How to Get the Most from Your On-Site Community Management
On-site community management has some specific characteristics that differ from portfolio management. Though the manager’s core function is still the same—to support the HOA by carrying out the directives of the board—on-site management brings its own unique opportunities to capitalize on the features and amenities of your community. If your community features an on-site management staff, here’s how to get a greater benefit from their role in your HOA.
Find the right fit
While it’s always important to choose the right managerial fit for your community, in on-site community management it’s especially critical to find the ideal person for the role of general manager. Our process for finding the right general manager fit for a community involves reviewing skills and experience, in-depth personality profiling, and conducting multiple rounds of interviews—before we even present stand-out candidates to an HOA board. In some ways, on-site managers are a bit like small town mayors. Because their job involves a full-time commitment to a single community, they form strong relationships with board members and homeowners and are involved in every aspect of a community’s success. Therefore, in addition to qualifications like experience, length of time in the industry, and professional certifications, on-site general managers should be proactive and independently seek out ways to further the community’s best interest.
Build a stellar team
In order to maximize your on-site management team’s potential, your general manager must bring on other qualified professionals who share the community’s vision. Recreation directors, maintenance directors, administration directors, security directors and other support staff should possess expertise in their particular field and feel comfortable working together to achieve a common purpose. Think of your management team as a single unit dedicated to bringing to life what’s important to your community. The job of your on-site management team is to translate those needs into a structure that meets your budget and service requirements.
Strong support systems
Make sure that your on-site community management team has a comprehensive support system behind them to better serve your community. Beyond what you see every day in their office in your community, on-site property managers have the backing of expert administrative, accounting and IT services as part of the overall management plan. Important features like payroll processing, online dues and assessments payments and community websites are managed and maintained by the management company, all overseen by your manager. These services are unseen team behind your management team, consolidating their expertise to make sure that your HOA receives top-notch service. In this way, HOAs achieve an economy of scale, since these functions are part of the overall management company contract.
Whether you are looking for a new on-site community manager or would like your current on-site team to be more proactive, here are some tips to help them serve your community better.
- Discuss your community’s goals with your management partner. What is your community’s strategic plan for the next year? Three years? Five years? How will your plans influence the structure of your on-site community management?
- Talk about the service level your HOA would like to see from your on-site team. If you feel like you have too few (or too many) staff in place, talk to your management company about what positions should be in place and why.
- Solicit your general manager’s input. The right on-site manager will have lots of ideas about how to run your community more efficiently and how your HOA can be more effective. They’ll provide suggestions, analyze current trends, and help you develop a working plan to take your community to the next level. Empower them to contribute their knowledge and ideas. Their insight is incredibly valuable.
Few people will understand the depth and scope of your community more thoroughly than an on-site manager. These dedicated professionals become deeply interconnected with the community they serve, creating close personal bonds with both the HOA board and individual homeowners. Tap their expertise and take advantage of their attention to build a strong sense of community and lifestyle that is unique to your HOA.
Are you wondering if on-site community management is right for your HOA? Our homeowners association management experts will help you figure out the best solution.
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