According to Realtor Magazine, 73.9 million Americans live in a place managed by a homeowners association (HOA). With such a large part of the population living in an HOA community, it’s necessary for board members to set policies and govern the organization. There are several points to consider when deciding how to manage an HOA
The first step is ensuring everything is as accessible and transparent as possible. Following are a few specific ways we recommend when maintaining this type of accessibility.
- Publicize each meeting in advance and list all topics to discuss.
- Post all minutes promptly and in an easily accessible format.
- Provide easy methods for directors and homeowners to remain in contact with the Association. Establish a central/uniform method for your membership to communicate to ensure consistency of information.
Practice Strong Ethics
We know that ethical practices are critical when determining how to manage an HOA without conflicts and divisions among members.
- Ensure that directors and board members make decisions in the community’s best interest.
- Make sure everyone on the team avoids pursuing personal agendas.
- Steer clear of even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
- Admit when mistakes are made and provide solutions to resolve
- Don’t allow your management company to take kickbacks, check the annual disclosures and the management contract to ensure this isn’t happening without your knowledge.
Provide Clear Objectives
Setting clear objectives will keep everyone on the same page, help meetings run smoothly, and enable members to reach their goals more quickly. The following are a few HOA best practices we suggest.
- Start by coming up with policies for your HOA and rely on those policies when making decisions.
- Establish proper maintenance schedules including long-term reserve funding and planning.
- Decide and clearly communicate the responsibilities of each member of the board.
Hold Regular Meetings
It’s part of HOA best practices to decide what type of meeting to plan and then hold them regularly.
- Plan meetings as far out as possible so that most people can attend. Set a schedule for the year.
- Consider alternating daytime and evening meetings to accommodate alternative work schedules or stay at home parents.
- Post minutes on a secure Association website within 2 weeks of the meeting.
Enforce Rules Consistently
Enforcing your Rules fairly and consistently is essential for long-term success.
- Make sure everyone in the HOA is aware of all rules.
- Ensure you enforce each rule in the same manner for everyone.
- Update and change rules that aren’t working well.
- Don’t put rules into effect that are not enforceable, do put rules in effect that you feel are in the best interest of the community.
Hire an HOA Management Company
Many HOA members lack the financial experience and industry knowledge to manage an HOA successfully. This issue can cause problems later, so it’s imperative to look for a company with expert financial handling and certifications through the California Association of Community Managers (CACM)
We want to offer other important reasons to consider hiring an outside company.
- Industry Expertise – An HOA management company should have certified or licensed managers who know and understand the HOA industry specifically and who are in tune with changing laws and regulations.
- You can’t do it all – Board Members are volunteers who also have full time jobs and lives outside of the HOA. Professional management will help you ensure your Board stays focused on big-picture decisions and policies and aren’t caught up in the day to day requests from homeowners, vendors, and outside 3rd
- Ensure Compliance – An HOA has regulations that all members must follow, so an outside team can ensure these rules are met promptly.
Why The Helsing Group
Since 1991, our certified HOA management team has provided assistance and guidance to Board Members for various associations, including high-rise developments, master-planned communities, suburban condos, and a mix of residential and commercial housing types. We know how to manage an HOA effectively at every stage of the development process.
Managing an HOA and implementing HOA best practices isn’t always easy. Luckily, at The Helsing Group, we offer guidance on managing an HOA and additional support with bookkeeping services, election services, and reserve studies. We can also help developers with association set-up and management and create maintenance manuals and DRE budgets.
Contact us at The Helsing Group today for more information regarding HOA property management.