In Television shows and movies, a common problem amongst characters is poor communication. If you see a couples counselor, he or she will tell you the number one issue in your relationship is the lack of communication. Communication is the bedrock of every successful relationship. The protagonist in the movie lives happily ever after he/she learns how to communicate feelings effectively. Couples can work out almost any problem once they communicate about it.
The same basic principles apply to the management of a property you own. Maintaining clear lines of communication between yourself and the property management company, board members and residents, and contractors is imperative. You cannot expect a relationship to thrive if you do not know how to communicate with one another and subsequently resolve disputes.
The following issues are the top reasons why Homeowners' Association (HOA) board of directors are unable to manage properties due to a lack of effective communication. If these problems seem familiar, then it may be time to rethink your approach.
Lack of Specialized Committees
It's hard for a board of directors to address every problem that might come up in the management of an HOA. A HOA board must maintain the grounds, enforce rules, hire management companies, interview potential residents, and more. Bear in mind that these duties are all expected of board members who are working part time and for little (or no) remuneration.
The only way any HOA board of directors can maintain its sanity and still actually manage a property is through specialized committees. The board can delegate specific activities or duties to specialized committees, which can take action with the property owner. At the very least, the board should appoint a specialized committee to hear complaints and respond to them. If your board is unable to respond to resident concerns or complaints effectively, then you must rethink your approach to governing.
Filtering Information to the Residents
HOA board of directors deal with a myriad of issues every day. They must address issues concerning the grounds of the property, parking lot maintenance, permits, and more. The board obviously cannot alert residents every time a decision or issue pops up, so how do you know when to share something and when to hold back? What is the standard practice?
Focus on problems that affect the everyday lives of residents. If there is a significant financial issue coming up that might necessitate a loan or increased HOA fees, it must be shared with residents. The more a potential issue will affect residents lives, the more likely you should share it with them.
Finally, don’t forget to give all of your residents warning of any changes or modifications that you are planning.
One of the biggest problems many property owners face is knowing when to ask for help. HOA board of directors are not designed to address every single little problem. If you try to, it will consume your life. That is why there are property management companies that specialize in working with HOAs.
You simply need to recognize that there are details about running a property that escapes most HOA boards. Board members do their duties part time or on a volunteer basis, and you are not expected to become an expert property manager.
A property management company can address the day to day minutiae, thereby enabling the board to focus on big picture issues, like the future of the community. The best way to keep your community running smoothly is to turn over the day to day operations to a property management company. Finally, don’t forget to tell your residents about the shift because you don’t want a lot of them to be disgruntled.
Once you settle on the style and purpose of your property management company, how do you choose? You want a company that specializes in property management. There are many companies out there that split their time between managing their properties and their client’s properties.
You'll want to choose a company that focuses exclusively on helping their clients. This avoids potential conflicts of interest issues and you can rest assured knowing that the property management company has your community’s best interests in mind.
Property Advantage manages properties throughout Southern California. Its managers possess the experience and knowledge to adequately address any issue that may come up for a Southern California community.