Best 4 Questions to Ask When Hiring an HOA Management Company
Finding the perfect fit for your community’s association management company can be a complex mission. There are many options to choose from, and many questions to consider. It can be an overwhelming process. This is a decision that will have an effect on an entire neighborhood of homeowners yet, will ease the burden of the volunteer Board members.
The first order of business in making a decision to use an association management company is to assess the needs you have. Most HOA management companies can be hired to do all or just part of administration needs. Likewise, not all management companies offer all services. When reviewing these options, be sure to only consider companies that offer what you need. Once you understand the services that your association desires, it is time to search and ask questions.
Here Are a Few Questions to Consider When Hiring an HOA Management Company
#1 What services does each HOA Management Company Offer?
Each neighborhood is different; therefore each one has specific needs. Similarly, each HOA management company is different. The common services offered include communication, financial, administration, customer service, and maintenance. Some offer more inclusive service packages. It is also imperative to inquire their level of involvement with the community. Are they a proactive company, ahead of the issues? Or, are they more reactive, responding when there is an issue? Ask specific questions to determine what “full-service” means and feel free to ask to look over a typical contract for the services you require. Finally, ask about other resources that you may need on a temporary or as-needed basis such as legal help, human resources, or training.
#2 What and how does the HOA management company charge for services?
This decision, to use an association management company, is an investment in your community. It can be a costly one. Typically, there isn’t a set fee schedule so each company will set its own rates. While a good price is tempting, sacrificing service or reputation is not worth it. Your community management company should always be working toward your community’s best interests. Compare the prices on all services offered, services that are packaged together, and those that are as-needed. Some companies may have a higher contract price but may offer more services or better quality. Beware of HOA management companies who offer a price that is too-good-to-be-true because chances are it is. Reputation matters so be sure to check references.
#3 Is this HOA management company up to date with current regulations, laws, and management issues?
HOA laws are always changing and a professional management company should constantly be on top of changes in regulations and laws, both locally and in the state. If a lawsuit is filed, you need to be confident that your HOA management company can handle the issue. Proper staff, professional memberships, training, and qualifications to deal with possible legal situations is imperative. Experience is also crucial.
#4 How often will this HOA management company communicate with us? Are they transparent?
Remember, even though you are hiring this company to manage your community association, it is YOUR association. Your HOA management company should be completely transparent with the Board of Directors and the lines of communication should always be open. Look for an association management company that sets up a regular schedule of communication regarding finances, violations, vendors, and law changes. Attendance at regular Board meetings is important in providing excellent management support. Your HOA management company should be accessible to all Board members 24/7. If you hire a management company that lacks in communication, it could cause mistrust and confusion.
It is important to have all of your questions answered before hiring your HOA management company.
You want a community management company that has similar ideologies and thoughts when it comes to your community and they should value your neighborhood as if they live there. Do not sign a contract until your Board is satisfied that this company is a good fit for your community. Remember, the HOA is hiring them to make the Board’s job easier!