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What Tasks Do Community Association Management Companies Handle?

Community association management companies are contracted by an HOA to work on the association’s behalf. Management companies have no decision-making power over the HOA. However, they do act at the board’s behest. An easy way to think of it is this: The board’s job is to make decisions. The management’s job is to carry them out.

So, what does this look like in practice?

The duties of management companies generally fall into three broad categories: administrative support, advisory services, and ongoing maintenance. Each is complementary to each other to maximize property values and optimize community living.

Administrative support

The efforts of a community manager should make things easier for board members to show up to meetings and make speedy, informed decisions in the best interest of the association.

Remember, HOA boards of directors are usually comprised of a group of dedicated volunteers. In addition to overseeing the association, they have busy careers and personal lives, too. Though, their dedication means they also have genuine interest in preserving property value as well.

The community manager handles time-consuming tasks so the board can focus on high-impact decision-making. With additional behind-the-scenes support from the entire community association management company, managers are responsible for daily administrative items such as:

Facilitating board meetings

Maintaining and communicating the board meeting schedule is important to keep meetings on track and productive. Also, recording and distributing board meeting minutes is part of the role to ensure everyone is aligned with what was discussed.

Prior to the board meeting, your community association management team will provide support and resources to make good business decisions based on pertinent information, such as financials, maintenance bids, and governing documents. Additionally, association management companies provide recommended courses of action to help guide board members, though, the board makes the final decisions.

Managing HOA correspondence and communications

Community association managers are the core of property communication among the membership. They are responsible for supplying and receiving communication through various methods and directing homeowners to the best possible resolution to their problems.

They are also tasked with handling the HOA’s communication through newsletters, social media, email blasts, and any other avenues deemed necessary by the board.

Planning and executing board-approved community events

Part of the administrative support involves creating a sense of connection among the membership. This is achieved through creating and distributing welcome packets for new members, as well as planning community events to motivate homeowners to utilize amenities.

Since each community is different, it’s up to the HOA manager to know and understand what homeowners value and will respond to. Planning also requires setting an event budget that will guide decision-making and creating interest around the event to encourage attendance.

Advisory services

Though the HOA board is responsible for making all decisions, community association management companies have deep experience and expertise in management best practices. It’s wise to seek their input. Their knowledge and experience is invaluable to ensure HOAs act lawfully.

Though HOA management companies will refer the board to the association’s attorney for legal advice, managers can provide guidance on most other matters, including reserve allocation, current trends in amenities, vendor comparison, planning for capital improvements, community-building activities and developing the community’s long-term strategic plan.

Over time, most boards learn to trust their management company’s expertise, thus increasing the efficiency of operations overall. We’ve seen the powerful benefits of a strong manager/HOA relationship, which is why we place so much emphasis on finding the right managerial fit.

Ongoing maintenance

The community manager provides a “boots-on-the-ground” presence on behalf of the board. Managers conduct regular inspections of the property to make sure common areas are in good working order and members are abiding by the association’s rules and regulations. They also handle the day-to-day communications and coordination with vendors, both for standard maintenance contracts and special one-off projects.

As a time-saving measure, many boards pre-authorize their manager to oversee certain low-expenditure projects on their behalf, in place of requiring approval from the board for every small task. They authorize the manager to handle minor items, such as repairing broken sprinkler heads, replacing lighting, or overseeing simple plumbing repairs in common spaces.

The manager is always responsible for providing a real-time balance sheet of expenses at board meetings and/or upon specific request from the board. Not all associations choose to grant this responsibility to their community manager – like all things, it’s up to the discretion of each board of directors.

What do managerial duties look like in practice?

Ultimately, the community association manager is responsible for carrying out the directives of the board. They must do so following the governing docs and ensure everything is within the approved budget and project scope.

Though the amount of support HOAs receive from their community association management companies may seem overwhelming, the reality is that this wide breadth of services fits seamlessly into day-to-day workflow.

Here’s an example:

During a weekly walk-through, the community manager notices that the streets need to be re-sealed (Ongoing Maintenance). The manager adds the topic to the next board meeting agenda (Administrative Support). At the meeting, the manager shares bids and provides a recommendation for the vendor who fits the HOA’s budget, timeline and service requirements (Advisory Services). After the board makes a decision, the manager is tasked with overseeing the contract and project execution (Administrative Support).

The extensive amount of responsibilities undertaken by community association management companies ultimately add up to a full-time job. Management companies provide crucial, hands-on support to associations – some of which is obvious, some is less noticeable but equally important. All the tasks performed by management companies ladder up to a single, overriding objective: to protect the property values in the association and build a thriving, welcoming community.

How onsite community association management make a difference

Not all HOA management companies provide onsite availability. However, there’s a noticeable difference when you have a management team deeply integrated within your community full-time. Boards and homeowners can put a face to a name, plus, have support services extending beyond the property itself. Many of the behind-the-scene services Keystone provides include:

  • Financial reporting
  • Annual report preparation
  • Architectural processing services
  • Managing online member and board portals
  • Boarding training programs
  • … and more.

Having an onsite manager paves the way for fostering genuine connections and being invested in the success of the property and its members. Due to the hands-on approach of having someone on property, there’s an additional level of service and care that comes with the three general categories of service.

Working collaboratively helps maintain high property values and make the community an enjoyable place to live. With the right community association management company to help you reach your goals, you’ll start to notice a positive difference.

Want to know more about how your association dues are spent? Our experienced community managers are here to help.

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