An effective property management company can make or break a successful homeowners association (HOA) community. Many HOA board members overlook red flags that indicate they should switch to a new property management company.
Here are some signs it’s the right time to hire a new property management company, and how to go about it.
When is the Right Time To Switch Property Management Company?
The right time is as soon as you know that the relationship with your current management company is no longer working.
When this happens exactly depends on your feelings as an HOA board member. You should know it’s not a right fit when you notice key red flags or you don’t feel like the relationship with your current management company is productive anymore.
If you notice something is off, then start doing your research to understand how a different property management company could suit you better.
What Your Property Management Company Should Be Doing
While the roles and responsibilities of a property management company can vary widely, your property management company, in general, manages the property to execute the directives of the HOA board and enhance the lives of building residents.
Some common roles of property managers include:
- Organizing the services on the property with contractors, including snow removal, landscaping, or internal maintenance items
- Monitoring finances based on the budgets provided by the HOA board members
- Handling the tasks that the HOA board member sets for them
Other responsibilities which may be requested of a property management company can include:
- Collecting property and HOA fees
- Inspecting the property
- Responding to condo owner inquiries
- Ensuring compliance with local and federal regulations
- Negotiating with vendors and contractors to provide landscaping, cleaning, and maintenance services
Potential Red Flags to Watch Out For
When it comes to hiring a high-quality, effective property management company, finding the right fit can be a challenge. However, there are some red flags that could indicate that your property management company is not working out.
One of the biggest sources of tension between property management and HOA board members is that each party does not properly understand their roles. It’s quite often the case that HOA board members think that property management will do everything for them. This isn’t true. Even if an HOA board member goes into the relationship with this notion, the right property management company will be able to properly educate on the ideal relationship, which is usually working as a team.
Another red flag to watch out for is poor communication. A property management company that is not in frequent contact with the HOA, does not clearly state what is needed, shows confusion, or fails to communicate when issues arise is a problem.
The right property management company should recognize that the best relationships start with solid communication. Look for companies that communicate effectively and proactively.
What if I Just Hired My Property Management Company?
If you’ve recently hired your current property management company, it can be frustrating to switch right away. After all, too much change in too little time can be confusing for the HOA board members and the condo owners.
Changing firms frequently is of course not recommended. But if you just hired a company and already see the red flags popping up, then you need to do what is best for your building.
Tips for Switching to a New Property Management Company Like Hales Property Management
Switching to a new property management company can be a hassle. You may be familiar with your current property management company and comfortable working with them because you know them. But these are not good reasons for staying with them if you are not otherwise getting what you need from them.
While cutting ties may be tough, there are simple ways to do it without a lot of trouble.
Tip #1: Have a Frank Discussion With Your HOA Board About the Situation
With a troublesome property management company, it’s important to get your fellow board members on the same page. First, sit down and discuss with your board members what the issues are and what you want to change. You should be able to come up with an action plan for addressing the situation.
Tip #2: Always Be Honest About What You Need
You need a property management company that will provide the services that support you best. Lying to yourself and saying that what you have is good enough will not lead to good outcomes in the long term. Write down the list of things that you need to address and turn those into clear action items to move forward.
Tip #3: Before Cutting Ties, Research a New Property Management Company
Be sure to set up your HOA for success before cutting ties with the current management company. Do your research to find another property management company that suits your needs. You should prioritize finding one that provides clear communication and is proactively solving problems.
Hiring the Best Property Management Company
When you operate on the HOA board, running your property well is very important. You need a property management company that can execute your vision.
Look for a partner who will be there and support you, like Hales Property Management. We encourage proactive communication to eliminate the stress of running an HOA board.