A successful condo or homeowners association is one that is well-maintained and relatively conflict-free. It’s a community where the residents feel safe, heard and content. And it’s the job of HOA or COA management to ensure that this remains the case. Whether you are a newer association looking to set up some best practices or an older community that could benefit from an overhaul, the following tips are for you.
Address issues promptly.
When you’ve got a community made up of many different individuals and families, disagreements will naturally occur. It’s how you address those issues that will make or break your success. Whether it’s a resident disagreeing with the board members or homeowners in conflict with one another, it’s critical that HOA management step in and do what it takes to diffuse and resolve the situation before it escalates – even if that means having uncomfortable conversations.
Maintain a decent reserve fund.
Community associations need reserve funds in order to handle large-scale projects, emergencies and other unexpected expenses. While most COAs and HOAs typically have some money set aside, the amount of these funds isn’t always as high as it should be. Without appropriate finances to dip into, you may be forced to levy a special assessment when costly issues arise, which is something your residents definitely won’t appreciate. To avoid this, we recommend maintaining a reserve fund of at least 30% of your total maintenance fees.
Hire the right vendors.
There’s a lot of moving parts involved in community management, particularly in terms of property maintenance. Whether it’s landscaping, cleaning or repairs, successful HOAs have reliable contractors and vendors that they can call upon when needed. You may need to allocate a bit more of your budget, but hiring the right team will ultimately save the community money in the long run, so be sure to do your due diligence when researching and selecting vendors.
Be flexible but firm.
You don’t have to rule with an iron fist, but you should be firm when it comes to things like HOA fees and community policies. There will always be residents who will try to push the boundaries, and if you don’t enforce the rules fairly and consistently, you’ll undoubtedly end up with increased conflict and homeowner dissatisfaction. If a policy is violated, even if it’s relatively minor, it’s imperative that community management take action promptly and effectively. This will help maintain peace and order.
Community management in the digital age is exponentially easier than it was even just ten years ago. Today, there is technology available that is industry specific and designed to streamline and optimize the process of HOA and COA management. Consider investing in property management software, which will allow you to improve communication, boost efficiency, cut costs and make maintenance a breeze. It’ll be better for everyone!