The #1 Problem Homeowner Associations Have With Management Companies
What’s the number one problem homeowner associations (HOAs) have with management companies? Most HOAs agree that the biggest problem with management companies is poor customer service and communication. As an association manager, it’s important to understand your clients’ needs. Learn how bad management companies affect HOAs so you can avoid making the same mistakes.
Managing HOA accounts requires hard work, dedication, and organization. You’re responsible for multiple daily tasks for your clients, as well as big picture projects. Beyond the work itself, however, you need to create a strong relationship with the HOAs you manage. Communicate clearly and prioritize customer service.
When addressing the number one problem homeowner associations have with management companies, several smaller issues also come up as a result of bad customer service. These problems might seem minor, but they can badly damage the relationship between an HOA and the HOA manager.
To keep your clients happy and be a successful HOA manager, learn about other common management problems HOAs face. This will allow you to provide the best customer service possible. If problems do arise, you’ll be able to solve them right away.
Here are some other common problems HOAs have with management companies.
Misunderstanding Job Responsibilities
One problem homeowner associations have with management companies concerns job responsibilities. If the HOA manager or the association board doesn’t understand a HOA manager’s duties, it creates many issues for everyone involved.
To avoid making this mistake, understand what’s expected of you as an HOA management company. Likewise, make sure the association’s board understands your role in helping their community. Your job duties will vary with each individual client and their HOA’s specific needs. However, in general, you will be expected to perform the following tasks:
- Collect Resident Fees: it’s your job to collect resident fees for the association. In order to do this efficiently, you can access an online payment portal with accounting software like CINC Systems. You can also follow up with delinquent accounts.
- Process Work Orders: when a resident submits a work order, the HOA manager is responsible for processing it. This means coordinating with maintenance workers to complete the repair, ensuring that the work is performed in a timely manner, and sending a status update to the resident who submitted the repair.
- Monitoring Financial Transactions: it’s your job to monitor the HOA’s bank accounts. Use bank reconciliation features in HOA accounting software to link each of the association’s accounts to your dashboard and monitor transactions for excess spending.
- Pay Invoices: when the association owes a vendor for services, the HOA manager is responsible for paying it on time. This also includes monthly expenses like utility bills.
- Enforce Rules and Regulations: the HOA manager is responsible for enforcing the community’s rules, such as noise regulations, parking rules, or home landscaping ordinances.
- Hiring Vendors: when the HOA needs professional services such as pest control, landscaping, or construction, it’s the manager’s job to hire vendors. HOA managers also need to monitor projects to ensure that the vendor is providing high quality work.
Depending on the size of the HOA, as well as other factors, you may have more or fewer job duties than those listed above. Always make sure you understand the terms of your employment with an HOA.
Slow to Respond to Calls and Emails
Here’s another association management communication faux pas. One of the biggest problems a homeowner association can have is a HOA management company that is slow to respond to calls and emails. Your clients need to be able to reach you during your agreed upon hours of operation. Always answer the phone or return messages as soon as possible. Stay on top of your email inbox, too. Your HOA clients need to feel confident that they’ll be able to reach you when they need you.
Delays in Resolving Resident Issues
This is another common complaint about poor HOA management companies. As an HOA manager, part of your job includes resolving resident issues. This includes work orders, as well as personal disputes between residents.
When there’s an issue with a resident, you need to resolve it as quickly as possible. In some cases, the resident may not be able to resolve their issue without going directly to the board. When this is true, provide your client with a status update so they know you’re not simply ignoring the resident.
Hiring Low-Quality Vendors
As mentioned above, one of your job duties as an HOA manager includes hiring vendors. When the HOA needs maintenance or other services, you’re responsible for seeing that the work gets done to the board’s satisfaction. Always hire high-quality vendors that you’ve personally vetted.
Although you should try to save the HOA money wherever possible, don’t cut corners on important services… quality services. Hiring shoddy vendors will reflect poorly on your management abilities. This will negatively impact your HOA management business.
Being Rude with Residents
Never be rude to HOA residents. This is another common mistake homeowner associations have with management companies. Although residents may be impatient or demanding when they deal with you, your job as manager means you must stay level-headed.
When a resident is being rude, don’t respond in kind. As difficult as it may be, keep calm and communicate in a professional manner. Speak plainly and discuss the facts of the situation, not the emotions or opinions. If you feel a resident’s attitude may be causing problems for their neighbors, find a time to discuss this in private with the board.
Finally, avoid maintenance delays whenever possible. When residents submit a work order, make sure it’s processed quickly. This is extra important if the work involves a repair, such as plumbing or lighting in a common space. Bring it to the board’s attention immediately. And provide regular status updates once the work gets underway.
To streamline this process, use CINC System’s association management software to create an online web portal where residents can submit work orders online.
Avoid Problems by Using Better HOA Management Software
Make sure you never cause any of the problems homeowner associations have with management companies. To optimize your business and be more successful, try HOA management software like CINC Systems. Call (855) 943-8246 to request a free demo today.
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