Remote HOA management — you have probably heard of the service from a friend or fellow board member. But, what is remote HOA management anyway? And is it really something your community can benefit from?
In this article:
What Is Remote HOA Management?
Remote HOA management is a new model for community management offered by numerous companies. Unlike full-service management, remote management focuses solely on financial and back-office services for community associations.
The specific services offered will vary from company to company. However, they will usually include things like invoicing association members, paying bills, working with collections agencies, and providing financial reports to the board. They may also provide communication services, working with the board to make sure association members are informed of all the goings-on in the community.
A remote management model usually does not include on-site services, such as board meeting attendance, violations drive-throughs, or maintenance. The result is a model somewhere between full-service and self-management with a much smaller price-tag to match. The board saves money and maintains control over their community. At the same time, they reap the benefits of having a professional management company on their team.
Remote HOA Management Services
Now that you know what is remote HOA management, it is time to move on to the specifics. What exactly are the services that typically come with remote HOA management? And how can they help communities like yours? Let’s break them down below:
1. Financial Management
Financial stability is a defining feature of a successful HOA community. As such, it is only normal for board members like you to strive to reach such a level of financial security. Unfortunately, handling HOA finances is not as easy as it seems. It involves complicated accounting, financial reporting, and building short- and long-term value. Most of the time, it requires professional expertise and experience. If you want to feel at ease with your financials, consider remote management for homeowners associations.
2. Back Office Services
Busy schedules often keep HOA board members from focusing on their board duties. Sometimes, even sending out meeting notices is overlooked. If you want to cut back on back-office tasks, hire a virtual HOA management company.
Some of these back-office services include contract review and bid management, reserve analysis and planning, risk management review, tracking maintenance requests, and dispatching work orders. Additionally, your remote HOA management company can send out violation letters, community letters, newsletters, and other mailings on your behalf. Legal services are sometimes covered as well.
3. Collection Services
A homeowners association relies on assessments to continue running smoothly. Without funds, it ceases to operate. Sometimes, though, residents make it extremely difficult to collect these dues. Well, no longer!
Remote HOA management companies usually offer collection services. They work with your community to come up with a tailor-made collection policy. Once you create a strategy, you will work together to implement the plan and make sure residents know the consequences of defaulting on payments. You don’t even have to deal with a delinquent homeowner yourself. A remote HOA management company will assist you in enforcing assessment policies, too.
Insurance is often a complex topic that most homeowners have no experience with. Remote HOA management experts have all the knowledge required to deal with such an intricate subject. Plus, these companies typically have far-reaching networks, so they know the most trusted insurance providers in the business. Beyond that, they will work with you to create an affordable plan that best suits your needs.
5. Homeowner Communication
Constant communication is imperative within an HOA community. It is important to keep homeowners informed of the latest updates and policy changes. After all, homeowners who are kept in the dark form suspicions and develop mistrust over time. Virtual HOA management companies can set up ways to communicate with residents. This includes constructing a website for your HOA and sending out text messages and emails on the regular.
Why Choose Remote Management for HOA?
Not all communities are created equal. They come all sizes and income levels, from groups of only a dozen or so condos to developments of a hundred or more multi-million dollar homes. The needs of each community will vary just as wildly. The time and money members are able to devote to their association varies as well.
Despite this, many communities still use the one-size-fits-all solution of full-service management companies. This is still a great option for large communities that need and can afford the level of service they provide.
However, other associations may choose to become self-managed, taking on more responsibilities while drastically reducing costs for members. While this is certainly a cheap option, self-managed communities are taking on a lot of responsibility and risk. Without a professional management company to back them up, the board of directors is responsible for everything. This includes dues collection and paying bills, arranging vendor contracts and maintenance, violations, and everything in between.
HOA boards are volunteer organizations. Board members usually aren’t experts in community management. Additionally, they are often juggling full-time careers and families alongside their board responsibilities. The number of things to do can quickly overwhelm all but the smallest of communities. For this reason, most associations will decide to contract a management company that is worth the money. This alternative management model gives communities access to all the back-office services offered by the full-service model while cutting out on-site services that may not be necessary for your community.
A Model That Fits Your Community
Regardless of the size of your community, you should be sure your management model fits your needs. For many small-to-medium-sized communities, finding that fit can be difficult. It is common for self-managed communities to be overworked and for full-service communities to overpay and be under-served. After all, a full-service management company with dozens of communities naturally focuses their time and effort on their largest accounts, so small communities get less service than they expect. Communities in these situations might want to consider remote management instead.
Now you know what is remote HOA management. While it does mean the board is responsible for more than they would be in a full-service model, many communities may actually find it to be more convenient. Instead of waiting (and paying for) a violations inspector from the management company to make their rounds, small communities can easily do the rounds themselves. Meanwhile, remote-managed communities still have access to all the back-office and financial service support they would expect from a full-service model at a fraction of the cost.
If your community is interested in how remote management could work for you, request a proposal or contact us today.
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