services doesn’t just end with the contract. You also have to help them fit right in.
In this article:
5 Tips on How to Prepare for New HOA Management
Switching to a new homeowners association management company is not normally an easy or fun task. But there are certain times that it becomes a necessity. So, what do you do when it is?
You might be wondering if there’s a certain process you should follow to be sure you prepare the new company to avoid the same problems as the previous one. There are a few steps you can take to lessen the headaches later on.
1. Get Your Board on the Same Page
Your first step should be to make sure your board is all on the same page. Make sure each member understands what problems have happened with the previous HOA management company. More importantly, also emphasize the changes that need to happen.
Also, try to identify problem areas and the details around them. It also helps to know which issues are a priority and which are not. So when your new HOA management comes on board, they know which ones to tackle first.
If you have a problem with your previous HOA management, this is also the time to hash it out. Is it an issue with the quality of service they provided? How were they lacking? Also, how will the new HOA management match your expectations?
It’s possible the problem could only be with the previous HOA manager. If the issue stems from bad communication between the manager and the board, make sure to recognize that early on. Are there instances of unanswered calls or requests? Or maybe your HOA board may not have given them sufficient information.
Before the new HOA management staff shows up, make sure the board is on the same page. Especially for the more controversial issues that your association may be having. It helps to have a common ground when it comes to your expectations for the new community managers. Also, not having to argue in front of the new people is a big plus, too.
2. Seek Legal Advice From Your Lawyer
Early on in the process of switching management, it’s a good idea to have an attorney look at your current HOA management contract.
They can help you determine how best to handle any legal issues that may arise with the new company. Also, the documents and contracts of the new company should be reviewed before you sign anything.
It may seem like a large expense to some board members at first. But having an HOA lawyer look things over can help you find problem areas and ultimately save you money over the long run.
Also, new HOA management coming in is a great opportunity to cover new changes, legal-wise. Make sure to talk to your association counsel about the changes in the state laws, or relevant case laws, that pertain to your HOA.
Many HOA management companies and law firms also offer training for HOA board members. It could be a good idea to have a short refresher course for the board. It can cover things like the new regulations that have come up over the last couple of years. So this way, the HOA board has the better legal know-how to oversee the HOA management services they just hired.
3. Ask Your New HOA Management These Questions
It pays to prevent your HOA from having the same problems all over again. Thus, your board should know what to expect from the new HOA management company. First, the board should ask themselves what else they need to know about the new HOA management company.
Most of these questions should have been covered by the hiring process. Just to keep everyone on the same page, the HOA board should at least know the HOA management company’s answers to these questions:
- Do you have an affiliation with any other companies?
- What does your accounting system look like?
- Who is in charge of the book — a CPA or accountant?
- What type of preventative maintenance program do you have in place?
- How many other properties will our manager be assigned at one time? And will we be notified if that number increases?
- Will our HOA manager have set office hours or on-site hours?
- How many people do you have on staff?
- What is the total number of buildings you manage?
4. Make Sure They Have Access to the Information They Need
It should be a given that your new HOA management has already read your governing documents. That said, it never hurts to recommend to them to read the documents relevant to your HOA.
You could be surprised at how many of their questions are already addressed in the governing documents of your association. So make sure that your new HOA management has access to the updated bylaws of your HOA, as well as any upcoming revisions they may have.
That goes for all the other HOA documents they need to do their job, as well. By making sure they have access to the data and documents they need, your HOA board is also saving everyone’s time.
Your state or city-based organizations often provide important information specific to your state. Ask your new HOA management team if they are participating in their events. These can help them get familiar with the issues in your area.
5. Make Sure to Keep Them in the Loop
Make sure your new HOA managers have access to the people they need. It’s also smart to contact the person who has been assigned to your HOA’s account after the interview and see how quickly they answer or get back to you. Paying attention to details now and asking the right questions will set you up better for the type of HOA management your board needs and deserves.
Preparing for New Management
A responsive manager is always a good sign for new HOA management. It’s a key difference between an HOA management company that provides high-quality service, or one that you’ll need to replace before the year is over. With good preparation and a bit of work early on, you’re also making sure that your new HOA management will be your service provider for a long long time.
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