Top Qualities To Look For In HOA Management Companies

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When it comes to HOA management companies, there are countless to choose from. They come in all shapes and sizes, offering various services at different prices. If you’re looking for the right company for your HOA, you must prioritize certain qualities over others.

What Do HOA Management Companies Do?

An HOA management company professionally manages communities. It specifically caters to associations such as HOAs, condo associations, townhome communities, commercial associations, and the like.

Community association management companies provide a wide range of services, including but not limited to:

  • HOA property management
  • Accounting and financial management
  • Rule enforcement
  • Violation monitoring
  • Vendor coordination
  • Risk management
  • Site inspections
  • Project oversight
  • Communication
  • Board education and training
  • Maintenance and repairs management
  • Administrative work
  • Tax preparation
  • Legal assistance

Qualities to Look for in HOA Management Companies

An HOA board should conduct due diligence when hiring an HOA management company. Doing research, conducting interviews, and reviewing contracts should all be a part of the process. Otherwise, an HOA board risks partnering with a company that falls short of expectations.

Here are the top qualities to look for when vetting homeowners association management companies.

1. HOA Knowledge

First and foremost, an HOA management company is nothing without knowledge and expertise. The company must know everything about managing an association and employ managers who are well-versed in industry standards and best practices.

Although most HOAs are formed as nonprofits, they don’t share the same qualities and structure. Running a community is not like running a corporation. It is more akin to running a small town or city. There are proper procedures that must be followed, not to mention several laws and regulations that associations must adhere to.

A good HOA management company should understand how HOAs work. It must also understand how each of its communities/clients works. Not all associations operate the same way, so a competent company will put in the time and effort to get to know the community more than skin-deep.

2. Varying Services

It’s important to find a management company that offers a diverse range of services. Even if you’re only looking for one or two types of services, it’s better to have a company ready to provide more when your needs expand. 

For instance, you may only need homeowner management services right now but may require accounting services in the future. If your company is prepared to offer both, you won’t have to switch companies when the situation calls for it.

3. Experience

Property association management is not for everyone. Many people struggle with it because it involves several moving parts. While education is essential, experience is just as important. Managers with more experience have gone through all sorts of challenges, making them more qualified to serve.

When vetting HOA management companies, ask them about their industry experience. How many years have they been in the business? Do the people they employ have enough experience? Although giving newbies a chance is a noble cause, you don’t want to risk the success of your association.

4. Technologically Advanced

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Two decades ago, it would have been acceptable for an HOA management company not to have digital resources. However, in today’s world, technology is a crucial asset, especially as residents start to skew younger.

Look for an HOA management company that takes advantage of technology. Banking app integration, homeowner portals or apps, and online payments can make a huge difference in efficiency and experience. Don’t get left behind.

5. Excellent Communication

Communication is the foundation of a good partnership. You don’t want a company that doesn’t know how to communicate. That means looping your HOA board in on everything and sending notices on time.

You also want a management company that maintains an open line of communication with the residents. If residents have a concern or complaint, they should be able to contact the company. This significantly reduces the need for your HOA board to field calls and emails from homeowners.

6. Reliable

An HOA management company shoulders most of the burden from the board. That means they have a plethora of tasks and duties to accomplish daily. Therefore, it makes sense to want a company you can rely on – one that completes its tasks on time and delivers high-quality results.

When vetting candidates, it’s a good idea to also ask about emergency services. How does the company handle emergencies or disasters? What are their standard procedures and protocols? How will they respond to certain types of crises? You want a company that won’t immediately fold once the going gets tough.

7. Flexible

Finally, you should look for an HOA management company that offers flexibility. A company should be adaptable to change. You don’t want a company that panics at the first sign of adversity.

Moreover, flexibility is an indispensable quality in the HOA industry. Homeowners associations are subject to several laws, including federal, state, and local laws. These laws don’t always stay the same. If a law changes or a new one is introduced, the company should be able to keep up with it and make the necessary adjustments to maintain compliance.

How Much Do HOA Management Companies Charge?

The cost of hiring HOA management services largely depends on your HOA’s needs. Full-service management services will likely cost more than remote services or consulting services. Similarly, if you only need accounting and financial management, you won’t need to pay for the full package.

Furthermore, HOA management companies may have different pricing models. Some charge a fixed management fee per month, while others offer their services on an a la carte basis. Some companies charge additional fees, such as initiation fees and transition fees.

That said, the average cost of hiring an HOA management company is between $10 and $20 per unit per month. If you have a larger community with many amenities, you should expect to pay more than a community with only a few residents and simple common areas.

Making the Right Choice

There are many HOA management companies operating in the country today. With the available pool, many HOA boards need help choosing the right one. Focusing on your needs and the qualities of the best companies should help you narrow down your list of options. Plus, it ensures that you end up with a reliable and outstanding partner in HOA management.
Personalized Property Management offers expert management services to HOAs and condos in Southern California. Call us today at 760-325-9500 or email us at to learn more!