HOAs are often run by volunteer board members who have more to do than they can possibly get done. They need support dealing with homeowners and the day-to-day activities of their communities. At Hill & Co., we serve as a management company to California HOAs who need our extensive expertise or have trouble managing all the requirements of their roles. What you expect from an HOA management company is more efficiency, better processes, and accountability.
We know that a lot of HOAs hesitate to hire a management company because of the misconceptions that are out there concerning what we do and why we’re here.
Let’s clear up some of those most common misconceptions today.
1. The HOA Management Company Holds the Same Power as the HOA
Some people see no difference between an HOA management company and the actual homeowner’s association. They believe the two are interchangeable, doing all the same things.
Even homeowners within a community we’re managing might believe that the property managers supporting the association are the actual HOA. This is understandable since the property management company is often the first point of contact for homeowners and the HOA board.
But, the association is separate from the management company and the HOA management company has no power to make rules, assess fines, and establish standards for the community. The property management company is a third party. We aren’t responsible for creating the rules. We may be hired to enforce them, but we are partners – not association members.
It’s the HOA that’s responsible for governance and decisions that impact the community.
2. HOA Management Companies are Expensive
Paying a professional management company to support your association only seems like a waste of money if you don’t understand the value that companies like ours can provide. HOA property management companies actually save associations money by:
- Reducing the frequency of delinquent payments.
- Enforcing rules and regulations while collecting penalties.
- Negotiating better rates with vendors and contractors.
- Providing accurate data that can help with budgeting and planning.
- Evaluating reserves and making recommendations.
- Suggesting cost-effective community improvements that increase property values.
No one likes the idea of an extra fee that needs to be paid every month. However, most HOA management companies pay for themselves with savings, resources, and tools that association boards use to keep costs down in their communities.
Also, there’s often an option for virtual HOA management, which can really help keep your costs contained without sacrificing the quality of our management services.
3. We Don’t Need an HOA Management Company Because we Have an HOA Board
As we stated earlier, the HOA management company is different from the HOA itself.
Similarly, the HOA management company is different from the HOA board.
Your HOA management company will not replace your elected HOA board members, and we will not take away any of their power or responsibilities.
The management company’s role is much different. We serve a supportive role, providing expertise, knowledge, and logistical support that is intended to help the board operate more effectively. It’s hard to get anything done when you’re over capacity. Most HOA board members will work closely with their HOA management company, but there are clearly defined roles for each entity.
Boards are the decision-makers. HOA management companies will implement and execute those decisions. Advice is often sought because HOA property managers have a lot of experience, especially compared to a new board member or someone who has only been serving in an HOA leadership position for a year or two.
4. HOA Management Companies are Here to Police the Community
HOA management companies might get a bad reputation because we’re the people who are following up on violations and broken rules. We might be tasked with issuing violation letters and collecting penalties and fees.
Our goal is not to go looking for rule breakers. Our goal is not to punish those homeowners who have let their grass grow too long. Instead, we’re hired to help the community maintain its high property values and operate as it should per the original HOA covenants.
Your HOA management company does not make the rules. We aren’t the police. Instead, we’re simply working to keep your community safe, secure, and uniform. The goal is to provide a better quality of life for all of your homeowners.
5. Every HOA Management Company is the Same
Often, homeowners in a community will be baffled about why it’s taking their board so long to choose a management company. What difference does it make? Aren’t they all the same?
Each HOA management company will have its own set of strengths and its own challenges. At Hill & Co., for example, we specialize in virtual HOA management. Other HOA management companies might specialize in high-rise condo associations. Others might focus on luxury estate homes.
We’re not all alike, and you’ll want to make sure you’re working with an HOA management professional that can provide:
- General HOA Management
- Virtual HOA Management
- Developer and Contractor Services
- Project Coordination
- Homeowner Communication
- Accounting, Budgeting, and Financing
- Compliance Advisory
As in any industry, you’ll come across great HOA management companies and disastrous HOA management companies. Do some due diligence before you commit to a management partner.
6. Virtual HOA Management Companies Are Not Hands-On
Virtual HOA management companies have grown, especially since the pandemic. One of the misconceptions is that because we’re remote, we’re not really doing much except pushing buttons behind our desks.
Actually, we’re on the front lines for your community, even if we’re managing from a remote location.
We address concerns from homeowners and boards. We coordinate and schedule vendors and contractors. We collect dues and fees and generate accounting reports. We manage disputes, when necessary. We negotiate better services and prices from your professional partners.
There’s nothing hands-off about the work we do as your virtual HOA management company. We’re a third-party without bias that’s here to help your community grow and thrive.
Are there other myths you’ve heard that you want us to dispel? We’d love to hear them. Contact us at Hill & Co.