In today’s world you can rent a movie, order a meal and make a stock trade with a few clicks—so why does HOA management seem to be stuck in the past? Other management companies have tried to address this question by piling more technology into their processes. However, we took a more holistic approach. Here are four ways HOA management is evolving and how we are working to reshape the way the industry operates.
The right match isn’t just for dating
At its core, property management is a people and relationship-focused business. When dealing with something as personal and important as one’s home, it’s crucial that a management company understand the human drivers and emotions involved. We believe that this is most apparent when it comes to manager/HOA fit.
There are plenty of qualified individuals who have the experience to manage an HOA. However, the manager/board/membership relationship is so crucial to the smooth functioning of the association that extreme care must be taken when determining the best manager for the job. At Keystone, we explore this fit from multiple angles before making a recommendation. We evaluate the experience, certifications and personality of a manager, then carefully consider whether these things align with what we know the HOA is seeking. Manager fit is not a “numbers game”—it’s about finding the perfect match.
Innovation is more than technology—it’s thoughtful decision-making
“Innovation” doesn’t mean launching unnecessary new technologies or arbitrarily reinventing the wheel. It’s a constant commitment to remaining flexible in order to respond to the unique needs of each individual association. HOAs have an obligation to fulfill a parliamentary procedure and many of these processes are governed by strict state laws. As such, HOAs are burdened by paperwork and slow processes. Tracking and documenting every action, decision, budget allocation (and more) takes a lot of time.
While still operating under state and local regulations, innovative property management companies are constantly on the lookout for ways to increase property values, streamline communications, strengthen member relationships and improve community enjoyment—all slotting seamlessly into the way an HOA already operates. Thoughtful management companies demonstrate proactive problem-solving, active listening and ongoing training to propel associations to the next level without disrupting current operations.
In an age of instant gratification, your HOA relationship should be long-term
In property management, like many other industries, you get what you pay for. While it may be tempting to choose the property management company with the lowest fee structure, the difference between bottom-of-the-barrel management companies and top-tier companies is exponential. That is, the high level of service delivered by reputable companies and the lack of headaches associated with low-level service providers will quickly reveal itself to be worth the investment. Reputable companies perform a multitude of services—some quite obvious, others crucial but less noticeable—that ultimately net out to be a fantastic value.
The problem is, plenty of not-so-great management companies are more than happy to charge premium rates while delivering lackluster service. We always recommend performing due diligence on any management company under consideration. This means taking your time in evaluating their proposal, asking detailed questions about issues that relate specifically to your HOA, and carefully checking all references. As your community moves toward the future, you need a property management company that will keep up and grow with you.
The extra mile is more important than ever
Property managers are tasked with helping the HOA’s board of directors in many important ways. However, these days it’s not enough for a property management company to provide administrative support, business advice, and accounting services. These are crucial, but they’re just the basics.
Today’s managers should understand the long-term objectives of the community and provide insight and guidance that builds stronger communities, both financially and socially. HOA managers are called upon to suggest ideas that help each homeowner get even more enjoyment out of the place they call home. Quality managers provide creative ideas to build deeper community engagement.
Old habits tend to die hard and some management companies are still stuck in the past. However, there are positive disruptions in every industry: transportation, banking, shopping, and more. HOA management is evolving too, and it’s exciting to see what the future holds.
Want to know more about how your HOA management company can improve your community? Our expert property managers can help.