Having an HOA manager by your side can make a huge difference in successful community management. A manager is trained and experienced in HOA management and executes actions with professionalism and fairness – things that amateur board members may struggle with.
An HOA manager is a trained third-party professional hired by an HOA or its board of directors to perform tasks, assist the board, and manage the association. Another term for an HOA manager is a community association manager or community manager.
In several states, HOA managers must possess a license to practice. In Florida, most circumstances require community association managers to be licensed to perform their duties. Those who wish to secure a license in Florida must undergo certain requirements, including education, an examination, and an application.
Sometimes, an HOA manager works independently. That means an HOA can hire the manager as a standalone individual. More often than not, though, managers work through homeowners association management companies. These HOA management companies hire managers and assign them to client communities.
There is some confusion regarding the nature of an HOA manager’s position. So, what is the primary responsibility of a community association manager? An HOA manager is largely in charge of the association's day-to-day operations. That can encompass various tasks – all contributing to the community's success.
Here are the typical responsibilities of an HOA manager.
An HOA manager usually handles the administrative tasks related to association management. This includes scheduling meetings, handling paperwork, and maintaining the community website. If an HOA hires the manager through a management company, the company normally has a separate team that deals with back-office administrative work.
The HOA manager helps the board with budget planning, ensuring the association is prepared for expenses. The manager also assists with dues collection, allowing homeowners to pay their dues through several methods.
Delinquencies are a sore spot for many associations, with most boards having difficulty collecting unpaid dues. With an HOA manager, the board can delegate this job to a trained professional.
Additionally, the HOA manager provides financial reporting services. The manager or management company prepares the financial statements monthly and at the end of every fiscal year. These statements include but are not limited to the income statement, the balance sheet, and the general ledger.
Financial reporting services don’t stop there, though. The HOA manager also helps the board analyze the financial statements to gauge the organization's financial health and prepare for the future.
Most associations need the help of third-party vendors to carry out various tasks, such as cleaning, maintenance, and landscaping. The HOA manager’s job is to assist the board with the vendor selection process. This includes sending a request for proposal (RFP) and screening candidates.
The HOA manager also manages existing vendors, ensuring they complete their work on time and satisfactorily. If any contracts are up for renewal or termination, the HOA manager also helps the board with those.
The HOA board is responsible for enforcing the rules, but it often needs help from the community manager. While the board reserves the final say, the manager can assist with other enforcement aspects. These include sending violation notices, conducting inspections for compliance, and scheduling disciplinary hearings.
Communication is the key to a successful association, but most boards are too busy to ensure proper communication. This is where an HOA manager comes in.
An HOA manager is responsible for resident communication. This includes sending out notices or letters, fielding calls and emails from owners, and responding to requests. The HOA manager also assists with board communications, sometimes attending board meetings.
It is part of an HOA manager’s job to ensure maintenance and repairs for the association's common areas. To do this, the manager coordinates with vendors, scheduling their work and ensuring completion. The manager also performs frequent inspections to ensure everything is in good working order.
Recordkeeping is an often overlooked aspect of managing an association. However, it is equally important. The HOA manager can ensure proper documentation and record management through various tools and processes. Additionally, if an owner requests to inspect a record, the manager can ensure compliance with state laws and governing documents.
While it is best to seek legal advice from a lawyer, an HOA manager generally knows federal and state laws that affect associations. As such, HOA boards can turn to the manager for assistance. Moreover, if an HOA hires a manager through a management company, that company typically has a legal department that can help the board.
Associations must deal with government bodies as well. Most of the time, HOAs must file with the Secretary of State, as most associations are nonprofit corporations. Furthermore, associations must also pay taxes and file tax returns. An HOA manager can help with both of these tasks.
Self-managed boards tend to be skeptical about hiring an HOA manager. After all, if they can do it themselves, why should they waste money on a professional? While there is nothing wrong with self-management, an HOA manager does offer several benefits that make the management fees well worth it.
Most HOA managers boast many years of experience working in the HOA industry. They know the ins and outs of association management and what to do when facing certain scenarios. Challenges in HOA management have shaped them and have overcome countless obstacles – something that not all boards can say for themselves.
Community managers receive proper training and education before actually doing the work. Therefore, they are prepared for the job. Training doesn’t stop there, either. More often than not, HOA managers pursue continued education and training, as trends and laws in the HOA field can change over time.
Association managers have access to a wide range of tools. They know how to use everything from HOA management software and banking apps to community websites and homeowner portals.
Moreover, management companies tend to have a network of trusted and vetted vendors. When an HOA partners with a manager or management company, they can gain access to these tools and vendors.
A primary struggle that board members face is familiarity with their constituents. Board members are homeowners. They are residents of the same community. Because of this, many find it hard to govern and enforce the rules when they are doing it to their neighbors and friends.
In contrast, an HOA manager is a third-party neutral. Managers practice utmost professionalism and impartiality, so there is little risk of blurring the lines between business and personal. They won’t hesitate to enforce a rule on an owner simply because their kids are friends, or they let them borrow their lawnmower last week. This professionalism also comes in handy in the event of dispute resolution.
An HOA manager is an asset to a community. Boards can rely on their manager to perform day-to-day tasks and ensure operations run smoothly. These, in turn, help enhance curb appeal and preserve property values.Vanguard Management Group offers exceptional HOA management services. Our HOA managers are the best in the industry. Call us today at 813-930-8036 or contact us online to learn more!