These days, it is hard enough to hire a plumber let alone an HOA Management Company. For over 14 years we have watched HOA boards struggle with the unenviable position of interviewing two and three management companies only to have their hopes dashed by inconsistent service and excessive fees after the honeymoon period.
The good news is there are a few good management companies that are interested in service and providing value to their clients. Finding the best fit for your community can be determined by the number of homes in the community and the number of amenities. If your HOA has less than 50 homes and no amenities, self-managing is a possibility. The problem with self-managing is finding the volunteers to share the work load.
HOA management companies can provide financial services only, which can be a great fit for your community and your HOA budget.
If your community is larger than 50 homes and has a very active board with numerous amenities, the search may need to focus on who the property manager will be within the companies you are interviewing. An inexperienced manager can create more work for the board, provide limited communication and direction and create distrust among the members. Inquire about the length of time the HOA management company has been in business and the turnover rate of employees and communities.
I would like to provide a few does and don’ts when searching for the HOA management company that fits your needs.
Things to look for when Hiring a Homeowners Association Management Company.
What to look for:
- Look for a management company that focuses on HOA management only. Companies like Cusick Management and Braesael Management are HOA management companies that provide services in the Charlotte and Union County markets.
- A good source of information is other vendors, like your landscaper and pool company. They know all the management companies and they can tell you who treats them the best.
- Another great source of information is HOA law firms. You can google HOA law firms and pick the top three, such as Moretz & Skufca or Horack Talley and ask them who they believe to be among the most consistent and knowledgeable HOA management companies.
What not to do:
- Do not call or email the first management company on google. Before you call the first three management companies that are listed on google, you may want to review possibly ten sites to see who provides the most information in a limited reading time without the fluff. You probably want to know facts and not how many offices they have.
- Do not wait until the last minute to hire a new HOA management company. Give your board plenty of time to schedule companies to interview before your current company’s renewal date.
- Do not sign an extended contract. Read the prospective HOA management company contract carefully before signing. I highly recommend to HOA boards not to sign extended contracts until maybe the second or third year of your new management company to make sure it is a good fit.
How do HOA Board Members find the “Best Fit” in Property Management?
What makes one property management company better than another? How do you search “best-fit” HOA Companies? Before web searching became popular and productive, we would ask our neighbor, our church member or some other social contact to recommend a service company.
That may still be prevalent today.
I believe today more than ever, HOA boards are looking for HOA services companies that are located near their community, if possible, and are part of the local economy. The Charlotte market may have different property ordinances, tax laws or utility rights than say Union County or Cabarrus County.
As I stated in previous blogs, HOA management companies that have multiple offices, layers of staff and various business operations, such as Cedar Management and Henderson Properties may not fit the needs of a community that requires more board training and greater oversight of community violation or collection issues.
Call us today for an overview of your HOA community needs. We are strategically located in both the Charlotte and Union County markets and we have the experience to help you find the “Best Fit” no matter what.