Managing homeowners’ associations takes a lot of work from the board of directors, HOA managers, and community members. It takes a village to ensure a harmonious community, and HOA managers play a large part in keeping things running smoothly. Today, we’ll go over what an HOA manager does, the essential skills they need, and how to become more effective as an HOA manager. Just keep reading to learn what it takes.
Contents of This Article:
- What Is an HOA Manager and What Do They Do?
- Qualities and Skills an HOA Manager Needs
- How to Become an Effective HOA Manager
- Looking to Hire a Reliable HOA Manager?
What Is an HOA Manager and What Do They Do?
An HOA (Homeowners Association) manager oversees the day-to-day operations of a community association. Typically, this includes managing the community’s finances, enforcing rules and regulations, and communicating with residents about their needs and concerns.
They work closely with the HOA Board of Directors to create and implement policies, manage community maintenance, and organize events. Being an HOA manager in Philadelphia means you’ll typically oversee the following.
- Rule Enforcement- Enforce community rules like architectural, landscaping, and noise standards.
- Financial Management- Manage finances by collecting dues, creating budgets, paying bills, and maintaining financial records.
- Meeting Organization- Facilitate and attend board meetings, supporting directors in community decision-making.
- Vendor Management- Hire and oversee contractors for maintenance, repairs, landscaping, and community needs.
- Communication- Communicate between homeowners and the HOA Board, ensuring effective communication on community matters, events, and policy changes.
- Record Keeping- Maintain accurate records of the association’s activities, financial transactions, and correspondence.
- Legal Compliance- Ensure HOA compliance with relevant state and local community association laws and regulations.
- Property Management- Oversee maintenance and management of common areas and amenities, including parks, pools, and community buildings.
Qualities and Skills an HOA Manager Needs
Being a good HOA manager requires a combination of skills, knowledge, and personal qualities. Here are some key attributes and skills typically important for success in this role.
- Leadership Skills
- Extensive HOA Knowledge
- Communication Skills
- Accounting Experience
- Involvement With the Community
- Contractor Knowledge
- Knowledge of Property Management
Successful HOA managers need strong leadership skills to work effectively with the Board, make informed decisions, and lead the community toward common goals. Ultimately, leadership is important for navigating conflicts, managing projects, and ensuring a cohesive community atmosphere.
Extensive HOA Knowledge
HOA managers must deeply understand HOA laws, regulations, and governing documents. This knowledge ensures compliance with legal requirements, effective rule enforcement, and the ability to provide accurate information and guidance to the Board of Directors and homeowners.
Clear and effective communication is essential for an HOA manager. They must know how to relay information in a way that’s understood by homeowners, board members, and vendors. Good communication skills involve active listening, resolving conflicts peacefully, and fostering positive relationships within the community.
HOA managers often handle many financial aspects, like budgeting, collecting dues, and paying bills.
As such, accounting experience is essential for maintaining accurate financial records, creating budgets that align with the association’s goals, and ensuring financial transparency for homeowners and the Board.
Involvement With the Community
Being actively involved in the community helps build trust and rapport with homeowners and board members. As such, a good HOA manager engages with residents, attends community events, and understands the unique needs and concerns of homeowners. This involvement creates a sense of community and can make a property manager more approachable.
HOA managers often deal with contractors and service providers for various community needs. So, having knowledge about different types of contractors, understanding industry standards, and knowing how to negotiate and manage contracts are valuable skills. This ensures that the community receives quality services at reasonable costs.
Knowledge of Property Management
Understanding property management principles is essential for overseeing the maintenance and management of common areas and amenities. This may include knowledge of landscaping, maintenance schedules, and addressing issues related to community infrastructure. After all, a strong foundation in property management contributes to the community’s overall well-being.
How to Become an Effective HOA Manager
Having the skills to be an HOA manager is one thing. However, knowing how to use those skills effectively to ensure your community runs smoothly is another. Here are some of the top ways to become a more effective HOA manager.
- Streamline Your Work
- Stay On Top of Finances
- Work Closely With the Board
- Practice Patience
Streamline Your Work
Not everything has to be done by hand. In fact, many HOA management tasks can be done using software. Various software programs can help streamline tasks, freeing time and improving work performance. Most programs help automate tasks, provide instance access to data, and organize files much easier.
For instance, part of your job involves tracking and enforcing CC&R (covenants, conditions, and restrictions). As a manager, you’ll have to track violations and know where you are in the process of resolving them. Keeping records of each violation can be done using software, allowing you to enter new instances or update existing records.
Dedicated HOA management software like PayHOA can allow you to do most of the work from your computer or mobile device. It can also help you automate important notices, violations, or issue reports.
Stay On Top of Finances
You may think this one’s a no-brainer, but staying on top of finances is vital for HOA property management. Some HOAs struggle with budgeting and planning, lacking awareness of their overall finances. However, it’s the manager’s job to understand the HOA’s financial position. So, they must monitor the budget and ensure the association has the funds necessary to cover planned expenses.
So, develop a habit of keeping all the HOA’s financial records carefully and diligently. It’s crucial to keep up with collecting dues, tracking expenses and spending, and budgeting and financial reviews.
Work Closely With the Board
As an HOA manager, you’re responsible for pleasing the Board and answering their questions and concerns. The Board of Directors will help set goals and policies and regulate certain HOA aspects. However, it’s your job as an HOA manager to implement them and execute them on a day-to-day basis.
Managing daily HOA tasks means having the biggest insight into the association, the community, and the neighborhood. As such, you are in charge of relaying important information and insights to the Board.
Working with people is a huge part of being an HOA manager. You’re in charge of communicating with community members, including homeowners, board members, and vendors. That said, sometimes, you may encounter angry homeowners, manage disputes over CC&R, and encounter people with less-than-ideal attitudes.
In turn, you may become overwhelmed or frustrated at times. So, it’s critical to develop strong people skills and patience. These skills can help you manage these situations more easily and resolve disagreements without worsening pre-existing issues.
Looking to Hire a Reliable HOA Manager?
Overseeing and running HOA communities takes a lot of time and work from dedicated HOA managers. Their job consists of several day-to-day tasks, including attending and coordinating meetings, preparing budgets, property inspections, managing violations, and much more.
If you’re looking for a reliable HOA manager to help run your community, look no further than Bay Property Management Group. BMG can help take the stress out of managing your Philadelphia area Condo Associations, HOAs, or Cooperative Housing. Contact us today to learn more about our HOA management services!