HOA back-office administration services are critical to any community, but they can also take up a lot of time in a workday. An HOA board must learn to balance these often prosaic tasks with other decision-making responsibilities.
Wasting Time on HOA Back-Office Administration Services
HOA management naturally involves a lot of back-office administration work whether in the form of tracking maintenance requests or sending out correspondence. An HOA board, in the fulfillment of its roles and responsibilities, must ensure these administrative tasks are completed in a timely and accurate manner. In the pursuit of excellence, though, some HOA boards take it a step too far, wasting time on the smallest of details, no matter how insignificant.
While it is true that HOA back-office administration services play an important part in successful management, it is possible for an HOA board to spend too much time on them. Focusing on a singular aspect of HOA management risks jeopardizing other aspects that are equally essential, if not more so. Effective association management relies on balance, and tipping the scales can result in utter chaos.
What Are HOA Administrative Tasks?
Many homeowners associations use “back-office administrative work” as a catch-all term for various management tasks. But, what exactly does it entail? Here are some common examples of back-office administrative tasks.
1. Managing Maintenance Requests
One of the HOA board’s primary objectives is to increase property values in the community. To achieve this, the board must boost curb appeal and ensure the neighborhood is properly maintained.
Members of the community submit maintenance requests, which the board must review and either approve or deny. In a particularly large association, maintenance requests can quickly pile up, leaving the board with a lot of paperwork to go through.
2. Enforcing Covenants
Covenant enforcement is vital to any homeowners association. Residents are given a set of covenants and rules that they must follow. Imposing punishments as a result of violations can help discourage residents from breaking the rules. While residents can submit violation reports, the board must also make routine inspections to search for any violations. If the board finds a resident guilty of an infraction, the board must send a notice to the violator and levy any applicable fines.
3. Bid Management and Contract Review
The HOA board performs a wide range of responsibilities, but they can’t utilize a hands-on approach every time. Some issues require professional help in the form of a vendor or contractor. This is why many homeowners associations secure agreements with vendors.
The vendor selection process, though, can come as a challenge to the HOA board. It involves sending out a request for proposal to vendors in the area, followed by comparing bids based on a vendor matrix and interviewing potential candidates. The work does not stop there either.
After arriving at a decision, the HOA board must review the contract thoroughly to ensure it covers all necessary items, including liability. There are also termination and auto-renewal clauses to watch out for. The process takes time as well as a lot of work.
4. Fair Housing Compliance
Homeowners associations are not exempt from the law. It must stay up-to-date on all federal, state, and local laws to mitigate the risk of liability. The board must ensure the association complies with the Fair Housing Act, which prevents discrimination in many forms. This includes making reasonable accommodations for residents with disabilities and making sure no rules directly or indirectly discriminate against certain groups.
Remaining compliant takes a fair amount of effort. From flipping through multiple requests to reviewing the association’s rules, the work can quickly stack up.
5. Newsletter Creation and Distribution
Newsletters allow the HOA board to keep community members in the loop as well as encourage participation. Writing and designing newsletters, though, is no easy job. People have shorter attention spans nowadays, so newsletters must immediately catch the attention of its readers. HOA boards must also continuously come up with content ideas to maintain interest.
6. Reserve Analysis and Planning
An association’s reserve funds play a critical role in the future security of an HOA. As such, it is imperative to maintain the right reserve level, which begins with a comprehensive reserve study. Depending on state laws, HOAs may need to conduct reserve studies every few years. Though, it is advised to analyze the association’s reserve fund on a yearly basis.
The board must always stay on top of the association’s reserves, making sure it does not go below the recommended amount. The board can do this by carefully planning the annual budget and setting aside a portion of the funds for the reserves.
The Benefits of Outsourcing HOA Back-Office Administration Services
The definitive answer to an ever-growing laundry list of back-office work is to outsource. There is only so much an HOA board can do, especially with 9-to-5 jobs and full-time parenting duties. The best use of a board’s limited time is to make decisions and focus on the community’s future. Here are the advantages of getting professional back-office help:
- Expertise. Professionals possess the necessary abilities and knowledge required to carry out various administrative tasks.
- Efficiency. Thanks to experience, professionals have developed time management skills and can get a lot more work done in a shorter period of time.
- Dedication. Hiring someone ensures tasks don’t get left by the wayside because it is literally a professional’s job to perform administrative work.
- Saves money. Some may think hiring a professional is counterproductive due to the associated costs. On the contrary, outsourcing saves both time and money because there would be no need to keep redoing work and correcting mistakes.
- Maintain control. Although a professional can help the board execute back-office work, the board will retain full control over decisions and have the final say.
- Work-life balance. HOA board members need breaks, too, and hired professionals can significantly reduce the workload, thereby promoting mental and physical health in the process.
Finding the Right Company for the Job
It is clear that back-office work demands plenty of time, so much so that some boards end up neglecting their other duties. When this happens, the community and its members suffer. The best way around this is to outsource these tasks to a professional HOA management company.
Finding a capable company that can do the job well and efficiently can be a challenge, though. Luckily, Clark Simson Miller offers the unparalleled HOA back-office administration services at an affordable rate. Reach out to us today by calling 865.315.7505, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or contacting us online.
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