Should You Hire An HOA Management Firm?

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Questions your board should ask before choosing whether to hire a professional HOA manager, or to self-manage.

Whether or not to hire a professional manager is a question nearly all homeowner associations (HOAs) ask at themselves at one point or another. The benefits of hiring a management company are obvious: they have the expertise, skills and time to manage your community. But all that comes at a cost, and when financial times are tight, that cost could become a hardship.

Deciding to self-manage your HOA has its pros and cons as well. Those in your community may lack the expertise needed to manage your building systems, operations and finances. And trying to manage the day-to-day aspects of the HOA could become stressful and time-consuming for volunteers. On the other hand, you’ll have greater oversight of your HOA’s operations and finances, and you’ll save your community the cost of hiring a professional.

Go pro or self-manage your HOA?

Hire a professional if:

  • Your homeowners don’t have the necessary skills.
  • Your homeowners aren’t available or willing to take on the association’s tasks.
  • Your community has complex systems or amenities that require technical expertise.

Self-manage your HOA if:

  • Your homeowners have skills in finance, taxes, construction, the law, communications and project management.
  • Your budget doesn’t allow for a professional manager.
  • Your homeowners are willing and able to take on the responsibilities and commitment.

Take the middle ground

Of course, you don’t have to go one way or the other—you also have the option to run your HOA using a mix of professionals and volunteers. Find out what your homeowners would be willing to take on, and hire outside professionals, such as accountants and lawyers, to take on tasks that require more in-depth knowledge.

No matter which route your HOA takes, remember the final destination: solid property values. Be sure your community stays well-maintained, keeps a balanced budget with solid reserves and handles complaints and issues fairly and timely.

Source: HouseLogic.com, Community Associations Institute, Community Association Management, HOALeader.com
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