Many people might be shocked to learn that just because you own property does not necessarily mean that you have free reign regarding what you can do with it. It used to be this way, but in the last couple of decades, there has been a significant increase in the number of multifamily housing that is governed by some sort of homeowners association (HOA).
These groups have the power to set and enforce a variety of bylaws that dictate what you can and cannot do to your property. For instance, it might restrict the use of outdoor barbecues or it might ban residents from leaving Christmas lights up on their roof all year round. These are only a couple of the things that the HOA is capable of doing.
Since the members of an HOA are quite often untrained professionals, even within the members of the HOA board of directors, they frequently find themselves in need of hiring a homeowners association management company in San Diego. This property management team takes over most of the heavy lifting for them and helps to keep their operation running smoothly.
However, the introduction of an HOA management company into a San Diego HOA is sometimes a bit of a rough transition. This could be for a variety of reasons that fall on the shoulders of both the HOA board of directors and the property manager. If you are an HOA who is finding it difficult to develop a smooth working relationship with your property manager or even just want to prepare yourself in case you are ever put into this situation, then keep reading and find out about how you can turn an unruly property manager into a pleasant coworker.
Explain the Roles and Responsibilities
Property managers are usually responsible for a variety of things for the HOA so it is important to establish what those are as soon as possible. It is common for the property manager to be in charge of performing routine maintenance, especially of any common areas or outdoor elements. So if the HOA has a pool for all of its members to use then being in charge of making sure that the pool area stays in perfect condition at all times would likely be a responsibility of the property manager.
Property managers can often be seen as the enforcers of the housing group because they quite often are. They are usually in charge of properly notifying any of the residents about any new or changed bylaws and if they are ever in violation of one of the existing bylaws.
Another big job of a property manager is to be responsible for the HOA’s finances, which includes making sure that any contractors or vendors that are used get paid and that all dues are collected on time. This is an extremely important job which will be discussed more in-depth later on in this article.
Develop Good Communication Skills
The key to any successful partnership, especially when it comes to a business one, is to have good communication between all of the involved parties. Far too often, members of the HOA board of directors and the property manager do not share nearly enough information with each other. Having an unhealthy system of communication between the two parties is not something that anyone wants.
What this does is create inefficiencies among the chain of command and wastes a lot of time either repeating information or trying to fix things that were done incorrectly because of misinformation. Preventing this from happening requires effort on both sides but there are things that the HOA can do to help ensure that the ball gets rolling.
Attending HOA meetings is one thing that may not seem very important for the property manager to do, but is actually quite helpful. It can sometimes be hard to get the property manager to agree to come to the HOA meetings due to how busy they are, especially when the meetings are held quite frequently. But at the very least the property manager should be going to the yearly meetings in order to put some faces to the names and be able to communicate and gather important information in person.
Chances are that the property manager likely has a lot of information about the real estate market and the housing industry that the HOA will not know about. Sharing this information is not necessary to fulfill their role as the property manager, but it can go a long way in developing a close relationship with the board of directors.
Once a common goal of making their housing subdivision the best it can be has been established, then everyone will begin to trust each other a lot more which usually leads to an improvement in every element of the business relationship.
Help Improve the Finances
Some property managers are hired to directly look after the finances of the HOA while others are not, but either way, they should be making sure that they are at least helping improve the financial situation of the HOA in some form or another.
If they are explicitly in charge of the finances then it is important that they keep an up to date record of the HOA financial situation. This way they are able to share the details with the HOA board of directors whenever you request information about it. Having an up to date record will also help the property manager figure out exactly how many dollars are going to each area which will allow them to determine where some savings can be made.
If they have not been tasked with handling the finances, they can still play a role as advisor to whichever member of the HOA is actually in charge of it. Be sure to ask for their expert opinion on certain situations so that you can take it into consideration when making any major financial decisions.