Many homeowners associations look for community managers with years of experience managing similar communities in the area. While experience is certainly important, the real value for an HOA comes from finding the right fit between the manager and the community. It’s one thing for a manager to be technically competent or have seen it all, but if the manager is simply the wrong personality fit for a community, hiccups are bound to occur.
Why finding the right fit is important
Community management is about more than issuing notices and obtaining bids from contractors. A manager provides significant value by understanding the community’s overall goals in addition to the daily ins and outs of community management. In this way, the manager contributes to the community’s long-term success by helping to preserve and protect property values. An enthusiastic manager helps to inspire communities and reinforces the bond between the residents, the HOA board, and the management company.
How your HOA board can identify the right candidate
Finding the right fit requires being honest and upfront about the strengths and weaknesses of your board and your community as a whole. By laying everything out on the table, you can accurately evaluate the type of personality and approach that would best benefit your community. Some communities require a manager who is a stickler for the rules to get residents back on track. Other communities need a manager with a relaxed approach who is more focused on building community spirit. Your board can contribute to the process by keeping the following in mind:
- Avoid defaulting to the most experienced manager. The manager with the most experience might not be the right personality fit, which ultimately may not be the best choice for your community.
- Collaborate with your management company. Be clear about your expectations and needs. This helps your management company accurately determine which manager has the best chance of success.
- Take the time to meet with potential candidates. Discuss your impression of the manager internally and with your management company. Voice any questions right away so your management company can address your concerns or suggest replacement candidates.
Communicate clearly and give it some time
Set clear expectations and timelines for your manager so s/he has tangible goals to work toward. As with any new job, a community manager needs some time to settle into the position. Remember that things can change over time. Evaluate your manager’s performance regularly and discuss any concerns you have with your management company.
Positive feedback goes a long way
Positive reinforcement is necessary to keep any employee engaged and enthusiastic. When you see behavior or results you love from your community manager, speak up! Send a thank you note, quick email or leave an encouraging voicemail. Tell your management company how well your manager is doing. Remember to be specific. By doing so, you let your manager know that s/he is on the right track and help your management company get a better idea of what’s important to you so they can better serve your community moving forward.
Quality community association management requires a lot of moving pieces to fit together smoothly. As with any relationship, personality fit is crucial in order to foster a successful long-term bond. Remember that your manager is there to help your community thrive. By selecting a manager with the right personality fit for your needs, you give your community the best chance at stability, security, and long-lasting success.
For additional questions about how to choose the most appropriate manager for your community, contact Keystone Pacific at (949) 833-2600 and we’ll show you our proven process for selecting the right managerial fit.