4 Traits of Good HOA Managers
Managing a homeowners association is no joke! As an HOA manager, you need to be able to do everything from scheduling meetings and managing finances to overseeing maintenance and keeping the place safe. A good HOA manager needs many skills—but the good news is that you can learn them all! Here are four of the most important traits of a good HOA manager.
#1. They Can Manage Financials
A good HOA manager will ensure the financials are managed correctly. Handling revenue, expenses, and budgeting is a key part of the job, and it needs to be done well in order for the HOA to function optimally. A good manager will be on top of all financial activities:
- Determining monthly fees from members
- Tracking payments from members
- Creating budgets based on estimated expenses for each year
- Keeping an eye out for unexpected costs that may arise throughout the year (e.g., if there’s a calamity that causes damage to common areas)
HOA software tools are available to help manage these tasks. For example, SmartBooks offers a complete package with many useful features including:
- Reporting capabilities
- Centralize all of your community documents
- Easily integrate with your banks
- Manage all of your accounts in one place
- Residents can see real-time balances
#2. They Communicate Effectively
While effective communication is a vital part of every relationship, it’s especially important for an HOA manager to be able to communicate effectively. This includes communicating with homeowners and board members as well as vendors and contractors. After all, if your HOA manager can’t communicate well, how will they be able to make sure projects get done on time and on budget?
When it comes to good communication skills, it’s always better to over-communicate than under-communicate. It’s also important to have the right tools in place for your HOA manager to easily communicate with homeowners. SmartCommunications helps managers do just that! They can easily email or text residents individually or even send out mass communications to the entire community.
#3. They Stay Up-to-Date
It’s important for HOA managers to stay up-to-date with changes in the law and industry, so they can provide accurate information to their boards. Regularly attending local seminars and state or national conferences is a great way to acquire continuing education credits. These events also give you the opportunity to meet other people who share your interests, chat with vendors and suppliers who might have new products or resources you need.
Trade publications are an excellent source of news and articles from experts in the field, so make sure you’re subscribed to at least a few of these magazines. The most popular trade magazine for homeowners association professionals is Community Associations Institute (CAI), which has over 45 years’ worth of content addressing topics including but not limited to board management, managing multiple HOAs as a consultant/manager, budgeting/finances, and even using social media effectively when working with your communities.
Lastly, it’s important that HOA managers have a good understanding of the community’s governing documents or covenants—including bylaws, CC&Rs, policies & procedures—and how they relate to state laws regarding homeowner associations. Thorough knowledge of these governing documents will help ensure that the manager abides by them when making decisions on behalf of their HOA boards. You should also know where residents can find copies of these documents if they’re unfamiliar with them; many HOAs post their governing documents on their website for members’ use.
#4. They Know the Rules
The rules in a homeowners association are only as good as their enforcement. If the HOA manager is unable to apply them fairly, they’re not worth the paper they’re written on. The board will establish rules with the best of intentions and they must be enforced consistently in order to keep conflict at bay and to protect the integrity of your neighborhood.
It can be difficult for an HOA manager to keep up with all the rules and regulations (particularly among larger communities where it’s easy for different HOAs to have slightly different bylaws) but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that it becomes second nature. Managing violations can be a daunting task but with SmartViolations, it doesn’t have to be! With our HOA software, you can easily track, submit, and report on community violations with just a few clicks.
You’ve Got This.
HOA management can be a busy job but one that is also rewarding! Having the right HOA software will be key to being a good manager as it will help you do your job more efficiently. Schedule a demo with our team today to see how Smartwebs can help you.