The argument for self-management can be a strong one. The money saved on management fees can be diverted into maintenance projects, social events, and even to reserve funds. Members of the board of directors can retain control of all aspects of the management of the association, from financials to architectural requests.
But what happens when the elected board members can’t dedicate the time to better the community because they didn’t understand the position they were undertaking? Or when the board’s lack of accounting or management experience causes concerns with dues collection or vendor contracts? One accounting mistake or an uninsured vendor can cost an association more than they would have saved on several years of management fees.
A professional management company can work as a partner with the board of directors to ensure a community is protected and successful in both the short and long terms. They understand the needs of a community and have the experience and resources to effectively solve problems before they even arise, alleviating much of the stress from the board and allowing the community to flourish.
With specialized accounting systems, professional management companies can track all payables and receivables from vendor payments to dues assessments, follow up with past due and collections processes, create the annual budget, and provide monthly financial reports to the board. All records are kept in a central location and board members can request additional information at any time, ensuring the association’s finances stay sound and complete.
Most companies are on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for any variety of emergent maintenance issues. They are able to respond to unexpected situations such as water line breaks at all hours, coordinating with repair and insurance companies to make sure the situation is taken care of appropriately. In addition, they can handle all standard maintenance requests, contract negotiations with vendors, and scheduling of preventative maintenance.
Covenant enforcement can be put into the hands of the management company with the property manager performing inspections, then reporting their findings to the board to verify what issues should be considered violations as per the community governing documents. This keeps the community neat and property values high.
The level of trust that comes with hiring a professional management company is unparalleled. Homeowners are reassured their dues payments are being handled correctly and the board is receiving the professional guidance they need to make decisions in the best interest of the community. Board members can be confident in the property manager and rest of the management team carry out the decisions in a professional manner.