How HOA Companies Can Add Value to Communities When a developer builds a new community, they may hire an HOA company to help manage the association. It’s often a wise decision to hire a management company to take on these responsibilities and add value to the community. There are a few key things to consider when choosing an HOA company. For starters, be sure the company is reputable and has extensive experience in managing community associations. Financial management of HOAs can be time-consuming and complex. These tasks require expertise and precision, which may be difficult for non-specialists to achieve. A properly prepared budget is crucial for an association’s success. It ensures that homeowners’ monthly assessments are sufficient to cover all expected expenses. Creating and updating budgets is an extremely important task that requires extensive experience and skill. A trained professional can help your board prepare a budget that makes sense and is sustainable. Financial statements should be produced with as much detail as possible and presented in an easy-to-read format. A clear, concise report can give your community members a more accurate picture of the association’s health. HOA companies often handle maintenance requests for shared areas like pools, clubhouses, community parks and lobbies. They also deal with common area safety issues and report them to the board if necessary. Homeowners can make a lot of maintenance requests and the board may be overwhelmed with them. That’s why it’s important for boards to discern which responsibilities fall under their own control and which ones should be handled by the management company. The board also has a responsibility to ensure that homeowners are adhering to CC&Rs and upholding the rules of the association. This includes reporting any violations to the board, enforcing the rules themselves and working with the management company when homeowners fail to comply. Fortunately, many management companies are now implementing work order management software to manage service requests from residents. This helps teams track the progress of service requests and prioritize them based on their importance to the resident. It’s a simple change that makes life easier for staff members and keeps residents happy. Homeowners living in communities governed by HOAs are required to submit architectural review requests before making any exterior changes to their homes. This process is meant to protect the integrity of the association, as well as prevent any projects that could negatively impact property values or look out-of-place. ARCs, or Architectural Review Committees, are volunteers within the community that review applications for modifications, additions, or other exterior changes. The committee’s powers will vary depending on the association’s governing documents. Some ARCs make the final decision on the application, while others may simply recommend a recommendation to the HOA board. Whatever the case, the HOA should be well informed about the ARC’s powers and responsibilities. ARCs should follow the guidelines set by the association and avoid personal opinions or emotions during the review process. They should also take note of any potential conflict between homeowners or their neighbors and be willing to communicate with both parties. HOA companies must have a strong communication strategy in place to foster open dialogue and encourage communication between board members, management and residents. These strategies should include multiple channels, such as email, phone calls, social media and newsletters. Using these methods, the community will be kept informed of important developments and able to address any issues or concerns that may arise. This will ensure the community thrives and that decisions that make it better for homeowners are made. To effectively manage communication within the community, it’s vital to be consistent and streamlined in your efforts. Providing regular newsletters and a consistent cadence of notifications to residents on a monthly basis is a great way to keep your community informed. Likewise, online forums and social networking sites such as Facebook and Nextdoor are useful for informing community members about HOA news. However, it’s essential to monitor discussions and remove posts that violate the rules or policies of the community.