What’s the difference between a good, mediocre, and downright bad homeowner association management company? Is cheaper per door costs always better? Sure you can shave off a few pennies and look like you are saving money, but in the long term you may be in serious trouble.
Ignorance isn’t bliss for your community — or your neighbors — when it comes to HOA Management Companies. You need to ask some key questions before signing that contract. Don’t be wowed by empty promises and pretty PowerPoint presentations.
Here is a list to proactively use, print it out and see what response you get:
- Exactly how many people REALLY work there?
- What certifications do the managers hold. Do they have real estate licensing?
- Is the Company Controller also a property manager?
- Visiting the company website is not enough! Have you randomly visited them?
- Is the cheap company adequately insured against law suits and liability claims ?
- Is the cheap company in bed with the developer?
- Do they have enough clout to get you bank financing when you need it?
- Are they large enough to lend your Association money if you can’t get any financing? Are you left hanging with nothing?
- Are they able to procure reliable and vetted contractors to perform service requests?
- Are they large enough to secure VOLUME discounts on service for your Association like landscaping and snow removal?
- Are contractors knocking at their door looking for the opportunity to work for them? Or are they hanging around to get paid?
- Is there a dedicated, fully-staffed accounting office?
- Ask what accounting software package they use and see an actual generated report. Quick books is not a software package for Associations.
- Can they adequately compile a complete asset life span report?
- What about Reserve Studies, does that cost extra and how much?
- Does the Management company employ secure dues collection methods?
- Is your personal financial information safe from hackers?
- Do they have an attorney on retainer to handle your legal affairs?
- Are you getting nickle and dimed with “hidden charges”? Better ask what it costs to mail a letter.
Hiring a cheap HOA and Condominium simply cannot protect property values. Without the software, staff and certified contractors to super charge your HOA services efficiently you will pay much more in the long run with devalued property. Simply put; cheap companies are not collecting enough money to effectively manage your assets. You would not pick the cheapest brain surgeon when you really need the best.
If you aren’t careful choosing, your homeowners could face paying a big special assessment for years of neglected capital improvements and underfunded reserve accounts. The first step in proactively preserving your HOA values is employing real management professionals who know how an HOA should operate. You will recoup the management costs with increased property values. Call ACRI Realty today for a quote to get on the right track.