HOA management is not easy, but there are some key methods that you can employ. Here is a list of dos and don’ts for the best practices of managing an HOA.
What is HOA Management?
An HOA, or homeowners association, is responsible for the maintenance of common living areas in neighborhoods or a residential subdivision. HOA management is done by a board of members and volunteers. The HOA manager is responsible for making sure that the HOA complies with the law. They also manage the finances and maintain common areas.
Why is HOA Management Difficult?
When you are a HOA manager, you are in charge of the happiness and safety of a whole community. Some residential areas have thousands of residents, and they may all have different, specific requests or problems. It might get hard to keep everyone happy, but creating a safe community is key.
HOA management has a bad reputation, and it is a commonly asked question whether HOAs are actually good or bad. If you are managing an HOA, maintaining order in your community is one of your most important responsibilities. This means that an HOA manager will sometimes have to restrict certain activities and deny some requests. Hules and regulations are designed to create a fair and safe environment for all residents. While HOA managers restrict some actions, they also restrict your neighbors from doing the same thing. After all, the reason for the rules is for the good of the community.
HOA Management Best Practices, Tips, and Tricks
There are certain practices that you might want to consider if you are dealing with HOA management. Since HOA managers have a lot of responsibility, here is a list of ways to make their job easier.
1. Transparency and Trustworthiness
The most important thing to do in HOA management is to build a trusting relationship with your residents. Most types of HOA management are dependent on volunteers and the residents that pay a certain amount of fee. Thus, it is only natural that they want to know how the management part is functioning. In order to maintain trust, you need to keep a record of everything. A manager should be able to account for any and all actions that have been taken. The lack of uncertainty will make it easier for your residents to count on you when paying their fees.
2. Know the Rules
A homeowners association is mostly based on volunteers, but is still highly regulated by governing documents. HOA management requires transparency, as stated above. But in addition to that, you need to know the rules and the reasoning behind them. You don’t have to know the documents page to page, but you must have a general idea about them. Again, it is key in HOA management that you can explain the reasoning behind your decisions to your residents.
3. Effective Communication & Availability
If you are a HOA manager, you should be easy to reach. Your members will be looking at you for important information and decisions. So, it is best that you have a healthy communication with them. This will help you create a happier environment in your community as well.
One of the biggest problems in most homeowners associations is that people cannot reach the manager. In HOA management, your members should know that you are there. It is important that you return calls or emails within a reasonable timeframe. You can also send out newsletters or post on your page if you have a website to strengthen your communication with both board members and residents.
4. System of Finances
As stated before, HOA residents must pay a certain amount of fee for the service they receive. Being the person collecting the fees is a huge responsibility in such a community. Bookkeeping is a crucial part of HOA management and you must deal with it thoroughly. If you don’t have a system, you are likely to have trouble with your finances. Keeping your payments and checks all in one systematic place will help you immensely in the HOA management process.
5. Ethical Practices
Like we said in the beginning, HOA management has a bad reputation among some people. When a manager or the board must decline the request of a resident, they do it for the greater good of the community. The manager and the board should ensure that feeling of trust, especially for those cases. They must always be fair to all residents and the rules they impose must be consistent. There should be impartiality in all cases for a HOA management to function properly and the residents to be happy.
6. Be Prepared and Take It Seriously
There are regular board meetings where members make crucial decisions. Since we are talking about the happiness and life quality of a group of people, you must take these meetings seriously. They are not common recurring meetings just for the sake of meeting up. Board meetings have a parliamentary-like structure, so all members attending, and especially the HOA manager, need to be prepared.
Raklet Can Help You with HOA Management!
HOA management is hard and requires a lot of work. Keeping track of everything is hard without a good board or any help That’s where Raklet can help you! As an all-in-one platform that works with HOAs too, Raklet has extensive features that would make both management and communication much easier. You can manage your residents, collect payments easily, and stay in touch with them.
The list of best practices above is only the beginning of HOA management, but let us help you through the way! You can check out our transparent pricing page and start from 49$ per month according to your number of residents.
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