Are you in need of a new HOA management company? It is often difficult for board members to determine when it is time to make a switch. Fortunately, there are some telltale signs you can watch out for.
How to Tell If You Need New HOA Management
An HOA management company provides many benefits to homeowners associations. However, not all management companies are created equal. But how do you know when it’s time to change HOA management companies? Here are the warning signs to keep in mind.
1. Poor Quality Service
A management company should provide you with the level of service you agreed upon. If you find that your company is no longer providing high-quality services according to the contract, then it’s probably time to cut them loose.
Poor quality management can indicate that the company lacks expertise and experience. As a result, they may be more vulnerable to committing mistakes.
2. High Manager Turnover Rate
It is normal for a company to go through managers now and then. However, a high turnover rate for their managers and employees means there is more to it than meets the eye.
If you find that the company keeps assigning a new manager to your HOA, it could signal instability within the company. Managers may not be satisfied with their compensation, benefits, or the company culture, causing them to move on to better opportunities.
While these things don’t directly affect your association, they can still negatively impact your HOA. A constant stream of new managers means restarting the learning process all over again. And this can result in inconsistent management.
3. Lack of Communication
A lack of communication indicates it’s time to switch to a new HOA management company. Communication is the foundation of successful management.
If your company does not relay information to your board or residents, it could affect the entire operation. Worse yet, it could mean the company is hiding something from your HOA.
Additionally, a good management company should be able to respond to homeowner requests and concerns on time. If your company is always late in its response or does not respond, then it is not an effective management company.
4. Consistent Delays
More often than not, HOAs delegate maintenance duties to their HOA management company. Routine maintenance and repairs are necessary to ensure the functionality and appeal of the community. When a management company consistently delays maintenance, though, take it as a sign to consider other options.
5. Financial Losses and No Transparency
Financial transparency in an HOA community is imperative. The lack of it is a non-negotiable problem with HOA management companies. Homeowners associations always deal with money and often entrust funds to management.
When a management company does not practice transparency with the board and homeowners, it could mean something illegal is happening behind the scenes.
After all, embezzlement is nothing new in the HOA industry. If your management company does not provide you with financial statements or share financial information, be suspicious.
Furthermore, your management company may be responsible if your association suffers financial losses. It could indicate poor fund management or something worse.
6. Hidden Fees
Your HOA management contract should clearly detail all the management fees and services included in the deal. As such, your management company should not have any hidden or surprising costs. For instance, a company may charge you extra if you want your manager to attend more than one board meeting per quarter.
These hidden fees can significantly cripple the association. They also tell you that your management company is likely only interested in money. Besides negative financial effects, hidden fees can also sour your relationship with your management company. It can result in a lack of trust between your HOA board and your manager.
7. Compliance Issues
Homeowners associations must comply with certain laws and regulations. If your community constantly finds itself in trouble with the law, it could mean that current management needs to be more mindful or simply blatantly unaware of legal requirements. Either way, consider switching to a new HOA management company.
However, Federal, state, and local laws are not the only considerations. Your association’s governing documents also come into play. The HOA management company must uphold the provisions of your governing documents, including your bylaws and CC&Rs. If it fails to enforce the rules consistently or only follows the bylaws when convenient, you need someone new.
8. Resident Complaints
Homeowners don’t always interact with the HOA management company, so when they start to complain, you know it’s bad. It is normal to get complaints. But, if your HOA board receives multiple or consistent complaints, it means they are unsatisfied with current HOA management.
Owners might complain about unaddressed maintenance requests, problems with landscaping, or a general lack of communication. Of course, your board should investigate the matter and make sure the complaints are not unfounded. Sometimes, homeowners like to complain simply for the sake of it.
9. Poor Guidance or Misalignment in Values
Your HOA management company is not just there to help your board with administrative, financial, and maintenance work. It is there to provide your HOA board with guidance and counsel. Your manager should be able to advise you on the law, your association’s governing documents, and other matters.
For instance, if your board is having trouble resolving a dispute, your management company should offer assistance. In other words, the management company should be a pillar of support for your board. If it fails to provide guidance, it is not fulfilling its role.
Other than that, your values as a community should align with the company’s values. If your values and visions don’t match, a clash is inevitable.
For the Association’s Benefit
It can be challenging to let go of a management company, especially if you have worked with them for a long time. However, your board’s feelings should not get in the way of the community’s interests. Don’t let your association suffer the consequences of poor management. When you encounter these signs, hiring a new HOA management company is time.
Are you making a switch to a new company? Landmark Community Management should be your first choice. Call us today or contact us online for expert HOA management services!