Condo and HOA Management

Should You Hire an HOA Property Management Company?

| 4 min. read

Approximately 85% of homeowner associations are managed by professional management companies, and there’s a clear reason why. Hiring an HOA Property Manager is the most efficient way to build value for you and your fellow homeowners. Management companies adds value with their knowledge of industry standards as well as proven, cost-effective methods to make your association more responsive and effective in meeting your community's needs.

A professional HOA management company can deliver:

  • Faster response times
  • Efficient financial management
  • Better governance and legal compliance
  • Fairness and equity in handling disputes
  • Better vendor relations

This article reveals what an HOA property manager does, how to determine if your organization would benefit from a property manager, what benefits you can expect, what to look for when hiring a property management company, and how to find the best fit for you locally. 

What Does an HOA Property Manager Do? 

In short, an HOA property manager saves you money. Let’s unpack the five key ways they do this a bit more:

  • Response times. Since a property management company is on call 24/7/365, can respond to both emergencies and regular maintenance quickly. This takes the pressure off of board members to be on call at all hours of the night. 
  • Financial management. A property management company provides both safe and efficient financial management. That includes dues collection, reporting, and control of HOA funds. No longer does Jerry, the neighborhood accountant, have to volunteer to keep the books in order.
  • Governance. Partnering with a property management company means you can be sure everything’s always above board legally. PM companies stay up to date on local, state, and federal laws pertaining to real estate so the board doesn’t have to worry about surprise taxes or fines.
  • Fairness. Handling disputes among neighbors is never enjoyable, but working with a PM company ensures that board members won’t get caught in the middle. Having an impartial third party to mediate disagreements helps maintain peaceful relationships throughout the neighborhood. 
  • Vendor relations. With their years of experience, property managers have built large networks of all types of vendors. These longstanding relationships translate into better vendor quality as well as discounts on required services. 

Above all, the property manager is there to reduce the workload of board members, while taking care of the financial, administrative, and physical management of the property.

How to Determine If You Need an HOA Management Company

If your board is considering a partnership with an HOA property manager, start by asking these three questions: 

  1. What’s the tension level in the neighborhood? A trend over the past couple of years—due most definitely to our increased time at home—has been more frequent neighbor disputes and disagreements. Mediating neighbor disputes can be exhausting and draining, especially if disagreements are between friends. Partnering with an HOA management company allows your board members to remove themselves from the drama and outsource the mediation to professionals. 
  2. What does the board’s future look like? One recurring reason boards hire PM companies is to make board turnover seamless and simple. Having the consistent, steadying presence of a property manager helps transitions between board members go smoothly. Plus, joining the board is more appealing to new members when they know it won’t take up too much of their free time to volunteer.
  3. How’s the money management going? While, occasionally, you’ll be lucky enough to have a financially savvy board member, this area is often cited as one of the most difficult for volunteer-led boards to manage. A property management company alleviates that burden and keeps the books in order while providing easy digital access to all financial information when the board needs to check-in. 

What Are The Benefits of an HOA Management Company? 

While property management companies can certainly save the board money—in even more ways than the five listed here—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 a 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 and 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 can 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.

What to Look For in a Professional HOA Manager

Naturally, a successful HOA manager should be professionally competent in all aspects of association management and have the requisite certifications and track record to perform their required duties. In fact, most HOA boards interview several managers before making a final decision about which company to hire. When researching and interviewing potential management companies, be sure to consider the following four areas: 

#1: Experience

How long have they been in business? If the company is new, what experience do its managers bring to the table from previous employment? While experience isn’t the only factor in hiring a competent HOA manager—a green manager can still be excellent—it’s certainly an element to keep in mind.

#2: References 

What's their track record? Can the company that you're considering share references that speak to the quality of their service? Another way to approach this would be to reach out to a neighborhood HOA in town that you may want to emulate to see what company they work with and how satisfied they are with their services. Past results can be a reliable way to measure quality. 

#3: Flexibility

Not all HOA boards are created equal. Every neighborhood has its own unique needs and your property manager should be flexible and willing to work with you. Make sure your contract isn’t so rigid that your neighborhood needs to conform or change in a way that won’t work for other homeowners. 

#4: Communication

It's essential to hire an HOA management company that has proven methods for managing group politics and negotiating agreements among members with conflicting points of view. As you interview potential HOA managers, be sure to focus a significant portion of your discussions on understanding each manager's typical communication methods and tactics for resolving conflicts.

Above all, keep in mind the most effective attributes a successful HOA property management company can have is the ability to:

  • Handle day-to-day issues without supervision.
  • Guide the board's decision-making processes.
  • Be responsive to homeowners.

Consistency, flexibility, and proven experience are important considerations, as are the interpersonal skills when it comes to dealing with conflicts, emergencies, and the expressed interests of the board in improving their community.

How Can I Find HOA Management Companies Near Me?

Do a little digging. Online research and a few phone calls are all you need to get the ball rolling. Of course, All Property Management offers an extensive network of qualified HOA management companies to choose from, along with resources to help you get the best results for your specific needs. 

Remember that selecting a management company is a long-term decision and changeover costs can be high, so make sure you review candidates thoroughly before making a final decision. That way, you’ll be able to get the most value out of your investment and have an expert partner to make your community an even better place to live.

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