There is often a member of the HOA board who doesn’t recognize that the Association needs help beyond what the Board can do on its own. Sometimes the hard part is convincing other members of the board to invest the time and resources available to hire a manager and how it will benefit the Association in the long run. So, what will help make your case when making the suggestion to hire a management company? We’ve spelled it out for you below.
Know the type of company you want to work with
Trust is a crucial part of working with an HOA manager. When hiring, you want a company that has been in business for a while, has a good reputation, understands the community you live in, and has good relationships with vendors - since they will be working on your behalf when it comes to financial issues, reserve studies, bids for projects, etc. As a best practice, it’s recommended to check out 3 different companies and ask good questions in the interview process.
Ask how the company will help your Association
Develop a request for proposal (RFP) that can be provided to potential management companies, basically telling your board members what the company will do for the Association. Part of developing the RFP will be including any physical evidence your Association has such as budgets, reserve planning, projected projects, etc. so that the management company has an idea of your needs; as well as the CC&Rs, Bylaws, and HOA Rules, to help the company understand how your Association currently functions .
It would also be a good idea to do a physical walk-through of your Association with board members and people from the management company to learn what other ideas they may have that you haven’t thought about.
Discuss the potential hiring at a board meeting
The appropriate time and place to discuss hiring an HOA management company is at a board meeting. A good board member doesn’t act individually because it’s the full HOA board that makes the decisions. Therefore, talk about it and act on it as a Board. You could even suggest inviting potential managers to come and talk to the Board as an opportunity to ask questions.
Be prepared with reasons to hire a manager
If you have certain HOA board members that still aren’t quite on board (no pun intended!) try giving them concrete reasons of how your homeowners association can benefit from working with an HOA management company. Here are some ideas:
- Financial integrity. Monies go to a third party and financials are done on a timely basis.
- If the Association is every sued, would the Board know what to do and do it right?
- Do board members know what insurance the Association has? Hiring a management company helps transfer risk.
- HOA managers understand the ins and outs of laws and the concept of the CC&Rs and Bylaws.
- A manager gives the HOA board president an expert to talk to outside of a meeting.
- A manager can help teach and train board members.
- It just makes sense to hire someone who is daily in the business.
In the end, a management company and HOA board form a partnership and it’s important that everyone involved is comfortable with each other.