You’ve decided to get more involved in your community and have been elected to the board of directors of your homeowners association. As a board member, you may be tasked with finding an HOA management company for your association. In order to find the right management company for the job, it is essential to understand their goals and processes. Asking the right questions is critical to the vetting process. With that, we’ve put together 15 of the best questions to ask an HOA management company.
Finding the best HOA management company for your community can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know where to start. With an abundance of management companies in Park City, it is imperative to understand what your community needs and formulate your interview questions around those parameters.
First things first. You’ll need to meet with your fellow board members to discuss the goals of your HOA and align on expectations for the services provided by a management company. Although some questions will be inherently unique to your community, there are some general questions to ask an HOA property management company that can help any association in their decision-making process.
Here are 15 of the best questions to ask an HOA management company:
Learning how long an HOA manager has been operating in your region gives you a reference for their experience and expertise. An established management company with a substantial client history will likely instill more confidence than a new company without a proven track record.
However, it is important to not only consider the age of the business. Just because a company has been in business for some time does not mean that their track record is up to your standards. Consider the age of the business as well as their client history.
HOA management companies offer a variety of different services including board communication, owner/community communication, administrative duties, accounting/budget planning and review, vendor procurement and oversight, as well as property oversight and upkeep. Before moving forward with an HOA management company, determine whether they can meet the service needs of your community. Ask for a complete list of their services and whether they are customizable.
To understand the HOA manager’s fee structure, it is important to ask what is included in the monthly management fee and determine how any additional charges will be incurred. A complete list of services provided and associated charges should be outlined in the service agreement.
Some states require HOA management companies to be licensed and insured – Utah is one of them. Regardless of local laws, a good, professional HOA management company should be licensed and insured with a substantial general liability policy. It is also important to know how the company handles licensing and insurance with their vendor and subcontractor partners.
The laws applied to homeowners associations in Utah can affect how your community needs to be managed. Ensure that the HOA management company you hire stays informed on regulations and adapts to any changes in the legal codes. This will ultimately protect your association from any unnecessary litigation.
Knowing the size of the management company, their available resources and capacity for care will give you a good understanding of how they plan to care for your community and the attention your HOA will receive. Consider the ratio of staff to properties managed, for instance.
Your client experience will be significantly impacted by how an HOA management company organizes and delegates community property inspections, coordination and notifications of board and annual meetings, accounting and budget management, governing documents enforcement, and maintenance work. Be sure to ask how the team that will be managing your community association will be structured.
Effective communication is key to any relationship, particularly when it comes to HOA management. Knowing who and how to contact your HOA management company will significantly influence your client experience. Will you be communicating directly with a designated person or through a work order request portal (online)? Or both? Ask for the appropriate phone and email contacts, specific to your association’s account.
Financial management presents one of the most complex challenges of operating a homeowners association. This is one of the main reasons an HOA will choose to hire a management company. When deciding on an HOA management company, it is essential to ask how they plan to manage your association’s finances.
Determine how an HOA management company approaches project management and stays on top of maintenance tasks in a timely manner. It is prudent to understand all aspects of how they assess and prioritize projects, as well as how they communicate progress on requests. Do they take initiative in addressing potential issues and planned seasonal maintenance?
A good HOA management company will have a list of vetted and trusted vendors and subcontractors. It is wise to understand how the company has built relationships with vendors and how they have determined their reliability, competence, and ability to complete jobs in a timely manner. Does this HOA management company receive priority with their vendor partners when scheduling client service appointments?
It is important to know how long it takes (on average) for the management team to respond to issues and requests concerning your HOA. Ask about a variety of potential situations. When an emergency arises, what is the expected response time from the management company team?
No community is the same and no day is the same within a given community. Emergencies happen. When unforeseen issues come up, how does the HOA management company plan to effectively and efficiently handle them? Do they have an emergency action plan in place for your HOA?
There are many options to choose from. How does this HOA management company distinguish itself from the competition in Park City? Determine what they can offer your community that other management companies cannot.
A critical part of evaluating a potential HOA management company is asking for references. You will want to hear from other homeowners associations that the company currently or previously managed. What was their specific experience with the management company like? Don’t forget to also read public reviews of the company to get a feel for their overall performance.
Finding an HOA management company best suited to your community’s unique needs is an involved process. Asking the right questions can assist your board in selecting the right provider. Whether this is the first time hiring a management company or your community is considering switching providers, these are important questions to ask an HOA management company.
Sea to Ski has been managing homes and HOAs in and around Park City for two decades. We provide high-touch client communications, premier services, customized care, and proven experience. Our team of dedicated HOA Managers, Accountants, and Maintenance Technicians, alongside our highly-rated preferred vendor partners, help our clients enjoy their community year-round. We’re here to help guide your community through the process – contact us today!