Top Five Considerations for Selecting a Community Association Management Company
Once the HOA finds candidates with these characteristics, it can further evaluate each community association management company on the following top five considerations:
- Commitment – Any true partner to the HOA must be committed to developing and maintaining a long-term relationship. This dedication must be obvious in the level of personal service the company has a history of providing and the corporate culture it’s known for within the industry.
The community association management company must also demonstrate a pro-active approach in every project and task it undertakes. In addition, the company needs to be committed to assuming personal ownership for all responsibilities and issues. Commitment also means the community association management company always puts the best interests of the HOA first and treats every member with respect.
- Clients – A well qualified management company will have long-term client relationships and first-rate references. A significant percentage of its current client base will have been with the company for several years. This repeat business speaks volumes about the level of services the community association management company provides.
Other factors about a management company’s client base to evaluate include size and growth. Is the company’s client base growing or stagnant? When’s the last time they added a new community? How many communities have they added in the past year?
Also, the HOA should evaluate the range of associations the company serves. In other words, is the focus broad or narrow? A full-range of association management would include master-planned communities, active adult communities, traditional neighborhoods, condominium properties and more. The HOA should select a management company with experience in its community type.
- People -- The services of the community association management company will only be as good as the experience and expertise of the people providing them. Therefore, to deliver the highest standards, the company’s people must be highly trained and motivated. In certain positions, professional credentials are required. In particular, HOAs should evaluate the management company’s executive team, community managers, human resource department, accounting personnel and support staff.
For example, do key personnel hold college degrees and/or professional certifications? Is the working environment a positive one? Do employees seem to like working for the company?
- Education – Education and training is a priority for both the community association management company’s internal staff and the HOA’s board members. The management company must invest regularly in staff training for everyone involved in managing the community.
Education keeps personnel current on all issues, legislative updates and best practices concerning association management. By providing all the necessary training, support and tools for communities, HOA management companies can improve neighborhoods and make them better places to live.
- Processes – Streamlining projects within the community requires proven processes. An experienced community association management company will have established processes ready to deploy when they’re brought on board. Using these processes, the transition to the new management company should go smoothly and the HOA should begin seeing value from the relationship right away. With an efficient framework in place for managing the HOA’s business, a skilled community association management company creates unmatched peace-of-mind for board members.
AAM works with many of the largest homebuilding and community development companies in the United States such as Del Webb/Pulte, Shea Homes and Meritage Homes. Founded in 1990, the company employs 460 people and manages over 440 homeowners associations in the United States. AAM is dedicated to delivering total peace of mind to the Boards of Directors and homeowners in the communities it manages.