The Foundation for Community Association Research estimates that approximately 22-24% of the U.S. population lives in private communities governed by Condominiums, Cooperatives, and Housing Associations. Individuals who serve on Condo Owner Association (COA) boards are often volunteers with minimal experience or expertise in real estate management.
When the responsibilities to the board become more than they can handle, these volunteers may easily become frustrated or feel overwhelmed. Hiring a condominium association management firm is often the best course of action. That way, board members can retain their decision-making power while the property management company handles responsibilities revolving around administrative services, relational issues, financial and facility management.
Here are five tips to help your board pick the right condo association management firm for the job at hand.
1. Management Experience
You will need to find a reputable management company that has relevant experience working with condominium communities. You may need to dig deeper to find out more about their knowledge and skillset. Start by inquiring about the properties that the firm currently manages. Then, check out the size of the company and the number of staff members on their payroll. The years spent managing your specific type of community will show if the firm is the right fit for your condo association.
2. Services Offered
Condominium association management companies are meant to ease your burdens as a COA or HOA board. You may need to think through the responsibilities that would require an extra hand. Once you determine what you need, you’ll want to ensure your choice can accommodate your priorities. You can request help with:
- Basic property management
- Financial controls
- Operational and administrative management
- Risk and insurance management
- Contractor management
- Human resource management
Pick out a company that can tailor its services to meet your community’s needs or that checks all of your boxes.
3. Communication Skills
Your condominium association management firm will spend significant time interacting with the board, property owners, prospective buyers, their own staff, and third-party vendors. You will need to pick a firm with well-established communication channels to address any issues that your residents may have. How the company responds to your initial inquiry says a lot about its work ethic. The last thing you want is to work with a non-responsive company that won’t handle your issues in a timely manner. A hands-on, highly responsive approach is always best.
4. Qualifications and Accreditations
You also need to carefully examine the collective expertise of the leadership and their team. You may prefer to pick a management firm with a real estate license. You may also want to choose a company with formal accreditation within the industry. Professional recognition can help distinguish them from other association management companies. This may indicate the quality of the services they provide, as they have to attain and maintain the standards agreed upon by the professional bodies.
One of the best ways to evaluate a condo association management company is to talk to present and past clients when possible. Reputable management firms have no issue providing referrals to some of the communities they are currently managing. Check out reviews on their website and other online review sites. However, it is always important to be aware of the nuances of all relationships between condominium association management firms and their clients, which may affect reviews.
Your COA board may require additional assistance in managing and running your condominium. Finding the right condominium association management firm is key to ensure that the residents receive the services they require.
Are you looking for community association management in Austin, TX? Reach out to Pioneer Real Estate Services to request a proposal.