If you’re part of a homeowners association Board of Directors, then you know it can be challenging to keep up with the association duties, laws and conflicts that arise. Even though the Board handles many of the responsibilities in a homeowners association, it will often hire a professional manager or management company to oversee the day-to-day operations of the association. Although these might seem obvious, sometimes it’s good to get back to basics. Below are three simple, yet key questions a homeowners association Board should consider when hiring a manager to oversee the association community.
1. Does the Board need to hire a manager for the homeowners association?
People serving on an HOA Board are doing so on a volunteer basis, therefore they have many other career and family responsibilities competing for their time. Hiring a homeowners association manager can improve the effectiveness of the Board because it gives them the time to focus on the difficult and important issues that often arise in an association. For example, if a manager is taking caring of time consuming tasks like collecting dues, get service bids from vendors, and creating the monthly expense report, the Board can focus on the bigger picture needs and goals of the homeowners association.
2. What type of qualities or experience will make a good manager?
Many states don’t have any formal licensing, testing or professional designations for HOA managers. Any Joe Shmoe off the street that can put on a suit and write a resume could pose as a manager. That’s why the Board should determine if it’s looking for someone who is experienced or someone who just needs a job. They should know the person or company’s background, work history and check references. It sounds like common sense, but the interview process should be taken seriously so that someone honest and trustworthy is hired.
3. What are the primary job functions of the homeowners association manager?
The HOA Board needs to keep in mind that the more work the manager does, the less the Board will have to do, which will leave more time for discussing and making governing decisions. So it should be decided what the job functions of the manager will be. Will the manager be required to:
- Work Part-time or Full-time
- Perform simple duties such as bookkeeper, marketer, or receptionist
- Take charge of more responsibilities such as enforcing HOA law, conflict resolution among residents, point of contact for residents and vendors, or conducting monthly inspections.
The Board should also decide ahead of time what the pay will be and have a contract between the two parties ready to be signed.
Asking the three questions above when hiring a manager or for your homeowners association will help you hire the right person and ultimately give you time to make the important decisions for the association.