Choosing a property management company is one of the most important decisions an HOA board will make. Before you meet with the management company, sit down as a board and decide what questions you’ll ask. Here are critical areas to touch on.
Does the management company have a mission statement? Do their values align with the board? What do they hold most important as a property management company?
Length and Type of Experience
How long have they been in business? How many HOAs do they manage? What types: condos, detached homes, a mix? What amenities do these properties have? Do they have the staff capacity to give you the attention you need? Have they developed relationships with preferred vendors for maintenance, landscaping, etc.? Are they familiar with HOA laws in your state?
What kind of recommendations would their current clients give them? What sets them apart from other property management companies?
Communication and Availability
What is their preferred communication style? How do they interact with the HOA board? With the residents? What sort of participation do they normally have in board meetings and member meetings?
Will the property manager be on-site? How will the board communicate with them? Who is the backup if that person is unavailable? Is that manager backed up by a team of accountants, lawyers, or other experts? What is the procedure for reaching the manager or another person in an emergency?
Credentials and Insurance
Can the company produce licenses if they’re required by your state? What other credentials do they have? Can they show proof of insurance for errors and omissions, liability, and fidelity bond? What credentials do the individual managers have? Do they have state licenses if they’re required?
What financial reports will the management company produce? What is their process for collecting payments and paying expenses? How visible will accounting documents be to the board? What will be the process for reporting on financials?
Service and Fee Structure
The HOA board should come to the meeting with a list of services they expect the property management company to perform. They need to understand exactly what the cost will be. Are the expected services included in the base fee or are some of them add-ons? What is the full ongoing fee? Are the startup costs or termination costs?
One of the best ways to evaluate a company is to walk through what they’ve done in specific situations. For example:
- What is your process for dealing with a member who misses payments or a resident who repeatedly violates rules?
- Think of a situation when one resident made a complaint about another. What did you do?
- What do you do when a resident reports a maintenance issue?
When HOA board members come to the interview with the right set of questions, they should know by the end of the meeting whether the relationship is worth pursuing.
Experienced Property Management
North Point Management specializes in HOAs and other community associations in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine. Contact us to learn more about how we can work effectively with your HOA board.