The mere mention of homeowners associations, more commonly known as an HOA, can send chills down the spines of homeowners everywhere. The process of purchasing a home is complex and stressful, full of tiny details and tasks. Securing a mortgage loan, obtaining home insurance quotes, check out the neighborhood, and many other details define the home buying experience. What they shouldn’t have to worry about is dealing with poor management at their HOA. That’s where you come in. As an HOA/community manager, it behooves you to do everything in your power to be an exceptional leader. Good management leads to happier homeowners and a smoothly running community. Ensuring you take the time to understand what is needed and how to accomplish it is only the first step in a long line of mission-critical goals to meet as a successful manager. In this article, we’ll cover five ways to become an exceptional leader at your HOA. Let’s dive right in!
- Define Rules For Maintaining Common Areas
- Contract With Reputable Vendors
- Understand CC & RS
- Automate Dues Collecting
- Be Transparent With Homeowners
Maintaining common areas in a homeowners association can be tricky. Residents need to be able to take advantage of the amenities of the area but also need to keep it nice. Everything should remain functional and intact. If there are any problems, set forth procedures for reporting them. If something goes missing or something needs a repair, there should be a reporting process in place to help residents form management of such concerns. Everyone needs to follow the same guidelines and make that common area a worthwhile place to spend some quality time. Some general guidelines to keep in mind include (but aren’t limited to) avoiding parking on the grass, keeping walkways clear of debris, and not planting trees or shrubs too close to sidewalks. If everyone follows these simple rules, it will make maintaining the common areas much easier for everyone involved. Boards also inspect the common areas, depending on the legal requirements of the community. And that’s something that can make any community better!
Significant part of running a homeowners association is allowing for repairs, hiring vendors, and overseeing any maintenance requests. Setting up contracts with reputable vendors is important. But there’s more to the vetting process than that. You should hire vendors that have a track record of high quality work. They should also be available to perform the work within a reasonable time frame. When you are obtaining quotes, it’s important for vendors to outline the scope of work so that you can weigh it against your budget and determine the right course of action. Maintaining a roster of high quality vendors who can handle any task is critical to HOA success and keeping residents happy.
One of the core concepts of an HOA is to maintain, improve, and enhance the value of neighborhood properties. As a manager, it’s critical to understand the rules and regulations set forth by the association. These are covered in a document known as covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). CC&R’s outline what you can and can’t do with your property. Encourage residents to read them carefully before buying into the HOA and ensure you fully understand them yourself (along with reinforcing them with the help of the board). If residents have any questions or concerns about the CC&Rs, they should be able to freely speak with you or your management company to get a better grasp on them.
Sometimes, the thought of paying dues can inspire a feeling of dread in the hearts of most homeowners. Using HOA management software is the best way to handle all your dues collecting, processing, and budgeting needs. Homeowners can pay their dues online, access records, and set up payments. In turn, managers can use the system as a comprehensive database to inform future board budgets and decisions. By leveraging automation to streamline running the organization, you can provide a better experience for everyone across the entire HOA.
Whether they’re wanting to repaint their house, get better home insurance, or change the outward appearance of their home, residents want to be heard. As a board member or manager of an HOA, it is important to be transparent with homeowners. This means being open and honest about the decisions made by the board. You must also share financial information, be open about discussing upcoming projects, and be very transparent about what’s happening with the reserve fund. topics. Homeowners should feel like they can trust their board members and association management. Work toward inspiring confidence among the community and help homeowners feel they can give you feedback whenever appropriate. Taking community feedback and getting involved with homeowners is the quickest route to successfully running an HOA that residents will enjoy being part of for a long time to come.
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.