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Self Management Frequently Asked Questions

 

We have a limited budget; can we afford the services you provide?

Our services are less expensive than other management companies because your volunteers are doing for free what other communities pay a manager. Furthermore, we allow you to choose from our services to stay within your budget.

 

We do not want a management company running every aspect of our association; do we have to subscribe to all of your services?

No, our solutions and services can be tailored to provide the level of services that you need today with the flexibility of adding or removing services as your needs change.

 

If we are or become self-managed, does that mean we have to stay self-managed?

No, we recognize that there may be times that a community finds itself without volunteers. We are ready to step in and provide the support that your community needs. Our solutions and services can be tailored to provide the level of services that you need today with the flexibility of adding or removing services as your needs change.

 

Why do we need a management company if we choose to self-manage?

Who will prepare the budgets and monthly financial reports, or sign off on resale documents for prospective buyers? Who will act as monthly-fee debt collector? Who will keep the associations files and ensure they are up-to-date and accessible? Who knows what the appropriate insurance coverage is for the association and how new state laws will affect the covenants governing the community?

There are numerous aspects to running an association that require much attention. It can be a full time job keeping up with all of the tasks required of the board. An experienced management company can take care of these tasks providing the board with valuable time to attend to community matters.

 

Can we save money by self-managing our community?

Yes, by utilizing volunteers in your community to handle violation enforcement, architectural requests, and work orders you can typically cut your management expenses by up to half.

 

Can volunteers share duties?

Certainly, one may be responsible for keeping up with architectural requests. Another for handling the violation process. Repairs, bidding and projects could be handled by a committee.

 

Do we have to buy software to run your self-managed programs?

No, all you need is a computer with high-speed internet access to use our service.

 

Are the web-based self-management applications difficult to use?

They are very easy to use, if you can navigate a webpage on the internet, then you can use our applications. Also, we provide both written and instructor led training to your board.

 

How do we know if self-management will work for us?

Self-management will only work if you have volunteers that: Have and take the time to provide consistent services. Are fair and objective Take the time to understand what their functions are. Are accountable in keeping deadlines

 

We have been self-managed and affairs are a mess. Where do we begin?

Our review your collections policies and delinquency status comes first. Recommendations are offered both as to policy and counsel as needed. We will review your docs with respect to enforcement and architectural requests. After our assessment, we will provide you with recommendations and processes. Recommendations are just that. The Board is boss. Once you decide how you want your community run, we handle the setup, schedule your training and provide you with all of the tools you need. We will even prepare letters to the owners so that they have all that they need to know.

 

If we become self managed how will we keep up with changes to the law?

When a change occurs, Vanguard will email one or more summaries of those changes to all Board Members. Most of the changes to the statutes typically affect the accounting, administrative and collections services for which Vanguard is responsible.

 

I have been told that knowing the law is not enough. Is it true that I have to be aware of court cases and rulings?

We do from time to time share some rulings and court cases. These are items of interest and could have bearing on future legislation or current cases in court. However, if one were to matter, Vanguard would pass along any information.

 

Is there a fee for these updates and what if I do not understand them?

There is no fee for the information. However if your board requires the time of a professional to understand them, expect a fee. You may schedule a meeting with association counsel or schedule some time with our support staff. We can address your entire Board in person or conference call. Furthermore, there is typically a good deal of information available on line that will help clarification. We and other industry specialists also hold free seminars on such matters.

 

If we become a self-managed association, will we have to handle our own accounting?

No, we provide coupons and direct-debit to process payments to your bank daily. We send out violation notices based upon your community's collection policy. We keep you legal, keeping your insurance active, and stay on top of your state and federal reports and filings. To ensure continuity to your association our self-managed solution includes all of your day to day accounting and assessment collection needs.

 

If Vanguard will do our accounting and collections, can't we just use QuickBooks?

Of course, you could track repairs in QuickBooks, but the program is complicated. However, what software would you use to track violations and architectural requests? Will you start a website too? With our solution, anyone in your community can logon to check their payment history or architectural request and/or reply to a violation letter.

 

Who do we turn to if we need advice or guidance using your self-management system?

The system is very easy to follow. Your volunteers are provided with a very detailed manual with many screen shots making it an easy read. Furthermore, training is provided on line and regularly. Custom training is also available.

 

How are our owners allowed to pay?

Typically we issue coupons. Direct-debit, credit card and e-check are acceptable. There is a fee paid by those who choose to pay by credit card and e-check.

 

We have had full service with Vanguard for years. Why have you never offered us the option of self-management before?

In a perfect world, full service management is a community's best form of protection and will typically provide better service. However, changes to our economy have had a significant affect on many communities. Furthermore, there have been advances in technology that now make such a service possible. Three years ago this was not an option. Finally, unemployment has provided many communities with qualified volunteers. Our self-management solution offers any community the opportunity to achieve a level of service comparable to that offered by full service management.

 

Can we keep our current bank account?

Yes, you may keep your current bank account. However, your bank does not have the software to integrate your daily deposits into our accounting system. An account will be needed for this purpose. You will likely be pleasantly surprised at some of the banking benefits that we are able to offer you.

 

How do we become self managed?

Contact us to schedule an appointment to learn more!

 

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