As anyone involved in a homeowner association (HOA) or condominium association (COA) knows, management duties can be a full-time job. That’s why many HOA/COAs hire outside association management companies. An association manager can handle many tasks for an HOA/COA.
Depending on the association’s needs, a management company can assist with accounting, collect resident fees, process work orders, schedule services, and more. Association managers are expert advisors who will streamline daily operations and help ensure the HOA/COA’s long-term success.
Because of this, clients may have misinformed expectations about your role. However, there are many things an association management company DOESN’T do for its clients. Here are some of the responsibilities and tasks an association manager won’t do.
Overall, the difference between an association and an association manager can be compared to the difference between a boss and an employee. Association board members are usually residents who volunteer and are elected to lead the community. They may have a better feel of what’s best for their association, but lack the time and qualifications/experience to physically manage it.
The HOA/COA board makes big decisions and sets goals for the community, then hires the association management company to carry out their wishes. However, every business relationship is unique. Some HOA/COAs may hire a management company to handle the association’s daily logistics, while others may use managers as consultants. They may ask the association management company to give advice on the community charter or other leadership topics.
This means there’s always a potential exception to every rule. In general, there are certain tasks or responsibilities an association property manager won’t handle for its clients.
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Association managers are involved in many of the tasks that help create a thriving community. The best association management companies take pride in their work and feel passionate about supporting their clients’ HOA/COAs. They are friendly with residents and easily approachable. However, despite this, they are not members of the community.
This means it’s inappropriate and unprofessional for an association manager to represent residents in board meetings. Association managers may be present at a meeting to observe or deliver reports, but they can’t speak on behalf of residents or the board, or give their own opinions about resident issues.
Association managers often collect association fees as part of their job. Using software like CINC Systems, they may create a web payment portal where residents can pay dues via credit card or e-check. Managers may also follow up with residents who are delinquent with their payments and inform them about late fees.
However, association managers don’t establish these fees. They don’t set the amount or the payment schedule. The board determines the amount and frequency of resident payments and late fees. An association property manager simply enforces the policy and accounts for the transactions.
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Similarly, association managers don’t set the budget for an HOA/COA. Although they may sometimes act as consultants and offer professional advice, the final budget is always created and approved by the association’s board.
Association managers are responsible for general ledger accounting, paying vendor invoices, processing resident fees, and creating financial reports for HOA/COA leadership. Based on these duties, they can alert their clients when the association needs to adjust its budget. But the client always makes the final call.
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Despite their financial responsibilities to the association and its board, association managers never do any kind of accounting for individual HOA/COA residents. They are not authorized to waive fees or security deposits, issue loans, or perform other financial work for an association’s residents on a person-by-person basis.
Association managers do handle maintenance and repairs for HOA/COAs. With an association management software platform like CINC Systems, they often set-up web portals where residents can submit work orders online. They schedule work and pay vendor invoices accordingly.
However, association managers do not perform physical maintenance or repairs themselves. They are not general contractors, plumbers, or electricians. It is inappropriate for a community member to ask association managers to fix anything. It may also violate the HOA/COA’s liability policy.
HOA/COA property managers also do not do basic monthly services such as landscaping, waste disposal, or cleaning common areas. Instead, an association manager will hire professionals for these tasks.
They will schedule the work, perform inspections to ensure that the service was done correctly and on-time, and pay the vendors. But service work itself is not part of your association manager’s job.
Often, a homeowner association or condominium association chooses to provide extra security for residents. This may include a gate with an on-duty guard, as well as security officers to monitor surveillance cameras and patrol the association’s grounds.
The association management company will often hire professional security and handle their contracts. They will never do the security company’s job. Despite handling complaints and mediating resident disputes, an association manager is not qualified to protect residents’ physical safety.
If a crime has occurred within the association or a resident is in danger, the HOA/COA manager may call security, contact local law enforcement, or both. They will not take the law into their own hands.
Now that we’ve discussed some of the duties that an association management company won’t do, here’s something they will do: improve their clients’ HOA/COAs with CINC Systems cloud-based management software.
CINC System offers a wide range of features to make your job as an association manager easier and more efficient than ever. CINC Systems will allow association property managers to help their clients’ HOA/COAs thrive and grow.
To learn more, click here or call 855.943.8246 for a free CINC Systems demo.
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