When it comes to homeowners’ association (HOA) management, you basically have two choices: you could hire a property management company to oversee your association’s daily operations, or you and your co-board members could try to manage your HOA yourselves.
Both have their benefits; however, saving money is probably the foremost reason many HOAs decide to self-manage rather than hire a property management company. This is especially true if your community is not exceedingly large. Why hire an outside company when you can do the work yourself for free?
On the surface, this may seem logical. After all, any money saved can be used to improve the community. However, it could cost your association more in the long run. Community volunteers frequently lack the practical knowledge to tackle maintenance, pay bills, enforce regulations and bylaws, and manage records.
Questions to Consider Regarding Self-Managing
Before deciding between an HOA account manager and self-managing, you may want to look at the big picture and ask yourself some questions.
- How familiar are you with community association law?
- How comfortable are you with addressing homeowner requests and CC&R violations directly?
- Can you help your association cope with unexpected issues ranging from plumbing disasters to natural disasters like fires or floods?
- What do you understand about easements, recalls, and land acquisitions?
- Does liability insurance cover your officers and directors?
- How much time do you have to commit to your community association’s daily operations? (Self-managing an HOA is like a part-time job and can take 20 hours or more each week).
Reasons to Consider HOA Account Managing
Once you answer those questions, consider the following reasons to hire a management company.
Knowledge and Expertise
Professional association property management companies possess an abundance of experience and knowledge. They have a thorough understanding of local, federal, and state laws that affect the way an HOA functions. They understand what to look for when you need on-property security or a landscaping crew and can usually obtain the best deal for your community association.
Association management companies are not only there to handle the administrative work; they are also valuable for being an expert on matters pertaining to HOA management. An experienced association property management company can provide expert guidance for your board to help you make difficult financial and business decisions.
Professional association management companies can save communities and their homeowners thousands of dollars in lost property value and unplanned expenses. Deep knowledge of contractors, maintenance workers, insurance companies, accounting, and legal issues can save volunteer board members hundreds of research hours. Professionally managed and well-run HOAs are attractive to potential buyers, which can elevate property values.
Access to Powerful Online Tools
Association boards are decision-making bodies; however, the daily distractions of meeting homeowner expectations and educating residents can distract board members from the big picture.
Volunteer board members who run HOAs spend valuable time scheduling maintenance appointments, preparing financial statements, responding to homeowner calls, posting assessment payments, and conferring with association attorneys regarding legal matters like collection issues.
Handling these issues yourself can be overwhelming; however, savvy HOA management companies utilize powerful cloud-based software like CINC Systems to streamline these issues through automation and web-based portals. They provide your association with tools and expertise to handle these tasks, allowing you and your co-board members time to focus on decisions affecting long-term community viability.