Should you hire an HOA property manager? Whether you’re a new landlord trying to find ways to save money or an HOA volunteer who simply can’t squeeze another minute out of an already packed schedule, it’s a question you should be asking.
There are many ways a property management company can save you and your board money. Today, we’ll focus on the top 5. But first, let’s look at the costs of a property management company versus the return on investment.
While landlords are compensated for the use of their property, becoming a member of an HOA board is not a paid position. Board members volunteer their time to coordinate many important services and neighborhood needs. With so much to manage on top of their regular 9 to 5, their time is limited and valuable.
Plus, members of an HOA board aren’t necessarily experts in property management, so there’s the additional learning curve necessary beyond simply accomplishing any given task. HOA board members often need to research, coordinate, and complete tasks that are outside their expertise.
Pretty quickly, time becomes a major investment of any HOA board member. Understanding HOA financials, budgeting, hiring contractors, collecting dues, and more all start to add up, filling schedules and mental bandwidth.
The short answer is…everyone. When hiring a property management company, HOA landlords, homeowners, and board members all save money.
HOA landlords save by outsourcing many of their landlord responsibilities to the new property management company. HOA homeowners save by having their dues more efficiently and effectively allocated. And HOA board members save not just money, but time and other resources as well.
One of the biggest ways property managers can save an HOA board money is by their ability to negotiate better (aka cheaper) contracts with various professionals. “Property management companies have probably been in the industry for far longer than board members have. They’ve established long-standing relationships with contractors such as plumbers, electricians, landscapers, and so on.” Plus, they bring those contractors more work than just one property. Because of this, property management companies are able to negotiate lower rates than the typical HOA board can. This saves both HOA and community associations money over time.
Of course, property management companies aren’t legal professionals, but they do have experience with legal issues that your typical HOA board doesn’t. In fact, through years of industry expertise, they’ll likely have a solid understanding of local laws and can offer you initial advice, avoiding common pitfalls and the legal fees that can accompany them.
Building an HOA website from scratch is daunting—and unnecessary. Long gone are the days when people were willing to write a check and drop it off in someone’s mailbox. HOA organizations need to be operating online in order to stay relevant.
Property management companies have the technology already in place to make it easy for tenants, landlords, and board members to pay dues, file maintenance work orders, and submit requests online.
In addition to negotiating cheaper contracts, most property management companies also have access to better-quality contractors. They’ve already done the leg work of vetting contractors and building relationships. They have more connections and access to better workers that ultimately provide more cost-effective, higher quality, and longer-lasting results.
Property management companies have experience with a variety of worst-case scenarios that your board can benefit from. Whether that means making sure that your property has the right insurance in case of emergencies, protecting the HOA board if accidents occur on the premises, or settling disputes between homeowners, property management companies have you covered.
Because you have an entire property management company at your disposal, you can benefit from various departments including human resources. Your board no longer needs to mediate every disagreement between homeowners or tenants, there’s an unbiased third party ready and waiting!
What’s more, property management companies ensure that your property and neighborhood have the right insurance coverage and that all contractors and specialists on the premises are bonded and insured.
While property management companies can certainly save a board money—in even more ways than the five listed above—they also save board members, landlords, and homeowners other important resources:
Time. Property management companies offer faster response times for homeowners in crisis. They can manage violations more professionally, saving not only time but also money and frustration. Plus, a good property management company will also take most fiscal management tasks off your to-do list. All of this allows board members to focus on other things and break out of never-ending crisis mode.
Experience. A huge advantage of hiring a property management company to work with your HOA board is the gift of experience. Their years of management make sure things like community amenities are more efficiently managed. Instead of being put on the spot when homeowners or landlords ask specific questions, you can lean on an experienced partner. You don’t have to know everything! Draw from the wealth of knowledge and experience that a property management company brings.
Peace of Mind. One of the greatest intangible gains from hiring a property management company is the gift of peace of mind. Property management has the ability to improve the whole community and reduce conflict between members with tested processes and clear communication to all stakeholders. In short, they make your neighborhood a better place to be.
Knowing you’ve provided your community with security and savings, you can sleep peacefully with a property management company on the clock to handle any emergencies that may arise.
If you have more questions about how an HOA property manager can benefit your association, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re always available to answer questions and help you explore local property management companies when the time is right.