Rental Property Management

Top 13 Skills Your HOA Manager Should Have

| 5 min. read

Of the 117,454 currently active property managers in the United States today, many have mastered specialties like residential, commercial, and industrial management. Within each area of expertise, property managers vary in their experience, approach, and skill sets. HOA management is a less common area of expertise requiring unique proficiencies. So, when sifting through the thousands of options, how can you know which type of manager is right for your HOA? 

Today’s article will define the crucial differences between HOA and residential managers. We’ll also outline the top thirteen skills your HOA manager needs, the value they can add to your community, and how to start your search for the perfect HOA manager match. 

HOA Manager vs. Residential Property Manager

A residential property manager handles issues related to maintenance, repairs, and other tenant needs. They typically work with a homeowner or landlord to lease their property and run a profitable real estate business.

An HOA manager partners directly with an HOA board, lightening the load they carry for the neighborhood by helping to enforce community policies, schedule maintenance, and communicate with residents. 

HOA managers have specific community association expertise and an expansive vendor network to aid property management. You can find an HOA manager helping the board prioritize possible expenses, weighing in on financial matters, assessing maintenance problems, or even mediating disputes between homeowners. 

13 Top Skills to Look for in an HOA Manager

If your board is considering hiring an HOA property management company, it is important to find one that is reputable, adaptable, and skilled in their field. Keep an eye out for these skills and qualities that define a great HOA manager.  

#1: Good Leadership 

Above all, your HOA should be looking for a leader who can complete projects, rally the troops when needed, and encourage the neighborhood in a direction that benefits all parties. While, ultimately, decision-making is up to the board itself, a good HOA manager should be able to represent the board’s interests as the main point of contact for any task.

#2: Clear Communication

With lots to manage and ongoing projects to complete, a good HOA manager must have clear and consistent communication skills. The board should never be in doubt about the state of an inquiry, the next steps to resolve an ongoing problem, or the status of any neighborhood business.

#3: HOA Knowledge

Of course, you need an HOA manager with existing HOA knowledge. Their previous experience means the board won’t have to teach them what to do. Instead, they’ll bring ideas and strategies to the table that make the board’s job easier and the neighborhood a better place to live. 

#4: Contractor Experience

Finding contractors you can trust is one of the least appealing jobs for an HOA board member. This is why it’s nice to have an HOA manager who brings contractor experience and relationships to the table. Never again will the HOA board need to worry about project management or completion. 

#5: Accounting Skills

Keeping the books up to date, membership fees paid, and fines accounted for is a job in itself. Unless you have a member with this specialty, HOA boards do not always have the financial and account expertise to function at the highest level possible. Here’s one place a great HOA manager can prove their worth by taking the bookkeeping burden off your shoulders. 

#6: Licensing

Depending on state laws and requirements, HOA managers and firms may need to be licensed. The right ones are. Your manager or management team should always be up to date on licensing and legally allowed to operate a business in their geographical location. 

#7: Always Available

This one is within reason, of course. While one person can’t feasibly be available 24/7, the right HOA manager or HOA property management company will have systems in place to handle requests and issues 24/7, whether that’s through a hotline, online submission service, a direct phone call, or something new.

#8: Mediation Experience

Every neighborhood experiences conflict. It’s just part of being human. The right HOA manager understands neighbor conflict and has experience mediating difficult situations. They should be able to strike a balance between keeping the community and board focused while de-escalating disputes whenever possible. Beyond having good people skills, this takes experience working with HOAs over the years in various scenarios.

#9: Judge-like Fairness

Folded into their mediation experience, a good HOA manager approaches each situation without bias and can bring satisfaction to all parties involved. They dispense judgment fairly, and the neighborhood (and board) trust their decisions. Remember that an HOA manager’s reputation reflects on your own when they represent you. 

#10: Community-Minded

HOAs are a unique form of community, where a diverse group of individuals, each running on separate schedules, contributes to shared spaces that are very much a part of their home. . An HOA management company will assess the neighborhood's needs and find realistic ways to encourage and incentivize community involvement, so neighbors find ways to connect and relate beyond the occasional sidewalk nod or wave.

#11: Solid Multitasker

A good HOA manager can oversee several projects simultaneously and keep many metaphorical plates spinning. If on any given day, the shared cul-de-sac needs updated lawn care, the website is getting updated, and a neighbor dispute needs to be resolved, it shouldn’t be difficult for the right HOA manager to keep everything moving smoothly and on schedule.

#12: Software Specialty

Like accounting skills, the board is not always equipped with the right expertise to function at the highest level possible regarding tech, which is why you need an HOA manager who does. They should know what software is available for HOA management and the expertise to implement whatever’s best for your neighborhood.

#13: Patience

The final skill on our list is patience. Because managing a neighborhood of homeowners with both shared and individual needs is no easy feat, you need an HOA manager with unwavering patience to take it all in stride. With that patience comes an understanding of the different priorities of your HOA members and the professionalism to balance them in a way that benefits everyone involved.

How does an HOA Manager Help the Board?

Being a board member is typically a thankless volunteer position with a term of one to several years that’s rarely appreciated for all the work involved.

Having a property manager can significantly reduce the workload of all HOA board members. An HOA manager reduces board members’ workload by caring for financial, administrative, and physical management aspects of the HOA neighborhood property

How to Hire an HOA Property Management Company

Every important decision begins with a simple search. Luckily, All Property Management offers an extensive network of qualified HOA management companies and resources to help you get the best results for your specific needs. 

Keep in mind that determining the right management company is a long-term decision, and changeover costs can be high, so review candidates thoroughly before making a final decision. This ensures that you’ll get the most value out of your investment and have an expert partner to make your community an even better place to live. 

Start the search for your ideal HOA property manager today.

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