As an active board member or engaged community member, you’re tuned into your HOA or condo association’s regular activities and needs. Your board, along with its community management firm partner, is responsible for protecting your community’s lifestyle, property values, and overall quality of life.
When things start to break down — snow piles up, fees fail to be collected, or the community pool starts to decay — the partnership between your board, HOA, and the community management company is likely breaking down, too.
And it’s okay to stand up and say so.
Document the problem or problems and bring it to everyone’s attention, regardless if the community management firm has been your community’s caretaker for 30 years or three days. In certain cases, it might be challenging to pinpoint where a community management firm is struggling; it might not be as obvious as giant piles of snow that remain after a storm or paint peeling from the common area walls. It’s important to understand the community management company’s responsibilities and to know the signs of a firm that’s failing your community.
Let’s take a look at four warning signs that your community management company needs to go.
They’re Allergic to Technology
If your community management firm is still pushing paper, resists online payment automation, and generally avoids implementing new technologies that will make your community better, tell them to get up to speed or hit the road.
Today, all reputable community management companies invest in high-tech, online enterprise management software that streamlines everything from paying fees to paying vendors.
The world moves too fast to use a community management firm stuck in the Stone Age.
They Have Too Many Units to Manage
If your community management firm is always lagging behind deadlines, or tends to be reactive rather than proactive, they could be stretched too thin. Community management companies need to balance the number of units they manage with the human capital and resources needed to do the job. If a management company keeps taking on units without hiring or investing in technology, the community manager assigned to your neighborhood might simply be overwhelmed. What’s more, a property manager could also struggle to keep up if they are assigned units spread over a wide geographic area.
Smart community management companies are...wait for it...great managers. They manage their workload well and are efficient. If they can’t manage themselves, how can you expect them to take care of your community?
They Don’t Keep Up With the Market
A great community management partner keeps its finger on the pulse of the housing market in your area. If you’ve partnered with a smaller firm, or you work with a larger firm that’s too focused on daily tasks and operations, your community might fall out of line with what your home buyers or renters want. Staying in tune with home prices, the rental market, and what amenities and services buyers and renters seek is critical to sustaining occupancy levels and healthy HOA communities.
Your HOA or condo association board, in partnership with a community management company, needs to be aligned with market trends to keep your neighborhood or building attractive to buyers and renters now and into the future.
They Aren’t Transparent
Community management firms often handle the most important and sensitive HOA or condo association records. Accounting and financial reporting are two of the most critical services a strong community management company can provide. If your community management firm delays furnishing key reports or those reports are poorly kept and incomplete, you have a major problem.
Your community management partner should be totally transparent and highly organized. If they cannot produce reports and records quickly and accurately — or they stall and delay when asked to produce files — they are putting the entire community at risk. If a firm is disorganized and lacks transparency, it’s time to move on, even if they’ve been managing your community for decades.
Whether you’re looking for your first community management partner or seeking a new one, compare our reputation, experience, and comprehensive suite of services with the competition. We have an outstanding track record of successful, long-term community management relationships. At Comsource, we’ve worked with scores of Maryland HOA and condo association communities to improve the lives of their residents by leveraging our experience and technological expertise. Reach out to us today. Let’s talk.