Why Hire an Association Manager?

Did you hire the right HOA Manager?  Because all homeowners share in the risk of litigation or how their HOA is managed, the responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of their HOA manager.  Their indecision, their inability to manage risks or their self-righteous behavior is liable in a court of law, and could result in higher financial assessments on all homeowners.

Your managers duties range from collecting dues and managing the association’s finances, to enforcing HOA policies, handling maintenance issues, resolving conflicts and dealing with legal matters.  The complexity of the work often exceeds their available skill set, so hiring a third party manager is the best solution.

Here are few considerations to measure your HOA management company:

Availability: Depending on the size of your community, you may need an on-site manager or have to outsource to a professional HOA management company.  Be sure you have a clear idea of your manager’s daily, weekly, and monthly availability; how homeowners have access to help or their account information; as well as, how many hours a month they plan to devote to your association.  Remember, they provide a management service to your membership and work for all homeowners.

Credentials: While most states do not require credentials or standards of operation, there are a few important considerations that management companies should possess.  One, are they a member of the Community Association Institute (CAI)?  CAI is a national association of HOA managers, provides association credentials, continuing education, guidance and standards for managing.  Second, does the management company have a history of litigation?  This is a must question, as experience in court proceedings can be invaluable.  Given the complex nature of HOA regulations, you may want to consider their collection and enforcement experience and ask about outcomes.  Finally, do they have the tools to accurately manage the association’s finances?

Communication and conflict resolution skills:  When evaluating their work experience, pay special attention to their communication and conflict resolution abilities.  Ask each candidate for examples, and be sure to touch on these points when checking their references.

Vendor network: One major asset that a professional association manager can bring to the table is an established team of vendors across a wide variety of functions.  Be sure to ask about their go-to teams of professionals and how long they’ve worked with each company or individual. You might also ask to price out a project or two, and then, compare the bids of each candidate.

Contract duration:  Once you’ve identified the right fit, make sure the terms of the contract are acceptable.  Typically, a contract runs for a year and allows for termination within 30 to 90 days’ notice.  If a company insists on a longer contract or does not include a termination clause, you may want to move to the next candidate on your list.

A good example of a professional, HOA management company in Idaho is MGM Association Management.  MGM is the largest association management company in Idaho, is a member of CAI, and has served HOAs for two decades.  They provide online access to personal HOA financial accounts, basic bookkeeping services to customized, full-service management of subdivisions, neighborhoods, townhouses, condominiums and homeowner associations.  For more information about MGM, call (208) 846-9189, or visit http://www.gomgm.com.



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