Make sure that you are hiring an HOA property manager with your community’s best interest in mind. Keep these essentials in mind when looking for someone to manage your HOA.
Often, you only hear about a community’s Homeowners Association (HOA), when residents complain. But, the reality is that the overwhelming majority of community residents value their HOA.
In fact, 89% of homeowners believe that their HOA board serves in the best interests of the community.
One of the best ways for an HOA to provide value to a neighborhood is by hiring a property manager to help maintain the community.
But, how should you go about hiring an HOA property manager?
Keep reading for 5 tips you need to know before you, as a member of an HOA, decide to hire a property manager.
1. Review the HOA Bylaws
Before you decide to hire a property manager for your community, first you need to review your HOA’s bylaws and articles of incorporation.
Depending on the specifics of your HOA, there may be limitations set on what the HOA is responsible for doing and what can be carried out by a property manager.
Generally, the bylaws will permit you to hire an HOA property manager, but it’s best to double-check and make sure you are doing everything by the book to be on the safe side.
If you and your fellow board members need clarification on any of the language in the bylaws, speak with an attorney before moving forward with hiring a property manager.
2. Determine Responsibilities
Once you’ve reviewed the proper documentation, you can move forward in the hiring process. Next, you’ll need to meet with your fellow board members to determine the things that the property manager will be responsible for completing.
In doing this, you’re essentially creating a job description. This scope of work should be detailed and include everything the property manager will do for the community.
This list may include administrative tasks, financial responsibilities, and managing work within the community. Let’s take a closer look at examples of each of these types of tasks.
A property manager can handle day-to-day tasks like communicating with homeowners. This can range from fielding questions from homeowners to informing them if they are in violation of HOA rules.
It may also include data entry tasks that are tedious, but critical for maintaining HOA records.
A property manager can also help ensure that dues are collected on time from homeowners.
In doing so, the property manager will review the HOA’s budget, ensuring that there is enough money to do planned projects as well as extra funds in case something unexpected arises.
They can also assist in filing taxes each year.
When the HOA needs to hire a vendor for work within the community, having a property manager on hand can help expedite the process.
Your property manager will likely have vendor relationships already and they’ll be responsible for getting bids, hiring vendors, and following up as needed.
All of this helps your HOA run more efficiently and keep homeowners satisfied.
3. Carefully Vet Candidates
After you’ve determined what the property manager will be responsible for doing, you can start looking for candidates.
The property management industry is expected to grow by 7% between 2018 and 2028, which means there is no shortage of options available to you.
But, you must do your due diligence before hiring. Ultimately, the responsibility falls on the HOA and its board members if you choose someone who is not a good fit.
Start by thoroughly reviewing references of potential candidates. By hearing from other community HOAs, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect when working with a property manager.
Perform a Background Check
Even if someone has great references, you should still perform a background check on potential candidates. This helps you ensure you don’t hire someone with a dangerous criminal history.
Look into Insurance
If you decide to hire an individual property manager or a property management company, ask about their insurance policy. If you aren’t sure whether the property manager’s insurance coverage is sufficient, check with your HOA insurance agent to verify.
Some states require that a property manager be licensed with a certification. Even if that’s not the case, it’s a good idea to work with a licensed and certified property manager because it’s in the best interest of the community and its residents.
4. Carefully Review the Contract
Once you’ve properly vetted and decided to hire a property manager, you’ll need to sign a contract.
But, before you do, you and your fellow board members need to review it carefully. At a minimum, you should make note of the following terms:
- Length of the contract
- Options to renew once it expires
- Specifications regarding termination
- Obligations of the property manager
- All costs and fees, including incidental charges
Once the board has reviewed the contract, get your HOA’s attorney to review it as well before signing it.
5. Consider Hiring a Property Management Company
If all of this sounds like a lot of work, consider hiring a property management company instead of an individual property manager.
While you’ll still need to do your due diligence in selecting the right company, a lot of the guesswork is taken out when you hire an established property management company.
Hiring a property management company is often more cost-effective as well. In fact, our customers save an average of 35% compared to traditional property management fees.
Take the Stress Out of Hiring an HOA Property Manager
Finding a great HOA property manager doesn’t have to be stressful.
When you work with the VerraTerra team, you’ll get peace of mind knowing that you’re hiring a company with a proven track record of managing communities like yours, all for the right price.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help your community run more smoothly.