An HOA manager can be a great asset to any homeowners association. Far too many communities, though, would rather stick it out with self-management because it is the perceivably cheaper option. While you can save money this way, the benefits of professional management certainly outweigh the costs.
What Does an HOA Manager Do?
An HOA manager is a third-party professional who manages communities, including homeowners associations, condo associations, and other common interest developments. A manager helps board members run their associations. An HOA may hire an independent manager or a management company that assigns managers to each community.
The responsibilities of an HOA manager greatly depend on the agreement between the association and the manager or company. If an association only needs select services, then the manager will only be in charge of those services.
Generally, though, the HOA manager fulfills the following duties:
- Assisting the board in preparing the annual budget
- Preparing financial statements
- Conducting inspections of the community
- Vetting and coordinating with vendors
- Assisting with insurance management
- Communicating with homeowners
- Helping with dispute resolution
- Enforcing the rules and regulations of the association
- Preparing and distributing meeting notices
- Helping the association comply with legal requirements and guidelines
- Advising the board on legal matters and other issues
What Are the Benefits of Hiring an HOA Manager?
Having an HOA manager can significantly increase productivity and reduce the board’s workload. Board members don’t always have sufficient time to devote to the association. After all, board members are just volunteers, and they usually have other priorities to juggle. Other than saving time, though, there are other benefits to hiring an HOA manager.
1. Expert Accounting and Financial Management
Accounting and financial management is one of the most difficult aspects of running a community. Board members usually lack the knowledge required to maintain accurate records, manage the association’s funds, and prepare financial reports. All of these things, though, can be assumed by an HOA manager.
An HOA manager can maintain the association’s books, including the general ledger. They can also help the board prepare the annual budget and ensure all expenditures are within the budget itself. In addition to this, the manager can create financial statements, reconcile bank accounts, and prepare tax returns.
In addition to this, many HOA management companies also offer reserve planning services. This can allow your association to maintain the correct level of funding for your reserves at any given time. As a result, you can protect your assets and be prepared for any major replacement costs in the future.
2. Access to Legal Assistance
Homeowners associations deal with legal matters all the time – from interpreting and amending governing documents to complying with local ordinances. There are several federal and state laws that HOAs should know about. At the federal level, the Fair Housing Act and the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act are two big ones.
State laws, on the other hand, can differ dramatically. As such, hiring a local manager is beneficial. Board members usually have to rely on their insight when it comes to these things. With an HOA manager, your board can feel more at ease.
Managers are typically well-versed in the laws that affect homeowners associations and condominiums. They are even familiar with laws that apply to corporations. Therefore, an HOA manager can help your community remain compliant with the law at all times. If you need help with any amendments or resolutions, a manager can offer guidance. Similarly, a manager can assist your board in determining the proper course of action when faced with a legal issue.
Even if an HOA manager isn’t proficient in the law, they often have connections with experienced HOA lawyers. By hiring a manager, you can gain access to their network of professionals.
3. Cut Back on Administrative Work
Administrative work is rather easy to accomplish, but it can be dull and repetitive. Plus, administrative tasks take up a lot of your board’s time. Fortunately, an HOA manager can help with this, too.
An HOA manager can prepare and send out notices, assist your board in creating agendas, maintain HOA documents, and sort through all the paperwork. They can conduct routine inspections of the common areas to ensure proper maintenance and repairs. They can also coordinate with vendors and even assist with bid preparation.
Many HOA management companies have backend teams specifically designed to assist managers with administrative work. This frees up the manager’s time to focus on bigger projects and issues. In some cases, companies even offer 24/7 emergency response services.
4. Fair and Consistent Rule Enforcement
Board members have a fiduciary responsibility to enforce the rules in a fair and consistent manner. While the board retains the right to make the final call, a manager can help with enforcement by conducting inspections, sending out notices, and upholding the governing documents. Furthermore, an HOA manager can coordinate disciplinary hearings.
There is always a risk of selective enforcement in HOAs, especially in self-managed communities. Board members may let their emotions and personal opinions guide their decisions. They might use their power to retaliate against their neighbors or show favoritism towards friends. An HOA manager, though, tends to remain impartial because they don’t know residents personally and have no skin in the game.
5. Help With Homeowner Concerns and Requests
Lastly, an HOA manager can assist the board in fielding homeowner concerns. Board members must be tired of the constant phone calls and emails they receive from residents. While some complaints are legitimate concerns or requests, others are nitpicking.
A manager can handle the horde of requests or complaints that residents file. Again, some companies have dedicated teams for this kind of thing – sorting through all the messages and prioritizing the important ones. With an HOA manager, board members can breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to a more peaceful tenure.
At the end of the day, when you hire an HOA manager, you are paying for experience and expertise. Whether you are managing a small association or a large community, having a manager can greatly benefit your board.
Landmark Community Management offers expert HOA management services to community associations in Texas. Call us today or contact us online to learn more!