As a board member of a homeowners’ association (HOA), you might have found yourself in the middle of an exhausting search for a management company to take over your operation. Are you prepared to ask the right questions to find the right match?
With so many management companies lined up to take your business, finding the one that fits your needs the best requires knowing what you want and formulating your inquiry questions.
Before you begin to draft your questions, sit down with your board members and discuss the goals of your HOA and what value you expect a management company to bring to your association.
Consider asking these questions to potential management companies.
HOA management companies offer a variety of different services including administration, maintenance, customer service, fiscal, and communications. Step one is identifying the company that can perform the functions you need. Ask for a complete list of their services.
The next questions you want to ask will deal with the companies fee structure. Fee structures will vary from company to company, but most management firms will set their structure up in three categories: set-up, continuing, and exit fees. Be sure to ask for a comprehensive list of charges.
Licensed and Insured?
Some states will require HOA management firms to be licensed and insured. You want to check with your state if this applies to you, but either way, this is information that you want to know.
Inspections of HOA violations should be done regularly by your management company. Are routine visits going to be scheduled? Find out before you sign with any company.
Is the management company full of amateurs or professionals who have a proven track record of successfully adding value to HOA’s?
Be sure to ask for references from other homeowners associations that the company has managed presently or in the past. These reviews will go a long way in determining the right choice for your HOA.
Requirements for tenants
Having quality tenants that pay on time and don’t cause problems for the community is vital to keeping the value of your investments high. You’ll want to know how management plans to screen tenants to make sure you get quality homeowners.
How many rentals
Ask the management company how many HOA’s they are currently managing. Knowing the size of the company you are dealing with and how much their resources are spread out thought other accounts will give you a good idea of the type of personal attention your HOA will receive.
Property marketing strategy
When vacant units become available in your community, its good to know how the management company plans to fill those vacancies. This question also relates to fees. If you discover that the company will charge a vacancy fee which means that will still collect fees from units not generating any money, then you will want to know how management plans to market and fill those vacancies since it will cost your HOA money.