Self management can be a costly mistake for homeowner Associations. Volunteers often lack the experience to effectively take on the duties of Association management: collecting dues, paying bills, handling maintenance, record keeping, and rules enforcement.
A much more beneficial and sustainable situation is one in which service to the community does not diminish the volunteer’s ability to enjoy living in their community. The best way to take pressure off your volunteer Board is to hire a professional to manage the day-to-day affairs of the association. Start by considering these four reasons why you might want to hire a manager:
Managing a homeowners’ association requires a significant investment of time and labor. On any given day tasks might include responding to homeowner calls, arranging maintenance appointments for both emergency and everyday repairs, writing enforcement letters, dealing with the grounds contractor, posting assessment payments, preparing financial statements, and consulting with the association attorney on collections and other legal matters. If this sounds like a full time job, you might want to let your homeowners be homeowners and hire an experienced agent to perform these duties.
In addition to technical specifications and various questions of law, finance, and governance, you need to have more than a passing familiarity with local, state, and federal laws that apply to everyday workings of your community. Yours would not be the first board to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of knowledge it must possess. Good professional managers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, making them a valuable resource for the board.
Board members might come and go, but a manager can offer a common thread that links one administration to the next. Why does this matter? Having a consistent management team ensures continuity when it comes to record keeping, budgeting, dealings with contractors, suppliers, and professional service providers, and even the relationships with your residents.
The board should be a decision-making body, but too often the day-to-day distractions of educating residents and attempting to meet their expectations can pull managing board members away from the big picture. Professional management can provide an administrative buffer, giving your residents the attention they deserve and freeing the board to focus on those decisions that affect the long-term viability of the community.