At the start of every new community, the developer is the sole decision maker. Essentially, the developer acts as the HOA board and takes it upon themselves to ensure the community gets off to a good start. More often than not, a developer will enlist the help of an outside management company to help with the responsibilities of managing the community.
However, at a certain point the developer will pass along the management responsibilities to a board of elected officials. It is then the responsibility of that new HOA board to figure out a management style from then on.
Unfortunately, many HOA boards who find themselves at this junction aren’t aware of their options and often elect to continue to utilize the management company empowered by the developer. While this may be the easy choice, it may not always be the best choice. It’s important for new HOA board members to consider their options.
When an association is self-managed, it becomes the responsibility of the board members to ensure the proper operation of the association. There is no assistance from an outside company or third-party entity. Self-management can be a great choice for associations that feel as though they are more than capable of handling the responsibilities. Those responsibilities include conducting meetings, enforcing violations, bidding on contracts, planning the budget and reserve, collecting fees, tackling legal dilemmas, and much more. However, the overwhelming amount of board member responsibilities can become difficult to manage in larger communities. Moreover, board members are volunteers from within the community and maintain jobs and lives of their own outside of the association. When being a board member becomes a full-time job, it can make fulfilling the necessary duties increasingly difficult. That is why many associations look to hire help.
Remote HOA Finance
In some cases, board members will hire an accounting professional to handle the finance aspect of the association, leaving them with more time to conduct different association business. The third-party professional will manage finance-specific tasks within the association, but does not handle any other aspects of the association. While this can be a viable option for some associations, it is often not enough.
An extremely popular option for many homeowners association is hiring a remote management company, such as Clark Simson Miller, will handle many of the administrative duties of an association rather than just one or all responsibilities. For example, CSM will oversee financial management, collection services, association communications, insurance negotiations, and a multitude of back-office services. Back-office duties can include reviewing and bidding on contracts, tracking maintenance requests, reviewing risk management, and much more. Clark Simson Miller will provide many of the benefits of a full-service management company without costing as much.
A remote management company tends to be a popular option among HOA boards because it significantly alleviates the total workload without making board members obsolete. It offers a balance of power and responsibility without completely breaking the annual budget.
However, for board members who want a company to handle the majority of association functions, they can hire a full-service management company.
A consultant can be an option for associations who want assistance on project-to-project basis. In other words, they only receive help when they call for it. The consultant will come in and help regain organization and control of an association to make sure it can continue to function efficiently. While this by-the-need management solution can be enticing, it can also lead to more problems. Most board members, being volunteers themselves, don’t know when to call the consultant and it’s often too late. For those that don’t want the freedom of a consultant but the stability of a full-service management company, a remote management company like Clark Simson Miller can be an ideal option.
A full-service management company is typically the more expensive choice of them all because there is more required from the company. An association can hire a third-party management company to completely assume certain duties such as property management, financial management, maintenance, etc. While a full-service management company doesn’t completely remove the need for individual board members, it will absorb the majority of their responsibilities. Board members will still be required to hold meetings and such but the Treasurer’s main duties, for example, may be entirely handled by the full-service management company (budget planning, reserve planning, etc).
Being the first official board members can often seem like an impossible task, but with the right help it can be easily manageable. Picking the best style of management for your association is key to the success of the HOA and it’s board members. If that decision is the unique approach of an expert remote management company, contact Clark Simson Miller today to request a proposal.