The Best Option for Your HOA Could Be Self-Management with Support
If your community has less than 200 units, chances are that your HOA is self-managed. It makes sense. Smaller homeowners’ associations do not have the funding or need, to be professionally managed by a full property management company. The downside of being self-managed is that you are reliant on the skills of untrained volunteers. When it comes to something as complicated as HOA finances, that could potentially be a problem.
With the various laws and regulations regarding HOA accounting, it could be beneficial to have an expert on your side. Hiring a company, not to act as a property manager, but as a support system for your community association, can be very helpful to ensure that finances are properly maintained, organized, and reported while maintaining managerial control.
Benefits of Being Self-Managed
The most obvious benefit of having a self-managed HOA is that the homeowners maintain complete control over all association decisions. They manage all the finances, schedule maintenance repairs, hire the contractors they choose and work on projects they deem necessary for their community. A property management company may try to manage a unique community with a cookie-cutter approach, but no two communities are the same. The people who know what a community needs are the people within that community; who better to manage it?
Property management companies are expensive. Staying on a budget is extremely important for smaller communities. There have limited funds to work with so in order to remain effective, they must be efficient with money. By not hiring a management company, they can save thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars every year and instead invest that money back into the community towards maintenance repairs or new projects.
Community problems do not always fit into the 9-5 work schedule. In some cases, it can be hard to get in touch with a property manager when you really need them; after all, you are not their only client. Phone call upon phone call go unanswered and problems go without solutions. In a self-managed community, the residents oversee solving problems. There are no middlemen to get in the way. All action can be taken quickly and decisively the minute an issue arises.
Without a professional property manager, that leaves a lot of responsibility on the volunteer board of directors who also have families and jobs to maintain as well. Not everyone has time to take on the responsibility that is maintaining a successful HOA. Specifically, financial management can be an every-day job to keep track of multiple accounts, write checks, collect dues, balance the books, and maintain all financial records. In addition to the time it takes, managing the finances of an HOA, even a small one, can require some accounting expertise.
Property managers have contacts. They know who to talk to in order to get things done. They have worked with all the contractors in the area, they know association regulations and laws, and they have lawyers and accountants for collections issues. They have special knowledge about HOA management that homeowners that volunteer on the board of directors might not understand.
Finding the Middle Ground
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way you could reap the benefits of being self-managed while still having the support of professional staff in your corner? Luckily, there is! Working with support staff, such as a financial management company, can be extremely beneficial. The board of directors maintain all the decision-making power and does not have to go through a property manager to accomplish goals, but at the same time can utilize the technology and expertise of a property management company to relieve some of the administrative responsibilities.
One major benefit to choosing an HOA support team is cost. Hiring a financial management company instead of a full property management company can save your community association more than 50% which can then be reinvested into other projects.
Get support where it counts. Your community has been working with contractors since it was built. You don’t need to pay a property manager to make a phone call when the sidewalks get dirty. In fact, by not using a property manager, your board of directors won’t have to rely on the manager’s word that their contractor is the best. They will be able to do their own research, find the best vendor, and maybe even save some money. Finances, on the other hand, require some expertise. By hiring support staff in select areas of need, you can have peace of mind knowing that even the most complicated aspects of HOA management are being handled properly by trained professionals.
Financial management companies use the same technology as the full property managers. Even at half the cost, some support companies can still provide services such as e-statements, online payments, and mobile apps that allow for more communication and transparency between the board and community members.
Looking for Assistance with HOA Financial Management
CSM believes that no one understands a community better than the people who live there. We do not want to manage your HOA. We want you to remain in charge while providing the expert backing support and knowledge of a full property management company, at the fraction of the cost.
CSM specializes in financial management, which is the most complicated and time-consuming responsibility of the HOA board of directors. If the finances are not properly tracked, not only will your HOA be ineffective, but it could also violate local laws. Having an expert on your side to provide support will give you peace of mind knowing that all your financial information is being taken care of properly.
If you are looking for an experienced financial management company to support your community homeowners’ associations, call the experts at CSM. We have years of experience working with residents in almost every state in the US. We offer a wide variety of financial management solutions to give you all the assistance you need while still maintaining your independence.