If you are a board member of a homeowners’ association (HOA), you might find that the position you signed up for takes a lot more time than you initially thought. That’s why most HOAs hire association management companies to help them with a variety of tasks — so they can focus on policymaking and being a neighbor, while the company handles the tedious day-to-day tasks. And who really enjoys telling their neighbor what color they can (or can’t) paint their house?
Your selection of a company shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially when considering you’ll be locked into a contract with this company for at least a year. So, how do you know what qualities you should look for in your potential HOA management company? What makes this company stand out from others in Northern Colorado, and how will your board decide who is the best for the job? Check out our list of qualities to look for in your potential HOA management company below.
Whether your HOA is currently self-managed or you’re on the search for a new HOA management company, our team at Kellison is prepared to be your trusted, go-to association management team. Contact us today to see how we can help your HOA or Metro District board in Fort Collins.
Various Specialized Services
First things first, you want to ensure the HOA management firm you hire actually does what you need them to do. Most provide services that focus on administration, communication/customer service and fiscal assistance. Chances are, you need help with priorities such as:
- Board advisement
- Homeowner support
- Supervision of vendors
- Fee collection
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 who solely focuses on HOA management. If your HOA board requires more than minimal attention, these companies likely won’t work out for you. Which leads us to our next point…
Experience and Knowledge
Your association management company 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. 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.
Inevitably, your HOA board will have to deal with frustrating or complicated issues with homeowners in your neighborhood — choose a company that has a track record of navigating these with professional ease. An experienced HOA management firm can serve as your advisory council when making decisions, or when you’re unsure of how to address a specific situation.
Pro tip: Check out a list of the neighborhoods the firm manages or ask for a list if you can’t find it anywhere online.
Is there anything more frustrating than getting a higher-than-expected bill, or to be charged hidden fees and costs that weren’t initially elaborated on? Before you enter a contract with an HOA 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.
How They Handle Inspections and Collections
A majority of HOA management companies offer inspections as a service, but what exactly does that entail? 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.
According to Realtor.com, average HOA fees run around $200 to $300 per month. That’s a good chunk of change you’re asking of your homeowners to not only pay, but also pay on time. How awkward is it to ask Joe down the street to pay his fees on time? A good association management firm handle tasks like that for you, so you can continue to live in a well-regulated neighborhood.
Last but not least, find an extremely communicative company, either by phone or email. 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.
Moreover, find a company that won’t talk down to you or the homeowners in your neighborhood. Your HOA manager should effectively de-escalate any issues without being condescending. Remember, you’ll be working with the company you choose for a long time, and you want a team that will be as friendly as it is helpful.
Ask the HOA management company you’re interested in hiring 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 any answer?
Contact Our Fort Collins HOA Management Company Today
A study by iProperty Management showed that 61 percent of new housing built in the U.S. will have an HOA, meaning more and more neighborhoods are taking advantage of these beneficial neighborhood services. This means that if you’re not currently serving on an HOA board, you might one day, or if you are a current board member, your experience will be appreciated in any future neighborhoods you live in. By having a trusted management firm in your back pocket, you’ll be one step ahead of the game.
If your board is tired of tackling all of the tedious HOA tasks for your neighborhood, or your current HOA management company simply isn’t getting the job done, Kellison might be a good fit for your needs. We know how to effectively implement policies and regulations set by the board, so you have more time to focus on the “bigger picture” ideas for your neighborhood. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your HOA board.