#1 An Uptick in Complaints
One of the most important jobs of an HOA management company is to keep things running smoothly—heading off problems before they start. Pay attention to any increase in conflict or dissatisfaction. This might show up in a number of ways:
- Community members complaining about maintenance issues not being addressed promptly or correctly.
- An increase in the number of fines and disputes—especially if they escalate into threats of litigation.
- Board members and committees that feel they aren’t being heard.
- Budget shortfalls from dues not being collected in a timely manner.
- Vendors who aren’t getting paid on time.
#2 Long Response Times
Maybe you have a community that’s really easy to manage. That’s no excuse for your HOA management company to get complacent and slow with communication. Or, maybe you have frequent questions for them and are constantly in need of assistance. They shouldn’t use that as an excuse to dismiss or de-prioritize your concerns—even though they may have many other properties to manage. If you notice they aren’t taking the relationship seriously, it’s time to find an HOA management company that appreciates your community.
#3 Outdated Processes and Technology
A fully modern HOA company will go above and beyond the minimum required and help your organization thrive. They should be continuously improving in efficiency and quality. For example, offering multiple channels to communicate with HOA members can improve community engagement and satisfaction. From a board member’s perspective, being able to access reports, documents, and other information about the property easily, on-demand is also important. You shouldn’t have to wait days or weeks to get access to this information. Don’t settle for less than your members deserve.
#4 Poor Judgement
You can’t afford to ignore serious issues like errors, omissions, and bad decisions. Pay attention to whether your chosen company is staying up to speed with the latest regulations for compliance. While the HOA management company may take on responsibilities on behalf of your board, you can still be on the hook at the end of the day for the decisions they make. After all, it was your board that decided to hire that company! It’s definitely time to change HOA management companies if you find that they have made mistakes that expose your organization to liability.
What to Look for When Changing HOA Management Companies
Here are some qualities and characteristics that matter:
- Timely communication, both proactively and in response to inquiries
- Experience with managing properties and communities similar to yours
- Certifications, licensing, and ongoing development for the company as a whole and for the manager assigned to your property
- Attention to detail in and strategic thinking about key issues like budgeting, maintenance, community engagement, etc.
- Ability to provide a broad scope of services, so you can choose what to have them handle and what the board will manage
- Use of technology to streamline operations, reduce costs, and improve community satisfaction
Those are just a few highlights. To dig in and start vetting Ardent as your next HOA management company, contact our specialists today.