Serving on the HOA board in your single-family community is a lot of work, but it can also be very rewarding. Don’t let fear of HOA management mistakes interfere with your choice to serve. Making the neighborhood a safer and more beautiful place takes a commitment of both time and energy.
Even with the best intentions, however, mistakes can be made. While every job has a learning curve, it is a good idea to try and be prepared for this new role. Your neighbors and fellow board members will appreciate it.
Here are seven HOA management mistakes to avoid.
1. Don’t Be a Know It All
You may be starting this new adventure with lots of great ideas, and a fresh vision can be a good thing. However, you need to remember that the others have put in their time and know the ropes.
Take the time to learn the process and how to manage the HOA. Understand the types of property and become familiar with all the rules for both the residents and the board.
If your ideas are good, the research has been put in, and your presentation is done at the right time, the board will be more likely to accept your plan.
You may also be wondering about the benefits of hiring an HOA management company. Here are some great reasons to consider it.
2. Don’t Skimp on Vendors and Workers
It can be tempting to come in and immediately find savings with bids from new vendors for the work done around the community. Be aware, though, that sometimes cheaper is just cheap.
The residents pay good money to have quality services and you should never sacrifice a good job with reliable workers to try and save a few dollars for your single-family HOA.
It is certainly acceptable to try and save money by requesting bids from other area vendors, but make sure the company is reliable and their workers have a proven record for great work.
In addition to repairs, you may also be concerned about the effects of COVID-19 on your residents. Here is what other property management firms are doing about the situation.
3. Don’t Put off Repairs or Maintenance
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, ‘if it ain’t broke; don’t fix it’. That is not how you should operate the HOA.
Reported repairs need to be handled immediately and to the satisfaction of the resident. Routine maintenance should also be conducted to keep things running as smoothly as possible.
Regularly scheduled inspections are a good way to keep small problems from becoming larger, more expensive ones. Here is a checklist for a monthly maintenance roundup.
The upkeep of the neighborhood is a huge responsibility of the HOA, and staying on top of any needed repairs keeps everyone happy.
4. Don’t Let Personal Feelings Interfere
Human beings are complicated. Eventually, you will run across someone that is difficult to deal with. You must keep your personal feelings in check.
Don’t allow a grievance or grudge to keep you from fulfilling your job to the best of your ability. If you find yourself unable to be objective, then turn the matter over to another board member so the issues do not get out of hand.
Here is an article with great tips on how to deal with difficult people.
5. Don’t Try to Change Everything at Once
In reference back to point #1, you probably have some great ideas. That is awesome. It is good to shake things up and try new things.
It is important to remember though, that you can’t make too many changes at once. The residents of your community, and probably even the other board members, are used to the way things are. Making too many changes at once will confuse everyone.
Try to implement the most important ones first and gradually introduce your other ideas after a success.
6. Don’t Repeat the HOA Management Mistakes of Others
You are on the board because someone has left. Maybe you knew the previous members, or possibly you have just heard about their time on the board. Either way, you are probably aware of the mistakes others have made. Learn from them.
Being able to avoid the missteps of those that came before you is a good way to gain the trust of the residents. They will appreciate your willingness to move forward.
There will be fewer HOA management issues if everyone is on the same page with the goal of working together for a great community. Listen to the advice of the current board members and try to not repeat the mistakes you hear about.
7. Don’t Hide Information From the Residents
One of the biggest complaints registered by residents is not being kept informed of details and changes taking place with the HOA. It is vital that the board adopt a plan of being transparent in their dealings.
Home association meetings should be held on a regular basis with enough notice to give people a chance to plan and attend. It is also a good idea to switch up the day and time to give everyone a chance to work it into their schedule.
A truly effective community and HOA depends on complete and forthcoming information from the board and honest feedback from the residents. Listen to their concerns. It is impossible to please everyone, and rules are in place for a reason, but everyone deserves a chance to be heard or talk about a problem.
A Good Job
Agreeing to be on an HOA board means you are committed to the well-being and beauty of your neighborhood. It is a big responsibility, but can also be a very rewarding one.
The key to your success is being fair, open-minded, and a team player. Everyone on the board will never agree on everything, and not all the residents appreciate the time and effort that goes into doing a good job.
Your main goal is to stay focused on the goal of providing the best service to both the association and the residents that live in the community. There may be rough patches, but being able to avoid the biggest HOA management mistakes will go a long way.
For more information on property or HOA management, please reach out.