Are you thinking about starting an association management company? Or maybe you’re association manager looking to brush up your skills and increase your knowledge of this exciting industry? In either case, you may be wondering what an association management company does.
The simple answer is that an association management company assists with various aspects of operations, financing, and logistics for homeowner associations (HOAs) and condominium associations (COAs).
Every association is different. Depending on the unique needs of your individual client, your association management company may have different duties. However, many aspects of association management are universal for all HOA/COA managers. As an association manager, it’s important to understand the basic services you’ll be expected to offer your clients.
Keeping reading to learn what an association management company does for its HOA/COA clients. Understanding each of these responsibilities will enable you to deliver the best quality service as an association manager.
Whether it’s a large HOA or a smaller COA, every association has a governing board that sets policies and guidelines for the community. The association board sets the budget, approves new projects, and makes leadership decisions that affect the daily lives of residents. This includes everything from fee increases to changes in open hours for community areas.
As an association manager, you can act as an advisor to your clients’ boards. You may have more experience with HOA/COAs than board members, who are elected from within the association’s community, and therefore your expert opinions can help the board members make more informed decisions. You may be called upon to help the board make decisions regarding the annual budget, changes in community rules, or other aspects of the HOA/COA’s operations.
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Associations are complex financial organizations. One of the primary roles of an association management company is to assist with the management of the HOA/COA’s finances. This includes collecting fees and assessments, paying bills, advising on the annual budget, and monitoring transactions to prevent fraud.
You may also be called upon to help your clients by providing financial reports. With association management software such as CINC Systems, you can generate detailed reports automatically. Then, you can send these reports electronically to your clients’ board members to help them with the annual budget, audits, or tax filing.
Association management companies also help clients operate common areas used by the association’s residents. This can include mail rooms, laundry facilities, multi-purpose rooms, gyms, swimming pools, and more. Part of your job as an HOA/COA manager may include the upkeep for these areas.
Additionally, your association management company can assist your clients with the HOA/COA’s common resources by posting open hours, rules, and other information pertaining to each community area. You can even use your association management software to create a web portal where residents can access this information online.
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Associations are primarily funded by membership dues paid by the community’s residents. These dues include a regular membership fee, which may be paid annually, quarterly, or monthly. In special circumstances, the HOA/COA may also charge members a one-time assessment fee for emergency repairs or other sudden expenditures.
Your association management company helps HOA/COAs collect and process these dues. In the past, most dues were paid by check or direct withdrawal. Now, thanks to software like CINC Systems, you can expedite the process for your clients by creating an online payment portal. This gives residents the ability to make their payments online, automatically, 24/7.
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Enforcing the HOA/COA’s rules is another common responsibility for association management companies. Every association has a governing document known as the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions or CC&Rs. The CC&Rs outline the rules for each community, from restrictions on noise to rules about holiday decorations.
HOA/COA management companies assist their clients by helping enforce these rules. This includes issuing warnings and citations to members who violate the community’s guidelines. You can also help your clients by making the CC&R’s easily available to members via an online web resident web portal.
Associations require regular maintenance and repairs for community areas such as lobbies and shared facilities. As an association management company, it’s your job to ensure that all repairs are processed in a timely manner.
Using your association management software, you can create a web portal where residents can submit work orders online. They can even upload photos of the work that needs to be done. Then, you’ll be able to organize each work order based on category, priority, and date submitted. You can also send electronic updates to the resident who submitted the work order.
As an association management company, you may also find yourself responsible for your clients’ projects. This may include new construction or upgrades to the HOA/COA’s shared spaces.
Depending on the needs of the project, your company may be tasked with hiring vendors, as well as acting as an on-site coordinator to oversee construction. Association management companies may also fulfill vendor invoices for their clients.
An association management company can also be the “eyes and ears” on the ground for its clients. This means performing on-site inspections. Observe the HOA/COA’s common areas for issues that need repairs, as well as violations by residents.
If there’s an issue you can resolve without going to the clients’ board, you can then take action directly. Otherwise, you can alert your clients to the problem and assist them with the next step in its resolution.
Finally, association management companies help their clients by communicating with residents. This includes letting residents know about changes to fees, new community guidelines, and other information that needs to be dispersed.
You can also provide residents with copies of the CC&R’s and other governing documents as needed.
One of the best tools for an association management company is CINC Systems. To see how CINC Systems can improve your HOA/COA management business, click here to request a free demo.
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