If your Homeowners Association is looking to hire outside management help, the amount of HOA management companies out there can be overwhelming. The right company can get your community on track and manage a variety of professional tasks, but the wrong company could give you and the rest of your board countless headaches.
The HOA you select should be:
- Trustworthy: It’s extremely important that you can trust your HOA management company. A management company you have to constantly pester for financial statements or other important information or that can’t run an event on their own won’t do you much good.
- Experienced: HOAs involve a lot of in-depth task and project management, so the company you hire should have plenty of years managing communities. You can even look for HOA management companies with specific areas of expertise you need, like legal counsel or event coordination.
Still, even if you keep these things in mind, you should expect the search process can be lengthy and give your board adequate time to make a decision.
Before the search
Form a search committee with a number of members that seems appropriate to spread the workload before you start searching. Also, consider exactly what your community is looking for from a management company. Together, the committee can compile a list of requirements specific to your community that they want an HOA management company to meet.
Also, make sure you and your members understand state regulations for HOA management companies. Some states require these companies to be licensed or certified through the state and others don’t. With this knowledge, you can strike companies that don’t meet the minimum licensing requirements off your list.
You also want to investigate state laws for insurance, liability and worker’s comp. If a company doesn’t provide it’s employees with proper coverage or cover damages employees may incur, it’s probably not be worth your time.
Narrowing down your list
Once your search begins and you manage to narrow it down to the strongest candidates, you can start looking into the HOA property management companies themselves. Ask about hiring practices for employees and check references for each company. You can even visit the company’s facilities or check out other communities they manage to get a better idea of how they conduct business.
Signing an agreement
When you’ve decided on a company, be sure to read the fine print in your contract. If your homeowners association has an attorney, let them read through the terms and conditions and make changes where necessary. You may want to enter a short term agreement instead of a longer one just so you’re not locked in if things don’t work out.
Make sure the costs of the HOA management company’s services are fully outlined as well to avoid hidden fees or overpaying, and compare prices so you know you’re being charged a fair amount.