RealManage Insight

11 Best New HOA Management Questions

by Amanda Causey on Feb 27, 2020 8:27:00 AM

Finding a well-qualified management company is critical to keeping the daily operations of any Community Association running without a hitch. Searching for a new management company can increase board members' stress levels so it helps to have a list of the best questions to ask while searching for your new management company. As you begin the RFP process, we want to help. Here are our suggestions for the 11 most vital questions to ask a new management company.

  • How many HOAs does the prospective candidate manage currently?

    The board will want to know if the company is stretched too thin to provide the amount and quality of service that the board's community requires. The board also wants to know how experienced the company is and how long has the manager been working in community management.
  • How long has the management company engaged in HOA management?

    This question goes to the management company's length and breadth of expertise. While it may not always mean that they are the best, industry experience goes a long way when you need the knowledge to sort out complicated homeowner issues.
  • How does the management company handle homeowners who do not pay assessments on time?

    No one disputes that one of the management company's essential function is to collect and manage HOA funds wisely. HOA assessments provide the revenue source for HOA projects. The successful candidate will confirm that it coordinates between the board, homeowners, and the HOA's attorney when dealing with late assessments and for anything collections oriented.
  • Does the management company fee include a portal for the board's community?

    Having a unique portal encourages a community bond among homeowners and provides a convenient way for homeowners to monitor their accounts, resource links for recommended vendors to make repairs that are the responsibility of the homeowner, and links to convenient online payment of assessments. Any Management company can provide you with basic functionality but you may also want to know:
    • Is their site mobile friendly
    • Are their mobile apps for paying online
    • Do board members have access to owner information quickly
    • Is there a specific email for the community
  • What is the candidate's pricing structure, including any additional fees that may occur, and the services covered?

    When comparing the proposals of various candidates, it's important to determine whether fees are all-inclusive and if add-on fees are possible. Proposals should state the services covered under the contracted fee and services that will require additional fees.
  • Provide 3 references from HOA communities the candidate has managed, including the name, phone number, and address of the HOA contacts.

    Ask for a couple of references from former or current clients to unearth dissatisfaction with the management company's services. Others in your same position may be able to give you a unique insight into why they chose a particular company and how satisfied they have been with the services that they were sold.
  • Who is the specific property manager assigned to handle the HOA and what experience and/or certificates does that person have?

    The board expects to rely on an experienced and knowledgeable property manager who hits the ground running and understands the importance of following board policies, procedures, and protocols. The ideal candidate will confirm that it will maintain effective collaboration between the management company and the board. Some states may even require that your community manager is specially licensed, so make sure you are getting someone who can meet all of your needs. 
  • How does the candidate handle unexpected maintenance problems? 

    Emergencies and natural disasters are a fact of life. The successful candidate should have a plan to contact and obtain the resources needed to address unexpected damage to property and to protect homeowners' lives.
  • How does the candidate track vendor contracts and regularly scheduled maintenance projects?

    In today's digital world, the board expects a successful candidate to have digital tracking systems for scheduling maintenance and tracking ongoing projects. Being able to track and manage the status of these requests makes your life as a board member that much easier.
  • Does the candidate competitively bid vendor contracts?

    Having good relationships with local vendors in the HOA's area is a good thing when they are reputable companies providing good value for HOA dollars. The board will want to confirm that vendors will competitively bid for projects. Competitive bidding helps your community save money.
  • How does the candidate handle HOA resident meetings and complaints?

    The board sets HOA policies including frequency of homeowner meetings but it is important that proposals identify which team members will preside over meetings and facilitate the complaint process. The ideal management company also will demonstrate superior communication skills that measure up to homeowners' and the board's expectations.

It's hard to overstate the importance of finding the right management company. That's why compiling a comprehensive list of relevant RFP questions is a smart move.  

How to Choose an HOA Management Provider - Free Download

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