Make sure the firm you choose can handle all of these and anything else you need it to.
Several companies also specialize in services outside of HOA management, such as property management or real estate. This could mean they have less time to focus their attention on your HOA board, or that their knowledge could be more general than a company that solely focuses on HOA management. If your HOA board requires more than minimal attention, these companies likely won’t work out for you.
Experience and knowledge
The company you choose should have extensive knowledge in managing HOAs and know what it takes for your neighborhood to be clean, supported and successful. Its staff should be up to date on all current, local HOA regulations and laws. Choose a company that has a track record of navigating frustrating or complicated issues with homeowners with professional ease.
It’s as easy as this: the longer the business has been around, the more likely it has had to problem-solve and overcome various situations and issues. The firm should serve as your advisory council when making decisions, or when you’re unsure of how to address a specific situation.
Before you enter a contract with a management company, ask them about their fee structure.
What services will your board be charged for? When are extra costs applied? Is there a set-up and exit fee? A reliable firm should provide a comprehensive list of charges before it starts working with your board. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that you get what you pay for, and cheap doesn’t mean things will get done.
At Kellison, we’re proud of our predictable pricing model, where one monthly fee covers all day-to-day management tasks.
Handling of inspections and collections
Look for a team that routinely checks their neighborhoods, either on a daily or weekly basis. The more often your HOA manager is inspecting your neighborhood, the more likely issues or problems won’t linger and can be addressed sooner.
Moreover, ensure the firm has the know-how to collect HOA fees on time, and ask what their process looks like for homeowners who are late on their dues.
One of the biggest troubles HOA boards have with their management firms is simply getting ahold of them in a timely manner. Your homeowners don’t want to wait for days — even weeks — to have a question answered by their HOA manager. You shouldn’t want to wait that long either.
Select an extremely communicative company, either by phone or email. Ask about the tools and resources they use for communication, for both homeowners and the board. Why are these the options that are available, and when can everyone expect to receive an answer?