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.
HOA Manager Job Description
What services does the HOA management company offer? The duties of an HOA manager or management company include managing the community’s overall operations and day-to-day activities.
A group of managers known as the board of directors is in charge of overseeing homeowners organizations. However, board members frequently lack the time and expertise needed to carry out management duties. For support, many associations employ an HOA management company or manager.
Remember that not all businesses provide the same services. The agreed-upon services outlined in the management contract will determine the precise duties held by the HOA manager. However, common duties for an HOA property management company do exist, including but not restricted to the following:
- Understand the CC&Rs or governing papers of the HOA
- Make sure the HOA conforms with all applicable federal, state, and local
- Assist with budget preparation
- Ensuring that the HOA keeps within its budget
- Dues and assessments
- Monitor invoices, receivables, payables, and delinquencies
- Obtain the appropriate insurance coverage
- Report managerial and financial reports to the board on a monthly basis.
- Plan and attend board meetings
- Document and keep records of meeting minutes
- Violation Inspections
- Enforce rules and regulations on a consistent basis
- Provide recommendations to update policies as needed
- Address homeowner concerns and questions
- Update members through communication channels
- Send resident notices
- Maintain and properly insure common areas
- Govern projects
- Resolve community disputes or discrepancies
- Promote board elections
- Tax Preparation
- Provide the board advice on various issues and decisions
- Work alongside experts like lawyers, accountants, reserve specialists, etc.
Hiring an HOA Manager
Are HOA management companies and HOA managers the same thing? HOA management companies are firms that offer management services for homeowners associations, albeit they do share the same duties. HOA managers, on the other hand, are the ones that associations really work with.
An HOA manager will normally be assigned to your neighborhood if you select an HOA management company. You can’t collaborate with a faceless corporation, after all. Having several point people for various management duties is also impracticable. The operations of the community will be managed by an HOA manager, who will also assist the board and serve as a liaison between you and the management firm.
Traits of a good HOA manager
How can you tell whether your HOA manager is skillful? One technique is to see whether they attempt to go above and beyond the responsibilities of the HOA property manager. This demonstrates their genuine concern for your community and that they go above and above the call of duty. These are additional crucial characteristics of an 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, Smartwebs HOA Accounting Software 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 a 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. Smartwebs HOA Communication Software 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 and 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 Smartwebs HOA Violation Software, 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.