The right management company makes a massive difference in how your HOA is run. Lots of companies boast the same offerings, so knowing what to look for can present a challenge in your search. As a region that has grown substantially over the last 40 years, southern California’s Inland Empire has lots of property management firms competing for your attention. Here’s what to look for when evaluating whether the HOA management company is right for your community.
What is their communication policy?
Communication should be a top priority for any management company you’re considering. Responding quickly to questions from the HOA board or homeowners–even if it’s just to acknowledge receipt–shows your association they are a priority. Look for property management firms that articulate a clear and consistent policy. Associations should expect a response in under 24 hours– faster in cases of emergency.
How do they follow up and follow through?
Ask the management company to outline their process for closing the loop on communications and action items. There should be a clear process for documenting requests, maintaining status reports, and closing out completed tasks. A detailed process ensures your board is aware of every project’s status at all times, thus saving time and runaround.
How do they find the right manager fit?
All managers bring unique skills and experience to the HOAs they manage. Not every manager will be the right fit for a community. Ask the property management company to walk you through their process for determining which manager would be assigned to your property. In addition to the manager’s professional background and certifications, the company should seek to learn more about your HOA’s needs and the management style that makes the most sense to help your community accomplish your goals. Ask if there are any managers at the company with previous experience with Inland Empire property management already. This will ensure the manager understands the unique challenges of communities in the area.
What is their process for handling violations and delinquent assessments?
Ask potential management companies to outline their violation and delinquent assessment process. Does it align with how you want to run your HOA? Some associations prefer a more formal process, while others may take a slightly more relaxed approach. All HOAs must operate within the guidelines of California civil code, but there is some leeway in how communications are delivered.
Ask for samples of violation letters and request they share a standard timeline of what happens from the moment a violation is noted. Look for management companies that have a clearly defined process, consistent communication strategy, and who can provide your board with guidance throughout the process. If there are specific issues facing your community, bring them up during the interview process to get an understanding of exactly how the management company would handle your challenge.
Does the company have a history of Inland Empire property management?
Management companies without a proven track record in the area may not be deeply familiar with the legislation governing Inland Empire communities or the specific environmental challenges faced by valley and desert communities. They may also be splitting their attention between inland communities and the coast, occupying precious commute time that could detract from their ability to provide superior service. HOA management companies in the Inland Empire have a stronger understanding of how the area has evolved in recent years and the challenges these communities face as they strive to maintain property values.
Partnering with a new HOA management company is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Your comprehensive evaluation process should probe into the company’s history, qualifications, and current practices. By creating an apples-to-apples comparison, a clearer picture will start to emerge of the company that will ultimately be able to deliver the service levels you expect.
Is your Inland Empire HOA looking for a new property management company? Contact Keystone today and we’ll show you what we can do for your community.