Working with a community management company to oversee how your neighborhood or condo complex is run can be frustrating to those who lack a clear understanding of the purpose and role of a management company. Whether you are new to a community with a homeowners association (HOA) or have lived for decades in an area overseen by a management company, understanding how a management company serves your community can help you see added value, make smarter decisions, and enable you and your neighbors to get the most out of this important partnership.
Here are 3 key pieces of information to give you a clearer picture of how your management company fits in with your homeowners association and provides remote and on-site community management tools to help your community succeed.
1. Your management company and your community association’s Board of Directors work together–but have very different abilities and functions.
Your HOA board represents the members of your community, both literally and figuratively. Your board is comprised of residents who volunteer their time to oversee the running of the community. Communities hold regular elections to choose the Board members who best represent their interests and share a common vision for where the community is headed.
On the other hand, your community management company is an outside vendor with expertise in the legal requirements and day-to-day operations that help communities function smoothly. Most management companies have significant experience handling the myriad challenges associated with overseeing a community. These include providing expert recommendations regarding liability issues, interpersonal conflicts, outside vendor selection and management, and long- and short-term financial guidance.
In short, your HOA Board of Directors establishes the rules and direction for your community, while the management company advises the board on business issues and carries out those orders.
2. Your community association’s Board of Directors and your management company have the same goal: to protect your property values and increase the enjoyment of your community.
Though they serve different functions, your board and your management company work together to achieve the same objective. Your HOA Board establishes and maintains a vision for your community while your management company offers advice to achieve that vision in the way that makes the most economic sense while staying legally compliant.
Your Board of Directors establishes rules and regulations that they think will most successfully maintain and/or increase your community’s value. They utilize the management company’s expertise to help guide that process, provide input into precedent and other legal compliance considerations, and add suggestions that the board might overlook. Though the management company offers input based on experience guiding communities toward success, ultimately the responsibility for all decisions rests on the shoulders of the board of directors.
3. In order for a community to thrive, there must be clear communication and an ongoing partnership between residents, the HOA Board, and the management company.
Clear communication between these three groups is the grease that keeps the machine running smoothly. Read your community’s rules & regulations and election materials, attend board meetings and ask questions, and use your community management company’s website as an educational resource.
If you’re unclear as to why a rule is in place, reach out to a board member or your community manager and ask for clarification. In return, your Board and management company should provide logical reasoning behind rules and regulations and frequent updates about decisions that have an impact on your community.
Be aware that if you are dissatisfied with the way your community is being governed, you have the ability to influence it! Your community is run by people just like you and their job is to make decisions that work on behalf of all homeowners. Attend board meetings to ask questions and offer your opinion, volunteer to be on a committee to oversee decisions about which you are passionate, or run for elected office yourself. Through your personal participation, you have a greater ability to shape the direction of your community.
Successful communities are comprised of residents, board members and management companies who take their roles seriously and understand how each complements the others. If you have questions about community management or how to make your HOA run more smoothly, call us at (949) 833-2600 and we’ll offer advice to help your community succeed.