The problems that you encounter with your homeowner association manager are sometimes due to simple misunderstandings that can be easily fixed through proper communication. Unfortunately, there are often deeper issues at play. Here are five signs that your association should change management companies, even if your HOA has to pay a termination fee.
Good community managers appreciate the vision of the communities they work with and know what it takes to put your association on a path to success. They understand that the key to your HOA's viability is empowering the association's homeowners and board of directors, instead of themselves.
True, the community manager can help board members in areas like violation enforcement, maintenance, and capital improvement issues, and so forth. The real value of an experienced management company is that they often can bring value and insights that the boards of directors can't.
On the same note, a quality community management company knows that it's the homeowners and their representatives on the board of directors who are ultimately in charge of the association. If the management company employees become rude or too heavy-handed, this is a good sign that you should make a change. Make sure that they take the time to understand your vision and needs. If they don't, there is no way they can adequately serve your association.
Every successful relationship, whether personal or professional, relies on effective communication. If your community manager isn't available to quickly respond to phone calls or emails, this is a significant sign that it is time to switch management companies. Your schedule is already busy as it is, so the last thing that you want to do is spend more of your time following up with your management company.
The role of the community manager is to save you time and stress—they shouldn't be making your life more difficult. Quality management companies understand that communication is vital, and know that your association wants issues dealt with promptly.
Sometimes, association management companies take on work that they can't accommodate. For instance, a small management company that does a great job of performing simple day-to-day maintenance and customer service tasks can find itself in over its head if they take on major renovation or capital improvement projects that they can't handle.
Sometimes the association management company can't handle the work because they are understaffed or lack the necessary expertise or experience. Maybe the company expanded too quickly for its own good. It is also possible that a key employee left and hasn't been replaced yet. Whatever the cause, you deserve to have a management company that is capable of getting the job done.
One of the primary responsibilities of the community manager is to provide proper stewardship of your association's funds. They should regularly provide the board of directors with an accurate financial statement with a complete recording of every penny of the association's money expensed. All reputable community management companies will provide you with comprehensive and accurate financial documents.
If your board requests financial reports and never gets to see them, or only receives incomplete documentation, this is a serious red flag. In this case, they are either hiding something or are incompetent. Either way, you need a community manager that is fully transparent with your association's funds, because it is your obligation as a board member to ensure that the dues your stakeholders pay are properly accounted for.
If you are concerned about a lack of communication, unprofessional behavior, subpar work, or a lack of transparency from your community management company, the best thing to do is bring your concerns to them in a professional manner. Oftentimes, these concerns stem from genuine misunderstandings that can be corrected.
We are all human and make mistakes, so you should never expect perfection from your community manager. On the same note, it is important to understand that great community managers take the time to listen to your concerns and put the necessary work in to correct their mistakes. If your community manager does not listen to your concerns or shows no signs of improving, it is time to give them the boot and go with a management company that values your business.
Crummack Huseby is an award-winning property management company that understands what it takes to create a true community within the community associations they partner with. Our experienced HOA managers work personally with our clients to determine a management approach that is right for them. To learn more about our services, give us a call or contact us online today.
Crummack Huseby is an award-winning property management company that understands what it takes to create a community within the community associations they partner with. Our successful business partnerships with home builders, developers, and homeowner’s associations have brought value to clients throughout Southern California. Crummack Huseby Property Management obtained an AAMC® Accreditation status which highlights their focus and commitment to deliver total customer satisfaction. Our experienced managers work closely with our clients to determine the specific needs they have - to elevate, inspire and achieve their goals for their communities.