All condos have a board of directors who are tasked with complying with the Condo Act and other laws of the region and state.
Operating like a business, the board of directors needs to manage finances, and maintenance of the buildings, and grounds. Condos are owner-occupied, and some may be on the board of directors. Also, the condo developers may be directors and external independent directors too.
Managing a community can be time-consuming, and it requires specific knowledge of procedures, compliance, and communications.
New condo developments’ first task is to set up the legal entity and choose the board of directors (BOD). Then the BOD’s first agenda item is to decide if it needs an HOA to manage the work (property and grounds maintenance) carried out by third parties.
The BOD meets its obligations by engaging professional management companies and property managers directly or via an HOA. Hence, the condo community complies with legislation, and the assets are correctly maintained.
It’s straightforward to confuse the role of HOAs and Property Managers. For example, HOA (homeowner associations) is also the same as POA (property owner associations) and also community associations. Any group of homeowners living in proximity can elect to set up an HOA to manage common use areas, e.g., driveways, paths, grounds, and security.
The HOA are volunteers and the homeowners. The HOA will decide which tasks are done by the homeowners and provided by third parties.
Property Management Cos
There are varying property management companies, so choosing the right one for your needs is essential.
For groups of residential homes, e.g., townhouses, condos, subdivisions, etc., engage a property management company with proven experience managing HOA real estate.
HOA property managers need to engage third parties to carry out regular buildings and grounds inspections and maintenance.
They also need to collect rents and provide accounting and financial documentation for the maintenance, and rental income if there are rental homes in the mix.
A community management company, aka property management firm, provides continuity via access to personnel, procedures, and business equipment.
There is no downtime – the provider ensures they have the staff to fulfill their HOA duties even when employees go on vacation or seek employment elsewhere.
For example if you’re tasked with hiring a condominium management company, seek to understand the following information about their business:
- Systems and technology
- Licensing, insurance, and certifications
Why A Property Management Company?
Small HOAs may elect to keep the costs down and manage their community in-house. However, if there are a few homeowners, the benefits of using a property management company outweigh self-management for the following reasons.
Homeowners Association board members may lack the skills and qualifications to make significant decisions that meet the needs of all members. An external manager will keep relations between homeowners neighborly.
Nevertheless, by hiring a professional condominium management company such as Wilson Blanchard, you can trust they’ll make accurate, lawful decisions.
These experts continually take courses and learn new trends to improve the running of the community. They also keep up with the latest developments in the condominium industry, helping board members stay up-to-date. Professional condominium managers can acquire resources that might not be readily available to volunteers.
Peace of mind
The board members who volunteer to join the community initiative have other things, including caring for their families, building careers, and more personal needs, making it difficult to be productive.
Hiring the right management company can keep the community from unnecessary stress and trouble by handling community projects, administering insurance, preparing budgets, billing, and collections, solving member disputes, and managing contracts and vendors.
Third-party financial administration
Handling the financial aspect of running a community can be challenging, mainly for elected board members.
Therefore engaging a condominium-specific or generalist property management company passes a lot of the financial control work over to them. Depending on their expertise – your HOA may get the following accounting services from its property management provider:
- Financial reporting
- Job assessments
- Reserve fund analysis
- Budget preparation and spending
- Payroll management
Plus, depending on the expertise of your preferred property management provider, they may also offer other accounting, finance, and insurance services. The management company is an independent party with no conflict of interests, promoting fairness and understanding.
Maintenance of high community appeal level
Most communities that are professionally managed desire first-class grounds and environmental management. Who doesn’t want to enjoy a visually pleasing property and surrounding areas that are well-groomed, pruned, and at one with nature?
Real estate developers’ reputations are at stake if one of their developments isn’t well maintained; hence they are often on the board of directors to protect their ‘asset’ for selling down new developments.
Homeowners and visitors respect desirable environments, and one that’s well looked after will attract more buyers for sellers and a better sales price.
Community property managers need to know the legislation and rules for property management like the Condo Act. They are also across court decisions on contested cases and have access to lawyers and legal resources.
Homeowners associations have rules and regulations that must be adhered to. Nonetheless, meeting the laws can be challenging for board members due to sensitivity, uncomfortable situations with counterparts, and other hindrances. A condo management company will only care about enforcing the laws fairly and consistently despite others’ feelings.
When a disaster happens, you don’t want to find yourself without a backup plan. An emergency response plan that puts your community in an ideal place to recover if a disaster strikes can be part of your engagement with a property manager.
These days, people want to pay bills quickly, make maintenance requests and send messages.
An ideal management company will have the right technology for board members and homeowners to streamline the community’s living aspects. This makes things simpler for everyone involved while creating a transparency and accountability atmosphere.
Owner portals offer convenient payment and billing options and allow requests and messages to be made. They also let you track your transactions should you need to reference them later.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, technology alternatives became vital for any business to function, including community associations and management companies. Partnering with a professional condo management company provides the board with guidance on setting up and holding virtual meetings and learning to use the linked technology.
Gain valuable connections
One person can’t do the successful management of a condominium; it involves the combined effort of skilled service providers and other professionals.
Hiring a management company can be beneficial because of its existing connections with reliable vendors and contractors who can assist the board in executing its directive. They can connect you with attorneys, landscapers, engineers, accountants, and insurance agencies, request bids, oversee relationships and manage contracts.
Property managers can also preserve study specialists for when the need arises. Connecting with reliable experts ensures you’re getting excellent professional advice regardless of the situation you find yourself in. Doing your due diligence when consulting professionals can protect the board from liability.
Add value to your community
Board members can quickly be slowed down by the hardships and burden of property management.
Partnering with a professional management company allows board members to concentrate on more fulfilling tasks and improve the community’s quality of life.
Additionally, experienced managers are always up-to-date with all the activities and maintenance requirements, ensuring that members don’t complain about the same things over time. Hiring professional management equals an investment that your community members will appreciate.
Free the board members
Running community affairs daily is just like a full-time job, and board members also need time to attend to personal issues, meaning they may not have enough time to focus on community matters.
With the help of a property management company, board members can handle some community responsibilities and still have time for personal commitments.
Running a thriving community requires hard work, time, and effort. Hiring a professional condominium association management company improves your community while saving the board hassle.